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Conservation project winner.

A CONSERVATION project that has safeguarded the remains of an important historic bastle house near Otterburn in Northumberland was the first winner of Constructing Excellence in the North East's 'Heritage Award'.

The remains of Shittleheugh Bastle near Otterburn are characteristic of a 16th or 17th Century bastle house and its massive walls tell of a time when farmhouses had to be fortified to safeguard the owner's family and livestock from the Border Reivers.

However, the ravages of time have taken their toll and the bastle was on the Building at Risk register and in urgent need of attention. Now, thanks to funding from the Higher Level Stewardship scheme, which is administered by Natural England, urgent work to safeguard the remains of the bastle house have been carried out.

Loose stones have been re-bedded, masonry re-pointed and missing stones replaced. Traditional construction methods have been used throughout the project which was managed by heritage architect Peter Kempsey of Countryside Consultants of Alston and experts from Natural England and English Heritage, working with specialist craftsmen Gary and Mike Simpson of Heritage Consolidation.

Accepting the Award on behalf of the project team Mr Kempsey said: "We are thrilled that the careful and sensitive consolidation of this important Northumberland bastle house has been recognised by the first-ever CENE Heritage Award."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 17, 2010
Words:216
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