A modern five-story building will adjoin a beautiful Georgian former schoolhouse in Alnwick to create Northumberland’s newest luxury getaway in summer 2024.
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, as well as a stylish bar, restaurant, and private dining room, the hotel will offer a variety of accommodation options.
The first Duke 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. 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, a school founded by Duchess Julia in 1808. It was a private school until 1903 when it was recognised by Northumberland County Council as a County Secondary School. The school continued to expand and Bailiffgate House remained part of the school until 2016.
This hotel represents a significant investment by Northumberland Estates in Alnwick’s tourist economy, which, alongside existing shops and attractions, will entice a new generation of tourists to Northumberland and have a positive impact on the town. In addition, the hotel hopes to appeal to locals with an amazing new bar and restaurant.
The age of the building has caused a number of delays, but the hotel is now on schedule to open in the summer and a number of key staff have been appointed.
Bernard Bloodworth, a former pupil at the school, has been appointed General Manager. Bernard 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.”