Northumberland pele tower removed from 'at risk' register following restoration work

Cresswell Tower has been removed from Historic England’s heritage at risk register.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 7:00 am
Cresswell Pele Tower has been removed from Historic England's 'at risk' register.
Cresswell Pele Tower has been removed from Historic England's 'at risk' register.

Until recently a roofless shell with a history of vandalism and graffiti, the 14th century pele tower has been transformed into a remarkable community space.

The project has seen public and private organisations and the local community work together to restore this Grade II listed building and Scheduled Monument.

The conservation project began in 2014 when parish councillor Michael Wright met with Parkdean Resorts, holiday park operator and owner of the tower, along with Cresswell Parish Council and Historic England.

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The Grade II listed tower has been transformed into a community space.

The team went on to secure a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other funders, which enabled the complete restoration of the building.

There has been a huge amount of local interest and involvement throughout the restoration – with help to raise funds and with community excavations.

As the tower begins a new chapter, local volunteers will continue to be involved in running it as a visitor attraction and working on the restoration of the nearby walled garden.

It is one of 18 special places across the North East removed from the register, a yearly health-check of England’s most valued historic places and those most at risk.

Cresswell Tower.

They include several important ancient sites in the Cheviots which have been rescued with funding from the Countryside Stewardship scheme. These are at Yeavering Bell, White Law, Hart Heugh and Hethpool Linn.

Six sites in the North East have been added to the register because of concerns about their condition

They include ringses camps at Doddington Moor and ringes camps and Romano-British settlements at Beanley Moor, Hedgeley.

Historic England also reports that progress is being made with conservation work at Seaton Delaval Hall where agreement for the long-term maintenance of the bastion and ha-ha wall has brought it closer to coming off the register.

Trevor Mitchell, regional director for the North East and Yorkshire at Historic England, said: “Despite the challenges we have all faced recently, this year’s Heritage at Risk Register shows that looking after our special places can contribute to the country’s economic and social recovery, bring communities together and improve people’s lives.

“The 18 sites saved this year in the North East show what’s possible with strong partnerships, dedicated individuals and funding support.”

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