The ongoing restoration of unique heritage assets forms part of the Estate's approach to deliver the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment for future generations.

The Estate is responsible for the care and preservation of over 200 listed monuments and buildings. Most are in the North East of England and many are iconic to the region. They include Alnwick Castle, Ratcheugh Observatory, Bondgate Tower, Hulne Priory, Lion Bridge, Alnwick Gatehouse and many more including Syon Park in London. 

Every building needs maintenance, especially buildings like Alnwick Castle that have stood for hundreds of years. Since the early 2000s, an ongoing programme of highly skilled repair has been carried out across the Castle site under the direction of the 12th Duke of Northumberland. Led by the Clerk of Works team and Historic Property Restoration, it aims to ensure the Castle survives into the future in the best possible condition.

The repair and maintenance of buildings such as these requires specialist skills and  typically includes maintaining as much of the original character and authenticity as possible, reproducing materials, and replicating traditional techniques.

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Case Study

Alnwick Castle Restoration

Maintaining Alnwick Castle as a visitor attraction has involved major structural repairs.

In recent years work has been undertaken to the curtain walls, many of the towers and battlements, and the restoration of some of the ornate sculptures as well as glazing and joinery repairs and the installation of lightning conductors. We have repaired the spiral stone access stairs to the North Wall walks, and uncovered and restored the entrance to the underground 18th Century ice house in the castle grounds, which was completely dismantled and rebuilt.

The latest phase of work at Alnwick Castle's inner keep is almost complete. As one of the busiest areas of the Castle work has been carried out safely, sensitively and efficiently, minimising any disruption to the visitor experience as much as possible.

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Case Study

Tenantry Column

An exciting new lighting scheme has been installed as part of a three-phased repair and restoration project on the Grade I Listed Percy Tenantry Column in Alnwick.

Northumberland Estates has undertaken structural surveys to identify defects on the 83 ft tall Doric column, and conservation work is scheduled to begin in 2023. The new architectural lighting system replaces the previous system with energy-efficient LED lighting with colour capability, which highlights the column and provides further opportunities to integrate the site into public life.  A specialist condition survey of the Coade Stone lions is ongoing and remedial works are likely to form the final phase of the project.

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Case Study

Alnwick Station Regeneration

Future projects include the regeneration of Alnwick Station. 

The Victorian railway station in the heart of Alnwick was designed and rebuilt by William Bell in 1887. Once a busy railway station, the 32,000 sq. ft, Grade II listed building is now the home of Barter Books. 

Recognising the special architectural and historical significance of the station, Northumberland Estates has work scheduled to re-slate the roof, which will help ensure structural safety for years to come and protect the building from deterioration stemming from the ageing roofs.

The work will be undertaken using materials that match the original as closely as practically possible.

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