Memorial tree given new home at Column Field

The memorial tree being replanted at Alnwick's Column Field.
The memorial tree being replanted at Alnwick's Column Field.

A memorial tree in honour of a council employee has been relocated, to make way for an upcoming housing development.

The copper beech was originally planted in the grounds of Alnwick’s Allerburn House in 1995 in memory of Gordon Smith, who worked for the former Alnwick District Council.

However, the land has been purchased by Ascent Homes – the house-building arm of Northumberland County Council’s development company Arch – and a major new housing scheme is to take place on the site.

The project – approved at the start of the year – will comprise nine apartments, four four-bedroom and six five-bedroom homes and a bungalow.

Named Allerburn Gate, the development involves the conversion of Allerburn House and an empty cottage, as well as a number of new builds.

To make way for the homes, the memorial tree and accompanying plaque have been moved to the nearby Column Field.

A spokeswoman for the county council said: “Gordon was a much-loved colleague and the tree and the plaque are now in the Column Field, near to the public footpath, so the many people who knew Gordon will be able to see it.

“His widow, Susan, has been kept informed and involved in the process. After the tree was moved, she wrote to the council to say that she thought it was in a good position and she hopes that the tree likes it too.”

The tree was moved at the end of last month by Northern Tree Transplanters.

For details about Allerburn Gate and to register an interest in the properties, visit the website ascent-homes.co.uk