Our History

Alington House A History of Service

Alington House is a grade 2* listed building dating from the 17th Century, built to house the Castle Guard and incorporating sections of the castle walls. Much altered in the 18th Century, it still displays medieval roots, such as The Bastion Tower and The Angled tower.

Like many other houses in The North Bailey, it was once a domestic residence. It was requisitioned by the military in WW2 and was used by the Women's Reserves Club to serve lunches to the public, and as accomodation for lady lecturers of the University.

Hester AlingtonIn the late 1940's, Durham City Youth Club bought the building, naming it in honour of Mrs. Hester Alington. It was officially opened in 1948 by H.R.H. Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester. In 1992 we celebrated our 60th Anniversary with a 'Reception and Open Day' attended by H.R.H. Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, following in his father's footsteps.

Over the years we have hosted groups including the Guides, The Society of Friends (Quakers), local history, relaxation classes, cultural events and community education, as well as live performances. In the 50's and 60's Ritson was a dance venue, with everything from Ballroom to Disco and was the first venue using Dark Lamps, fluorescent and U.V. paint.

In 2008 the members appointed a new board of trustees to take us forward. The future of Alington House is now underpinned by an exciting development plan and we look forward to providing continuing service to the people of Durham.