Alnwick Castle

Grade 1 Listed Alnwick Castle is the seat of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and its beginnings date back to the Norman Conquest. Originally owned by the Vescy family it was bought by the 1st Barron, Henry Percy in 1309, who began its transformation firstly into a border fortress and then into a comfortable family home which continued through the generations to the present day.

The Northumberland Estate
Architect/client representative
Patrick Parsons Structural Engineers, Newcastle
Contract value

The present Duke and Duchess and their family still live in part of the castle which is open to the public. The Duke also owns Syon House in London and Albury Estate in Surrey.

The Northumberland Estates company manages the business interests of the Duke and has responsibility for its numerous listed buildings including Hulne Park, the last of three park‘s which previously surrounded the Castle. Within the seven thousand acre park is the former gatehouse of Alnwick Abbey, the Gothic styled Brizlee Tower, and the remains of Hulne Priory, which was a Carmelite Monastery.

Historic Property Restoration has worked on many projects for Northumberland Estates at Alnwick and at Syon House since 2004. This has included the restoration of the Grade 1 listed Brizlee Tower [to allow its removal from English Heritage’s Building at Risk Register] , masonry repairs to the extensive estate boundary walls and also to the walls and masonry fabric of Hulne Priory.

Scaffolding to the external curtain walls of Alnwick Castle

The Dean and Chapter and its Fabric Advisory Committee is thrilled with the quality of work produced by HPR Ltd. The skills exhibited in stone masonry are particularly fine. Managers and staff have developed good relations with the client team – we couldn’t have asked for better attitude or commitment.

Lindy Gilliland Testimonial -
Lindy Gilliland - Newcastle Cathedral Project Manager

"From my personal perspective, this was one of the best projects I have been involved with over the last 35 years as a Chartered Building Surveyor, RIS Accredited in Building Conservation. My client role on this was a complete pleasure, because you and your team were first class, complementing the excellent professional design team. Well done!"

Richard Dunn -
PCC Project Co-ordinator, for St John the Baptist Church, Wilberfoss

"May I take this opportunity to thank you and your staff for your professional and unfailingly helpful conduct during this project. We particularly appreciate the efforts made to overcome the deficiencies and problems arising from the previous contractor."

Andrew Bodenham -
Blackett Ord Conservation

"HPR recognise, and allow for, the necessary archaeological recording to take place during consolidation work and the disruptions that this may cause to their planned programme of work comes as no surprise to them. This awareness means that their workforce is able to be pro-active in informing the archaeologist of any possible instances when recording may be necessary."

Mick Krupa -
NPHT Archaeologist at Nenthead Smeltmill

"Historic Property Restoration carried out the first phase of the refurbishment of the Grade II listed Town Hall. The company were extremely professional in their approach throughout the entire process as befits a company with extensive experience in the conservation and restoration sector."

David Lodge -
Greater Morpeth Development Trust

"Historic Property Restoration deliver good quality work to programme and budget on a regular basis. They are reliable and value for money."

Ian Merritt -
English Heritage Conservation and Maintenance Manager
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Alnwick Castle

The Grade 1 Brizlee Tower was designed by the famous Scottish architect and designer Robert Adam in a Rocco Gothic style and built by Hugh, the first Duke of Northumberland. In 2005 a £400,000 restoration contract was carried out by HPR which included extensive stone replacement to the arcading, balconies, balustrading, and tower shaft as well as the replacement of the intricate and ornate timber windows.

We have also carried out major structural repairs within the castle itself which has included 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 we completely dismantled and rebuilt. HPR have also carried out repairs to the clock tower and clock faces within the castle. As the current works to the Keep near completion, we look forward to the next phase of works on the Lion Tower.