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 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.
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.