Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NU 22435 14577



7/157 The Observatory 31.12.69 (formerly listed as The Observatory on Ratcheugh Crag)


Gazebo and eyecatcher. Late C18 by Robert Adam for the Duke of Northumberland; additions c.1850. Rough-faced stone with ashlar dressings; towers have flat roofs (not seen) except for Welsh slates on pent-roofed part of south tower. Screen wall with towers and turrets on crest of whinstone escarpment, commanding views west over Alnwick and east towards the sea. Castellated Gothick style.

West elevation: Chamfered plinth. Main tower near left end has open base with segmental hollow-chamfered arch flanked by semi-octagonal buttresses with pyramidal tops below band; at 1st-floor level three 12-pane sash windows, with intersecting heads under round arches, set in recess with corbelled top; moulded string below embattled parapet. 1st floor band continued along flanking walls with smaller round arches to taller semicircular turrets with various shaped loops. Right lower wall has large semicircular bow and square turret, with quatrefoil and cruciform loops, and joins rectangular south tower. Tower has central bow containing ground- and 1st-floor 4-centred- arched windows (boarded over) and band on corbels below irregular parapet; lower pent part to far right.

Rear elevation of main tower similar to front. Turret to left has boarded door under round arch on to newel stair, from which short wall walk leads to balcony, on left return of tower, with a central part-glazed door. South tower has quatrefoil loop to rear and boarded window openings in returns, under 4-centred or pointed arches.

Interior: Observatory in Main Tower has fluted dado rail and fan tracery cornice.

Listing NGR: NU2243514577


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Legacy System:


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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