Longtown Castle, Herefordshire

‘The condition of the keep has deteriorated due to its exposed location, lack of ability to disperse rainwater, and the use of unsuitable cementitious mortars in previous interventions. Due to the risk of high-level stone fall the keep is currently closed to visitors.

‘The motte staircase to the keep has reached the end of its life and requires full replacement in order to provide safe public access. This project aims to achieve a sustainable condition for on-going maintenance and to enable the site to be reopened to the public.’

The project, planned to complete in 2026, will allow the site – which is currently closed to visitors – to reopen to the public.

Project title Longtown Castle – Keep Conservation and Motte Staircase (Conservation Architect / Building Surveyor and Lead Consultant)
Client English Heritage-Estates
Contract value £712,000
First round deadline 5pm, 18 December 2023
Restrictions Consultants are required to be conservation accredited with a recognised scheme (RIBA, RICS, AABC, CIOB etc.)
More information https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/notice/500b5836-8fc4-44b6-97b0-ded4723eef8c


Last year English Heritage-Estates – which manages more than 400 historic monuments, buildings and places across England – launched a search for a conservation architect to carry out a series of quinquennial reports looking for building faults and maintenance issues.

Avanti Architects won a £7.5 million revamp of Grade I-listed Dover Castle – including a major programme of conservation works across and new interpretation spaces and new play facilities – tendered by English Heritage two years ago.

The winning team will draw up plans to restore the keep and motte staircase of the castle which was constructed in the 1150s on a site of a former Roman base and has been in a ruined state since the late 14th century.

Bids for the latest contract will be evaluated 60 per cent on quality and 40 per cent on cost. Applicants must hold Professional Indemnity insurance of £2 million, public indemnity insurance of £5 million and employer’s liability insurance of £5 million.

Competition details

According to the brief: ‘Longtown Castle comprises of a thick-walled round stone keep which dates from the mid-12th century. The design of the castle is characteristic of other castles found on the Welsh border, a keep situated on an earthen motte within a stone walled bailey.

The search for a conservation architect comes a year after English Heritage launched a competition for a masterplanner to rethink Kenwood House in north London and Brodsworth Hall and Gardens near Doncaster.

Created in 2015 as a charitable offshoot of a former governmental body with the same name, English Heritage manages a range of high-profile landmarks including Stonehenge, Dover Castle and Tintagel Castle and has more than 1.34 million members.