Families enjoy Christmas carols at historic Sunderland landmark
Sunderland's historic Hylton Castle provided a beautiful backdrop to an evening of Christmas carols.
The community-led musical celebration was organised by Hylton Mission Church with the support of the Friends of Hylton Castle and Hylton Castle Project Board.
They are helping Sunderland City Council lead the Heritage Lottery-funded restoration project to return the castle to the centre of community life.
Members of the congregation were joined by the choirs of Hylton Castle and the area’s primary schools.
They were accompanied by the Salvation Army band, and friends and families from across the community turning out in their hundreds to take part.
Hylton Mission’s Pastor Keith Cook said: “We’re really proud of Hylton Castle and wanted to get local people together to celebrate Christmas and sing carols together. It was fantastic to see so many people at this event.”
Ward councillor and chairman of the North Area Committee, Coun Denny Wilson, added: “The Christmas Carols were a great success, and I’d like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make the evening possible.
“Our dream has always been to return the castle and its grounds back as the centre of life in our community.
“Staging regular events such as this one for everyone to enjoy will help us achieve that over the years ahead as the restoration project begins to take shape.”
Funding of £2.9million from the Heritage Lottery Fund supported by an additional £1.5million from Sunderland City Council, the community-led cultural heritage project will create a new education centre and visitor attraction at the site.