Cullercoats Watch House

The N&N to keep a close watch on Cullercoats

Press release:


A community campaign to rescue a building, which played a vital part in saving lives at sea, has won the support of a leading North East heritage organisation. Built in 1879, Cullercoats Watch House was originally a lookout for the local fishing community and a base for the Life Brigade, who would assist in the rescue of anyone in danger at sea.

But its age and exposed position, overlooking the bay, mean its future is now under threat unless around £350,000 can be raised for urgent restoration work.

And now the Northumberland and Newcastle Society – which has fought to save and restore heritage buildings for 100 years – has stepped in to lend a hand.

Formed in 1924, the Society’s members include parish councils, heritage bodies and smaller civic trusts across the North East – along with experts in all areas of building re-development from architects and planners to conservationists and engineers.

It also intervenes directly when structures of special historical interest are under threat – most notably by purchasing Kielder Viaduct to save it from demolition.

Its teams are now on hand to support the Cullercoats Watch House campaign by raising awareness and providing expertise.

Led by a trustee board, volunteers and members of the Cullercoats Watch House campaign group have already begun to turn around the fortunes of the Grade II-listed Victorian landmark.

The campaign has already raised sufficient funds for emergency underpinning to secure the catslide roof and save the building from further damage until capital funding of around £350,000 can be raised for full renovation.             

“By any measure, the investment of our community in transforming the building into a community venue and heritage hub has been remarkable,” said Cullercoats Watch House Fund raiser, Alicia Ward, “and the collective will to make this happen is humbling.

“But decades of neglect have left the building crumbling, the timberwork rotting away and the internal fabric unfit for anything but the most limited of activities.

“We need as much support and awareness as we can get and we are so grateful to the Northumberland and Newcastle Society for stepping in to help.”

To highlight its importance to the area’s cultural heritage Cullercoats Watch House is also set to feature in a book being published by the N&N Society later this year to mark its centenary.

The book will feature buildings and structures in Newcastle and Northumberland chosen by the general public

“to stand as a permanent record of which buildings mattered most to us at this moment in time,” said Society chairman John Matthews.

“And Cullercoats Watch House is a perfect example,” he added. “It was vital to its community when it was built and it is just as vital now, so we will do all we can to help the campaign.”

For more information, or to make a donation to the Cullercoats Watch House campaign, visit

To nominate a building or place in Northumberland or Newcastle for inclusion in the book visit


Cullercoats Watch House

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