Repairs completed on Alnwick's Hotspur Tower after 15th century gateway damaged by high-sided vehicle

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Repairs have been carried out to the historic Hotspur Tower in Alnwick.

The 15th century gatehouse was closed for a week to allow repairs to the masonry on the Bondgate Within façade.

Some of the arch stones had been damaged by a recent vehicle impact.

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Northumberland Estates decided to get the work done during lockdown when traffic movements were lower than usual.

Stonework on the Hotspur Tower in Alnwick has been repaired.Stonework on the Hotspur Tower in Alnwick has been repaired.
Stonework on the Hotspur Tower in Alnwick has been repaired.

The work meant traffic had to be redirected around the town centre.

A spokesperson for Northumberland Estates said: “The works went according to plan. A license was granted to close the Tower for seven days but we were able to reopen the tower a day earlier on the 1st December.

"The repairs were completed by Historic Property Restoration Ltd. using natural sandstone bedded in lime mortar with the stone masons working the new stone to match its surroundings.

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“The minimal amount of work possible was undertaken to ensure the structural stability of the arch which is constantly being struck by vehicles or cargo in vehicles that ignore the height restrictions.

Hotspur Tower.Hotspur Tower.
Hotspur Tower.

“Some plastic, presumed to be from some gutters or pipes being carried on the back of another vehicle, were even found wedged into some of the stonework within the archway. “

Historic England has previously warned that the building might need to be closed if further substantial damage occurred.

It is listed on its Heritage at Risk Register due to the risk of significant damage from vehicle impacts.

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The three-storey gatehouse was founded around 1450 by the 2nd Earl of Northumberland.

Also known as Hotspur Gate, it was originally one of four gates, in the town wall.

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