23 May 2020
Work has started on a new roof for the pele tower. The tower has been open to the elements for the best part of 50 years so it won't be too long before the interior gets the protection it needs and deserves.
£667,600 National Lottery grant awarded to Cresswell Pele Tower!
This stupendous National Lottery grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will enable the Grade II* Listed Pele Tower (which is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument) to be restored so that it can be removed from Historic England’s “Heritage at Risk” register and opened to the public as a visitor attraction.
The grant will allow the Cresswell Pele Tower Charitable Incorporated Organisation, with help from Greater Morpeth Development Trust, to fully restore three-storey 15th century tower. A nearby Victorian gardener’s bothy will also be re-built to provide welfare facilities for both visitors and volunteers. Boundary walls will also be repaired and the adjacent woodland improved.
Another key part of the project will be a community archaeological dig to unearth more treasures from Cresswell’s past. The dig will run from the 10th September to the 5th October 2018.
Michael Wright, who chairs the Cresswell Pele Tower CIO, commented: “It is a fantastic achievement for a small community like Cresswell to secure this sort of National Lottery support that will allow us to preserve such an important piece of our past for future generations. The award is the culmination of four years of dedicated work by many local people whose support for the project has just been incredible.
Michael paid tribute to local county councillor Scott Dickinson, Northumberland County Council, CELL Big Local, Parkdean Resorts on whose land the Pele Tower stands, the Cresswell Village Hall Association, Greater Morpeth Development Trust and some local businesses who have all supported the restoration of the building. “None of this exciting project could have been achieved without them or the support and backing of the National Lottery,” he added.
Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: “Years of hard work, passion and support have been put into creating an exciting future for Cresswell Pele Tower and we’re delighted to support this vital next step. Thanks to National Lottery players this much-loved yet hidden landmark will be saved and opened to all to discover its heritage.” (July 2018)
FUNDING UPDATE MARCH 2018
The Second Round (Delivery Phase) HLF funding application to restore Cresswell Pele Tower was submitted on 4th March 2018. It will now be assessed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and a decision made in mid-June. The application is for £677,600 and includes all of the repairs to the tower, including a new roof, to make the building weatherproof and suitable for holding events & exhibitions. A Victorian gardener’s bothy near the tower (see image above) will be rebuilt to provide welfare facilities for volunteers. The boundary walls around the site will be repaired and there will be an environmental scheme to improve the biodiversity. Last but by no means least there will be another community archaeology project.
If that isn’t enough Cresswell Village Hall Association has been successful with a funding application to LEADER to upgrade the Village Hall which will allow it to serve as a heritage an education centre to support of the pele tower project and showcase some of the area’s other amazing heritage. So we’re on a bit of a roll at the moment!
October 2017 Archaeology Update
Our October 2017 Archaeology Update is now available with exciting news about developments within the tower.
Excavations begin at the tower
8 February 2017
We opened our first trench immediately south of the Pele Tower today.
After removing the topsoil we soon trowelled down to what appears to be a 19th Century cobbled surface.
The New Gates Arrive
31 January 2017
The new iron gates have been custom built and are now in-place on site.
Replacing a pair of rather sad looking wooden gates, the new gates give an intriguing view of the Cresswell Pele Tower from the Village Green.
Check out our Facebook page for more details.
30 January 2017
Following our training sessions led by Philippa Cockburn from Archaeological Research Services, the small army of volunteers began combing the Fisheries Field.
An amazing number of finds were carefully recorded covering an impressive range of dates. Mesolithic flint and Prehistoric pottery appeared. For more see our Fieldwalking video.