Sunderland pupils bury time capsule at Hylton Castle as £4.5million restoration project presses ahead

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Pupils are helping to preserve time for future Sunderland generations.

The city’s 14th Century Hylton Castle is being restored and returned to community life, as part of a £4.5million restoration project supported by Sunderland City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Hylton Castle time capsule from school children and local community.'Sunderland mayor Coun Doris MacKnight hands over the capsule to John Hutton from William Birch contactors. School children Lewis Foster, 14 and Paige Thurlbeck, 13 from Castle View Enterprise Academy with moayor consort Keith MacKnight

Hylton Castle time capsule from school children and local community.'Sunderland mayor Coun Doris MacKnight hands over the capsule to John Hutton from William Birch contactors. School children Lewis Foster, 14 and Paige Thurlbeck, 13 from Castle View Enterprise Academy with moayor consort Keith MacKnight

To help mark the beginning of the next phase, to create a 21st century education and visitor centre in the remaining gatehouse and grounds, a time capsule was presented to the contractors to bury in the site.

Students from Castle View Enterprise Academy, Hylton Castle Primary, Castletown Primary and Northern Saints CofE Primary all created digital content for the capsule, which is filled with images, films and photographs containing their highlights of 2017 and their aspirations for the future of the castle and surrounding local community.

The Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Doris MacKnight, officially presented the time capsule on behalf of the city to the contactors, William Birch & Sons Ltd, to add to the fabric of the building.

Coun MacKnight is also a member of the Friends of Hylton Castle and Dene voluntary group, which has campaigned for more than 20 years for the restoration.

Everyone has a memory to share and everyone, hopefully, shares our vision of returning the castle and grounds to the centre of community life

Coun Doris MacKnight

She 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.”

Simon Bean, Head of Projects and Performance at English Heritage, said: “It is a privilege to care for Hylton Castle and we were delighted to hear about the time capsule.

School children Matt Baker and Lily Morrison with the time capsule.

School children Matt Baker and Lily Morrison with 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.”

At the ceremony schoolchildren had the chance to meet author Alan Parkinson and listen to his version of the local folktale ‘The Cauld Lad of Hylton Castle’ and Coun MacKnight also cut a celebratory cake.

Hylton Castle time capsule from school children and local community.

Hylton Castle time capsule from school children and local community.

Primary youngsters at the time capsule ceremony at Hylton Castle.

Primary youngsters at the time capsule ceremony at Hylton Castle.