Percy Tenantry Column
Statue Alnwick Northumberland

Percy Tenantry Column

Statue In Alnwick, Northumberland

A Doric style column with a Percy Lion on the top dedicated to the 2nd Earl of Northumberland.

The Percy Tenantry Column sits in a prominent location, just opposite what used to be Alnwick Station, and acted as a focal point for visitors to the town arriving by train. The column stands on top of a small hill overlooking the western end of Bondgate Without and was started in 1816 by the tenants of the 2nd Duke of Northumberland, Hugh Percy, as a thank you for reducing their rents during the depression that followed the Napoleonic Wars.

The Napoleonic Wars had been a bit of a boom period for farmers due to the increase in demand for food and as they could command more money for their produce the 2nd Duke doubled their rents accordingly. Following the end of the war in 1815, food prices crashed, and in an unusual show of aristocratic generosity, Hugh Percy, then one of the richest men in Britain, reduced their rents by 25%. To show their gratitude his tenants clubbed together and paid for the 25m high monument. Sadly the 2nd Duke did not live to see the column completed, although he did see the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone which was blessed and doused with corn, wine and oil.

The story goes that on seeing the column complete, the 3rd Duke of Northumberland, who had inherited the estate on the death of Hugh Percy, concluded that the tenants must be doing well and so raised their rents again. This has been shown not to be true but it has lead to the column's nickname of “The Farmers Folly”.

The column is of a Doric design, by Newcastle Architect David Stephenson, and has a base 27m in circumference with black marble plinths on which sit four lions. The column is topped by the Percy Lion, depicted “en passant” (striding), that sits on top of a drum decorated with foliage. The lion points towards Scotland but nobody seems to know why.

There is an inscription on one side of the column's base which states;

"To Hugh, Duke of Northumberland K.G This column is Erected, Dedicated and Inscribed By a Grateful and United Tenantry Anno Domini MDCCCXVI”

Two other sides show the Percy Family motto “Esperance en dieu” (Hope is in God). The final side of the base is the access to the internal staircase.

Encased in a cavity in the base of the column lies the regimental roll of the Percy Tenantry Volunteers, who were a 1500 strong unit of the British Volunteer Corps that had been raised by the Duke, at his own expense, to help defend the north east from a potential French invasion. The roll is written on vellum and is sealed in a glass tube.

The Percy Tenantry Column was given listed building status by Historic England on the 20th February 1952 and in 1977 this was upgraded to the highest category of listing, Grade I.

  Add To Bucket List   I Have Visited This Place

Get 1 point if you have visited this place. Already visited by 78 VIPs.

Login to the VIP area to add places to your bucket list, mark them as visited and more importantly see where you rank on the league table.

How To Find Percy Tenantry Column

Where Is Percy Tenantry Column?

Show Place On Google Maps

Lat / Long

55.410886, -1.69914

What three words

song.town.allies

Where To Park For Percy Tenantry Column?

Show Parking On Google Maps

Lat / Long

55.41288, 55.41288

What three words

kitten.homecare.sliding

There is ample parking nearby on Greenwell Road. Alternatively you can combine you visit with a trip to Barter Books and park there which is opposite the Column.

Contributed by Andrew Gardner

I love being outdoors, in nature, and experiencing the relaxation it brings. Wandering through the northern countryside seeing unexpected buildings, historic places and occasionally surprised wildlife is one of life's great pleasures.

More Places from Andrew
Andrew Gardner

More Places In Alnwick

Find more fabulous places in Alnwick, Northumberland and if you know of a place we haven't listed, then let us know.

Shilbottle Lime Kiln
Shilbottle Lime Kiln
Lime Kiln Alnwick Northumberland

A late 18th or early 19th Century Lime Kiln just outside Shilbottle.

Alnwick Pants
Alnwick Pants
Fountain Alnwick Northumberland

Fountains and water troughs throughout Alnwick that were once used to provide clean water.

Bondgate Tower
Bondgate Tower
Tower Alnwick Northumberland

A 15th century gatehouse that was part of the Alnwick old town walls.

More Statues

So this statue wasn't enough and you want more? Don't worry we have you covered.

River God Tyne
River God Tyne
Statue Newcastle City Centre Tyne And Wear

A bronze sculpture of the River God Tyne found on the side of the Civic Centre building.

Stan Laurel Statue
Stan Laurel Statue
Statue North Shields Tyne And Wear

A statue of the comedy icon and one half of the the legendary duo Laurel and Hardy, Stan Laurel to celebrate his time living in North Tyneside.

Angel Of Northumberland
Angel Of Northumberland
Statue Hexham Northumberland

A mini version of the Angel Of The North standing in a field near Hexham.

Never Miss A Fabulous Place

If you are afraid of misssing out on all the fabulous places we post, or just want to be the first to know, then sign up to the Fabulous North.

Each week we will email you all the brand new places that we visit.

Sign Up To Alerts
Sign up to newsletter
Fabulous North On Facebook

Find Us On Facebook

We post all our new places daily on our Facebook Groups page, so join the group today and be notified when we add a new place.

Join Our Facebook Group