Neill going back to his roots as part of the redevelopment of former Berwick courthouse

A couple joked that they were the “latest inmates” when they received the keys to their new home at the redevelopment of Berwick’s former courthouse.

Some of the properties within the building at Wallace Green incorporate the former prison cells, which date back to the Victorian period.

Developers GM Craig (GMC) have converted the main building – most recently used as council offices – into four large homes, with a two bedroom apartment created in the stable loft to the rear.

Externally, the Grade II-listed building has remained virtually unchanged apart from the replacement of some windows.

The handing over of the keys by Neil Craig of GMC to Neill and Sarah Bennett. Picture by Margaret Shaw.

Neill Bennett and his wife Sarah were looking for a property in Berwick and they agreed it was a “fantastic opportunity” to move into a building with such a rich history.

They were greeted on the day they moved in last Friday by the town’s Mayor and Sheriff, a piper, members of the GMC team and the Vicar of Berwick, Rev Dennis Handley, blessed the property as this was the official launch day for the new development.

As a thank-you, they made a donation to Mayor Coun Mike Greener’s charities – Berwick and District Cancer Support Group and Berwick Swan and Wildlife Trust.

Neill said: “I grew up in Berwick and it has a special place in my heart, and there was a family link that helped us to go with the Wallace Green property as my mum used to work in one of the front bay windows for a number of years.

Members of the GMC team. Picture by Margaret Shaw.

“We are totally over the moon now that we’ve got the keys.

“The scale of our home and the building as a whole is immense, and it’s better than we could have imagined.

“The quality of craftsmanship from GMC, a local company, is excellent and it’s lovely that the jaw-dropping images we saw from their designer during the process have come to fruition.

“We know about the history of the building and so we are the latest inmates! It has been fascinating to see how the former cells have been incorporated into the redevelopment.”

The Vicar of Berwick, Rev Dennis Handley, blessed the property. Picture by Margaret Shaw.

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

It was bought by GMC in October 2018.