WORK is underway on a new visitor attraction at one of the North East’s most historic properties.

Over the course of its 630-year history, Lumley Castle, at Chester-le-Street, has played host to kings, princes and countless visitors to the region.

Now it is preparing to welcome adventurers and would-be detectives keen to take part in a new game to reveal the tragic story of the castle’s resident ghost.

Legend has it that, in the 14th century, Lady Lily of Lumley was cast down a well by

Catholic priests for renouncing her faith and her ghost has frequently been sighted by visitors to the castle.

The hotel has teamed up with Escape Rooms Durham to create a spooky new challenge for groups based on Lily’s story.

The escape room is being created in the castle’s former beer cellar and is scheduled to launch on Valentine’s Day, with the aim being for visitors to unlock the mystery in order to complete the game.

It is the first escape room in the country to be sited within an historic site and Lumley Castle’s sales manager Lauren Colledge said it is a major development for the hotel and for the region.

She said: “Lumley Castle’s charm is that its history, from its medieval construction to some of the finest Georgian plasterwork in existence, is evident at every turn.

“Guests can even sleep in the four-poster bed once occupied by King James I on a visit north to Scotland, so creating a new attraction within the castle itself is no mean feat.

“The ancient cellars are the perfect setting for a game which sets visitors the task of unlocking the secret of a tragic heroine and we are confident the new escape room will be an asset to the hotel and to the wider region.”

The escape room experience will be open to residents and non-residents alike with the option to add an overnight stay, afternoon tea package, or dinner in the hotel’s highly acclaimed Black Knight restaurant at the time of booking.

Although the story centres around the legend of Lily of Lumley, the experience is set to be family friendly and suitable for anyone over the age of ten.