In Nov 1797 Cuthbert Rippon of London acquired the two parcels of land known as the Castle Heugh and started to rebuild the house with the local architect Ignatius Bonomi of Durham (1787-1870). The house was referred to as Stanhope Castle.
It was made a listed building in 1798 and remains a Grade 2* listed building today. It is now being regenerated to its former glory. At present there are a number of apartments being renovated that are situated in the castle's courtyard. The courtyard is to be in keeping with the castle and will have cobblestones, a coat of arms and sconce lighting. The residents are hoping to use the courtyard because of its atmospheric setting for various events, such as the telling of ghost stories, dramas and folk singing.
Also, in the planning stage is the reconstruction of the front elevation that faces the Market Square. Here, we would also like to use the 'Juliette Tower' for possible plays and as an information centre for people who visit Stanhope.
Planning permission has also been obtained for the development of 5 town houses in the field next to the castle. The entrance to the development will be through the castle gates which will bear Stanhope Coat of Arms.
The grounds to the castle are extensive, including a beautiful lawned area to the front of the house, and magnificent woodland pathways lead to the river. The lawn will be available to hire for events such as evening concerts, tea parties and exhibitions. The woods are to be maintained, and an evening stroll through the woodland, along the banks of the river and down to the famous stepping stones will be an experience.
The castle is hoping that, both town residents and visitors will benefit from the regeneration that is to take place.