Victorian jail cells incorporated into redevelopment of former Berwick courthouse and council offices

Former prison cells will form a unique feature in the redevelopment of Berwick’s former courthouse.
The former courthouse and council buildings at Wallace Green in Berwick.The former courthouse and council buildings at Wallace Green in Berwick.
The former courthouse and council buildings at Wallace Green in Berwick.

One of the properties within the redeveloped property at Wallace Green will incorporate the cells, which date back to the Victorian period.

Neil Craig, director of developers GM Craig (GMC), said: “The remaining cells on the second floor have been drawing a lot of attention.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“One of the five properties will include the former cells to used as storage / wardrobe space or indeed a cell for unruly occupants!

“It really is a truly unique feature for any home.”

There is also a cellar and former vault/saferoom which GMC plan to refurbish, while Neil says that a former chapel on the third floor could form a truly fantastic library, cinema or living room.

Planning permission for the redevelopment was granted by Northumberland County Council earlier this month.

The main building – most recently used as council offices – is being vertically divided into four large homes with a two bedroom apartment in the stable loft to the rear.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Externally, the Grade II listed building will remain virtually unchanged apart from the replacement of some windows.

The property was bought by GMC in October 2018.

Since then the fittings have been stripped back and repairs and essential maintenance have been carried out.

“From the moment I first walked though the building I know exactly what it could be with our team working on it,” said Neil. “This type of project is really what I enjoy most.

“Our own workforce will be carrying out the works and we hope to be on site 18-24 months with the first units available to secure off plan spring/summer 2020.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Dating from 1844-9, it was designed as Berwick Jail and Courthouse by the well-known Scottish architect Thomas Brown, of Edinburgh.

Although the state-of-the-art Victorian prison became council offices in 1892, many details survive, while the exterior, with its cluster of stone chimneys, makes an important contribution to Berwick’s townscape.

The building was occupied by the former Berwick Borough Council until local government reorganisation in 2009 and then by Northumberland County Council until 2015.