Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Castle in County Durham, Have Been Knight Is on a Mission to Restore Castle

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Castle in County Durham, Have Been Knight Is on a Mission to Restore Castle

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson Environment Editor

EVERY castle needs a knight as its champion and protector.And now Sunderland's 15th Century Hylton Castle has Cheryl Knight to help lead it to a new future at the centre of the city's community.

The Grade I listed castle, a scheduled ancient monument, is on English Heritage's At Risk register.

But, backed by a PS151,000 development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, work has now started on plans to restore the castle.

The vision is to turn it into a heritage attraction for the city and, together with its adjacent dene, a centre for educational and cultural activities.

The work will lead next year to a bid to the HLF for PS2.25m towards the project cost of PS3.5m.

Cheryl Knight has been appointed as project manager. Previously she has worked as keeper of social history at Beamish Museum in County Durham and interpretation developer at the National Railway Museum in York.

She said: "The vision for the site is firstly to guarantee the future of what is a really important building and take it off the At Risk register. Then there is the opportunity to bring the castle into community use.

"This is something which nobody has done before - to take a castle, renovate it, and return it to the community. It is very exciting."

Trina Murphy, arts and heritage manager with Sunderland City Council which has set aside PS1.5m for the scheme, said: " This project is extremely important for Sunderland. The local community has such a strong affinity with the castle which will be a real asset to the city."

Beaumont Brown Architects, based in Barnard Castle in County Durham, have been appointed to the project and Northern Archaeological Associates will also undertake an investigation of the fortress site. The team will involve the community in creating designs for the castle.

This will include the Friends of Hylton Castle and Dene who have been working with Sunderland City Council and English Heritage for years to bring the castle into use. …

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