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Work Begins on West Mural Tower

6 November 2018

Work is starting to transform one of County Durham’s oldest buildings into a new, learning space.

The Grade I listed West Mural Tower, in the grounds of Auckland Castle, dates back to at least the 15th century and was originally built as a defensive gatehouse.

Now, it is being rescued from decades of deterioration and decay in a transformation funded primarily by The Auckland Project, with a £50,000 grant from Historic England as part of the Bishop Auckland Heritage Action Zone scheme and £5,000 from the Architectural Heritage Fund.

Bishop Auckland is one of 18 locations across the UK to have been granted Heritage Action Zone status and will benefit from a five-year programme designed to reinvigorate its historic Market Place, high streets and other parts of the conservation area.

It is being delivered by Bishop Auckland Heritage Action Zone is delivered in partnership with Durham County Council and the Brighter Bishop Auckland Regeneration Partnership.

 

Work to bring West Mural Tower back into use will include:

  • stabilising the existing building
  • removing and then rebuilding some of the walls using original stone
  • reinstating the medieval roof using green oak and other traditional materials
  • recreating the first floor first
  • installing windows and basic services such as heating and electricity

It is expected to take around six months to complete, with the room in use from spring/summer 2019.

The Auckland Project has appointed experienced, family-run, Tyne Valley company, Heritage Consolidation Ltd, to carry out the work, with designs by Hexham-based Doonan Architects.

Three volunteers have also been recruited to follow the progress of West Mural Tower and get hands on with the work wherever possible.

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