Holiday park helps save a piece of village history

A handshake between Michael Wright, centre, and Stephen Griffiths seals the deal by Parkdean Resorts to grant a lease on Cresswell Pele Tower. Looking on is David Lodge, chief executive of Greater Morpeth Development Trust.
A handshake between Michael Wright, centre, and Stephen Griffiths seals the deal by Parkdean Resorts to grant a lease on Cresswell Pele Tower. Looking on is David Lodge, chief executive of Greater Morpeth Development Trust.

Parkdean Resorts will play a part in preserving a 600-year-old relic of Northumberland’s past in the coastal village of Cresswell.

Funding has been secured from various sources to safeguard the future of the Cresswell Pele Tower, which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument but also on Historic England’s Heritage At Risk register because of its dilapidated state.

It is owned by Parkdean Resorts as it stands in the grounds of the UK holiday park operator’s Cresswell Towers Holiday Park site.

The company has given a free lease of the tower and surrounding Victorian garden, which means the restoration partnership can start work on the project, and it will provide help going forward.

Cresswell Parish Council chairman Michael Wright and Stephen Griffiths, director of development and estates at Parkdean Resorts, recently met up to shake hands on the deal.

Coun Wright said the original Pele Tower team of himself and his wife Louise, along with local residents Barry Mead and Mavis Dance and David Lodge, CEO of Greater Morpeth Development Trust, put a lottery grant bid together before forming a charitable incorporated organisation to deliver the project, which is hoped will be open to the public in the spring of 2020.

He added: “We are extremely grateful to the HLF, Parkdean and the many supporters and volunteers who have helped along the way with this remarkable project for the village of Cresswell.”

Mr Griffiths said: “Cresswell Pele Tower is a wonderful piece of true Northumbrian history that local people, visitors to the area including our holidaymakers and future generations will have the chance to experience, which we fully support.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Pele Tower partnership throughout the restoration.”