Emergency repair works planned on historic General Lambert’s House in Alnwick

Plans have been lodged for further emergency repair works to a historic property in Alnwick.

Sunday, 22nd September 2019, 06:00 am
General Lambert's House in Narrowgate, Alnwick.

Stabilisation and strengthening works are needed at General Lambert’s House on Narrowgate.

An application seeking consent for the works on the Grade II listed property, also known as Narrowgate House, has been lodged by Lucker-based Stablewood Leisure.

It plans to insert reinforced concrete needles to the rear wall of the property, supported on pairs of piles located on the garden side walls.

There is an existing planning permission to convert the property into five residential units with a creperie in the basement and three more residential units in the grounds.

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The property dates from the late 17th or early 18th century. There was considerable remodelling and re-facing of the frontage to Narrowgate by 1830. At this time the property was owned by a prominent Alnwick solicitor, John Lambert.

The present building footprint was fully established by around 1860. After Lambert’s death the house was passed onto his son Anthony, also a solicitor and in 1861 was sold to William Dickson of Thorp and Dickson Solicitors later to become Dickson, Archer and Thorp Solicitors.

Continued occupation of the house by the firm was maintained until 2003 until closure. A ten-year period of vacancy elapsed until the house was purchased by Stablewood Leisure Ltd.

Architect Michael Atkinson, in a report to the planning department at Northumberland County Council, states: ‘These repair proposals respect those elements that are identified as having great significance to this heritage asset.

‘The scope of the repair proposals looks to compliment and strengthen rather than detract from the character of this highly important property within the town.

‘Disturbance to the building fabric is kept to an absolute minimum and where new interventions occur the reasons for doing so far outweigh any perceived detrimental effect.

‘The intrinsic value and interest that this building possesses as a local exemplar of a fine Georgian townhouse, also with an important contribution to the character of the Alnwick Conservation Area, is retained. In conclusion these repair proposals seek to respect the architecture of the building.’

For several years the house has been included on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.