Brizlee Tower is a grade I listed Gothick folly tower standing on a rocky hilltop overlooking Hulne Park near Alnwick in Northumberland. Designed by the famous Scottish architect, Robert Adam in 1777 for the First Duke of Northumberland, Brizlee is one of several buildings we have worked on in the Alnwick Parks which commemorate the First Duchess, Elizabeth Seymour; others we have advised on include Hulne Priory, Heifferlaw Tower and Ratcheugh Observatory at the eastern edge of the Alnwick park lands. Standing c.26m (87′) high, Brizlee Tower provides an impressive viewpoint for the important ‘Capability’ Brown designed landscape of Hulne Park and a large part of north Northumberland.
We found severe problems of water penetration and rusting ironwork which had left the slender stone balustrades unsafe and a range of other problems due to neglect and ill informed maintenance. After carrying out archival research and preparing a detailed condition report, we brought together and coordinated a range of specialists to inform a detailed programme of investigation and conservation, and provided the professional lead for the English Heritage grant aided project of conservation repairs. The work included totally dismantling and rebuilding the surrounding arcade and balcony railings at both levels, repairing the cast iron brazier at the top of the tower, and repointing and specialist stone cleaning. Lost windows were restored, mostly based on the few surviving examples, though we also designed completely new windows for the cap house in a Gothick style. Rainwater drainage was improved, and handrails and lightning conductors added. Visitors can once again enjoy both the tower and the superb viewpoint it provides of the designed landscape.