Time Capsule ready to be buried at Hylton Castle
It was a day to remember for everyone involved with Hylton Castle as the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Doris MacKnight presented a time capsule filled with memories of 2017 and aspirations for the future to contractors working on the site, to be buried under the new floor inside the castle. The Mayor was joined by children from local schools and repreesentatives of the many local and national organisations involved in the project both today and in past years, to celebrate the start of constrution work to transform the building in to a new local hub for heritage.
Children from Hylton Castle Primary, Northern Saints Primary, Castle View Academy and other local schools have created digital content for the time capsule, which was presented by the Mayor to representatives of William Birch and Sons Ltd, the main contractors working on the castle. Following speeches and the cutting of a cake, invited guests including include representatives from the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, Sunderland City Council, the Friends of Hylton Castle and Dene, and members of local community and heritage groups from across the city were able to don a hard hat and boots to see work in progress on site. Students were entertained by local author Alan Parkinson reading excerpts from his retelling of the Cauld Lad of Hylton Castle, and tried their hand at creating medieval pots with archaeologist Richard Carlton.
The Mayor, who is also a local ward councillor and member of the Friends of Hylton Castle and Dene voluntary group who have campaigned for more than 20 years for the restoration, Cllr MacKnight said: "This is a very special day for all of us, not just the Friends Groups but everyone who has grown up in this area with the castle as one of the best known historic landmarks.
"Everyone has a memory to share, and everyone hopefully shares our vision of returning the castle and grounds to the centre of community life as a visitor and education centre for future generations to enjoy. Hylton Castle has a very special place in this city and this region's cultural heritage, and this community led project will help bring it back to life."
Head of Projects and Performance at English Heritage, Simon Bead added: "It is a privilege to care for Hylton Castle, and we are delighted to hear about the Time Capsule. Our ethos is to bring history alive and it is fantastic to know that the legacy of these children and their community will be told in a meaningful way to future generations. We are very pleased that work is to commence at Hylton Castle and its longevity will be assured as one of the country’s most impressive gatehouse towers."
Hylton Castle is currently closed to visitors as work continues to restore the building and return it to life at the heart of the community, as part of a £4.5 million restoration project supported by Sunderland City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.