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We are Durham City Freemen

The Freemen of Durham are the members of the eight Guilds or Companies comprising Barbers, Butchers, Cordwainers, Curriers, Drapers, Joiners, Masons and Plumbers. These Guilds are all that remain of the sixteen in the Middle Ages of which there is written evidence going back as far as 1450.


Event Cancellations

Freemen Annual Dinner October 23rd 2021

Martinmas Guild Day November 15th 2021

Following the Wardens and Deputy Wardens Meeting on 29th July 2021, it has been decided that in the interest of members and guest safety, to cancel this years Annual Dinner, the Martinmas Guild Day and Distribution. 

First and second calls will be served via the Zoom platform. 

All third calls (admissions) are deferred until the ceremony can be held in the Guild Hall as soon as Covid restrictions permit. Should members have any queries regarding the above please contact your company warden whose contact details can be found in the Yearbook and in the Companies section of the website.

John Booth

Chairman of the Wardens
Barbers' Company Warden

The Sands De-registration as Common Land

"The Planning Inspector has now published his ruling on the public inquiry into Durham County Council's application to have the former coach park at the Sands de-registered as common land.

Patrick Conway, Chair of the Durham City Freemen Trustees, said " Given the overwhelming public opposition to this application, the Freemen are saddened that the protection against further development, afforded by common land status is now about to be removed.

For generations Durham City Freemen have vigorously protected the integrity of the Sands as common land, and are concerned this decision might be used in the future, as a precedent for encroachment on the remaining green space.

A compromise that permitted construction of water tanks for the civic headquarters fire safety needs could have been possible, whilst maintaining common registration, Nonetheless Durham City Freemen will continue to work with the local authority in the interests, not only of the Freemen but the wider Durham community.

Durham City Freemen are determined to safeguard the traditions of the medieval guilds that contribute to the history of our city, while supporting community organisations and modern day apprenticeships".

Patrick Conway
Chairman of the Trustees

Contacts View all
Patrick Conway  OBE
Patrick Conway OBE
Chair of Trustees
John Booth
John Booth
Chairman of the Wardens and Barbers' Company Warden
Kathleen Vasey
Kathleen Vasey
Drapers' Company Warden and Secretary to the Freemen
Eric Bulmer
Eric Bulmer
Chairman of the Charitable Trust and Membership Secretary

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