Restoring one of England’s earliest Greek Revival houses and Grade I listed gardens

Restoring one of England’s earliest Greek Revival houses and Grade I listed gardens

The facade of Belsay Hall on a sunny day, with visitors exploring the grounds
Visitors attending the opening day at Belsay hall and gardens. Credit: Ellen Hunter.

Heritage Grants

Ponteland North
The English Heritage Trust
The Belsay Awakes project, led by English Heritage, has revived Belsay’s historic estate and gardens so that the visitor attraction can be enjoyed for years to come.

Previously, the unique architectural design of the hall caused leaks and much of the gardens and woodlands were overgrown.

Now, the original roof – which caused damp issues for over 200 years – has been replaced and the castle’s medieval stonework has been repaired.

Restored gardens and woodlands

The gardens have been brought back to life by the removal of invasive species and the addition of over 80,000 plants. This new burst of colour has enhanced habitats for wildlife and restored historic views in the gardens and woodlands.

A path running through Belsay gardens with a sign telling visitors about the plants
New interpretation tells visitors about the history of the gardens and woodlands. Credit: Ellen Hunter.


Other significant improvements include:

  • new family-friendly spaces, featuring a children’s woodland play-and-learn area and outdoor classroom
  • enhanced interpretation across the site
  • improved accessibility with new parking and pathways, ramps to the castle and new accessible toilets and changing places

Helen Featherstone, Director of England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We’re sure that this fantastic conservation project will pave the way for many more visitors to enjoy discovering the heritage of the historic site.”

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