The sea wall protecting the iconic Church Hill at Alnmouth which was damaged by a storm surge six years ago is to be repaired by Northumberland Estates.
Although Church Hill lies within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the hill and wall fall outside the village conservation area and are not listed. The Estates has completed a survey of the wall and now plans to carry out repairs during the next 12 months, subject to receiving the necessary SSSI permits.
Alnmouth Parish Council is delighted that Northumberland Estates has agreed to take on the cost of the repairs according to Chairman Shaun Whyte who aid: “We are extremely pleased that Northumberland Estates are prepared to take action to protect what we think is an important part of the coastal landscape.
Robin Smeaton, building manager here at Northumberland Estates, said: “The wall at the base of Church Hill was built in 1853 on the instruction of the 4th Duke of Northumberland to prevent sea damage to the ancient burial grounds of the churches that had stood in that area prior to the land being lost when the River Aln changed course in 1806.
“With the Percys’ 700-year association with Northumberland, the volume of historic buildings and heritage structures under the Estate’s protection is significant.
“However, we like to help where we can, and recognising that although this is not a listed structure it is of importance to the area, we have agreed to take on the significant cost of these repairs to protect what has become not only something of a landmark for the town and local community, but also a draw for tourists.”