Staff are now being hired for the hotel. Credit: Northumberland Estates

Summer opening for Bailiffgate Hotel

Northumberland Estates has added a five-storey new-build to a Georgian former schoolhouse to create the 48-bedroom Alnwick destination.

Bailiffgate Hotel is located in the historic former premises of Duchess High School, overlooking the Barbican entrance to Alnwick Castle.

With 48 bedrooms, suites, and apartments, bar, restaurant, and private dining room, the hotel will offer a variety of accommodation options. Mawson Kerr is the project architect.

The first Duke of Northumberland acquired Derwentwater House from the Commissioners and Governors of Greenwich Hospital in 1780. He demolished the existing structure and built Bailiffgate House in its place for James Dormer, the Duke’s commissioner.

Mawson Kerr designed the scheme. Credit: Northumberland Estates

The house then continued to be used as the home of the estate commissioners until the death of the third Duke in 1847.

In 1888 the house was taken over by the Duchess’s School,  ran as a private school until 1903 and was then taken on by Northumberland County Council as a secondary school.

The school continued to expand and Bailiffgate House remained part of the school until 2016.

Northumberland Estates said that the hotel project represents a significant investment in Alnwick’s tourist economy.

Key appointments have been made ahead of opening, including Bernard Bloodworth, a former pupil at the school, who has been appointed general manager.

Referencing delays caused by the building’s age, he said: “While the delays to the hotel have been frustrating, we are absolutely determined to get this right. Bailiffgate House holds a lot of memories for the people of Alnwick, and we want to make sure that everything from the décor and architecture to the menus and service exceeds expectations.

“As we approach opening, we will be recruiting for staff and running some special offers for former pupils who we hope will be intrigued to see what their former classrooms have become.”

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