The recent surge of interest in Britain’s mountaineering heritage has prompted two interlinking events – a symposium and an exhibition – entitled ‘Mountain Legacies’.

The free events, jointly sponsored by Lancaster University, Newcastle University and the Spatial Humanities Project, celebrate the history of rock climbing and the relevance of mountain landscapes as sources of wonder and inspiration in the present day.

To be held at the Literary & Philosophical Society (Lit & Phil), in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, between May 21 and June 11, ‘Mountain Legacies’ will involve enthusiasts from across the North of England.

The symposium, which starts at 2pm on May 21, will feature contributions from four speakers with complementary interests and expertise in the literature and history of mountaineering: Professor Simon Bainbridge (Lancaster University), Dr Penelope Bradshaw (University of Cumbria), Dr Jonathan Westaway (UCLAN), and Dr Abbie Garrington (Newcastle University).

Highlighting significant works from the Romantic, Victorian and Modern eras, the speakers will engage the audience in a wide-ranging discussion about the origins, traditions and practices of British mountain writing and about the persistence of rock climbing as a subject for literary creativity.

The talks will coincide with the opening of a new exhibition of the work of the Hexham-based mountain painter Susan Dobson. Entitled ‘Mountains in Mind’, this exhibition will be on public display in the main reading room of the Lit & Phil until June 11, with a special presentation by the artist at 6pm on June 4.

Incorporating paintings, drawings and journals from Susan’s many expeditions in the Himalayas, Dolomites and the Lake District (as well as items from the Lit & Phil’s collection), the exhibition will pick up on the theme of creative practice introduced in the symposium by creating a conversation between Dobson’s artistic process and her finished works.

“Climbing and mountaineering have a long and proud history here in the North of England,” said event co-organiser Dr Christopher Donaldson, from Lancaster University’s History Department.

“So we’re absolutely delighted to be collaborating with Newcastle University and the Lit & Phil to host these two events.”

For bookings and additional information, please contact the Lit & Phil: Tel: 0191 232 0192. Email: