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Alnwick's Bondgate Tower to close for vehicle damage repair

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionBondgate Tower is a local landmark in Alnwick

A historic town centre tower is to close for a week for repairs after being struck by a vehicle.

Bondgate Tower has stood at the end of Alnwick marketplace since about 1450.

Pete Reed of the Alnwick Civic Society, said the narrow tower had posed a conflict between traffic flow issues and heritage conservation since the Victorian age.

Historic England said the tower was at risk of "serious collapse" if a keystone was hit by large vehicles.

Northumberland Estates, which is responsible for the tower's upkeep, said it would be closed from 26 November to 2 December for the "urgent" repair of arch stones which were damaged by a vehicle.

The tower, which is also known as Hotspur's Tower after the town's famous knight, was built as part of Alnwick's defences against the threat of Scottish invasion.

image copyrightPete Reed
image captionThe tower allows single-file traffic only

Mr Reed said the tower was "an important part of Alnwick's history" and townsfolk felt a responsibility to "protect it and hand it down to the next generation", so pulling it down or moving it was "unthinkable".

Blocking the through route of the tower's single-file archway would cause problems elsewhere in the town, he said.

"I do not think there is a more impressive or memorable gateway," Mr Reed said.

A spokeswoman for Northumberland Estates said "there has been much discussion over the issue but as yet no solution has been found".

Height restrictions are in place, and though there are a "number of options available", the tower's scheduled monument status "limits what can be done".

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Related Topics

  • History
  • Historic England
  • Alnwick

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