CASE: Auckland Castle Visitor Centre – public access walkway and stairs

Auckland Bishop Castle ELEFANT Grating And Treads Walkways Staircases 02
Architects Niall McLaughlin
Year established
Since 2012
Auckland, North England
Auckland Project

Steel walkways and staircases meet criteria to design and safety for Auckland Castle

Auckland Castle is just one of the many charming attractions of the Auckland project. The castle is one of the best-preserved bishops’ palaces in the whole of Europe and is at the centre of the Auckland Project. It is based in North England, showcasing fragments of a medieval castle discovered during recent archaeological digs, open to the general public.

The project criteria 

The reconstruction of Auckland Castle required new access walkways, landings and stairs for visitors to be able to access the top, where they can experience stunning views across the town. For this purpose, it was essential to provide a very safe solution that responded to the strict criteria for public access walkways, while also meeting the prescribed design criteria to match the architectural milieu and building. 

Safe, Practical, Architectural steel walkways

Even though the stairs, walkways and landings’ primary function is to provide safety for users to wander around Auckland Castle at height, the architects had unique requirements for the design. The solution had to fit perfectly with the rest of the construction with the following prescribed:

  • High quality finish tailored to project requirements and matching the building type and architecture 

  • The gratings and treads had to allow natural light to penetrate through, owing to the size and shape of the building

  • Maintaining a high level of slip resistance and loading capacity in accordance with relevant British Standards 

The solution

In close collaboration among the contractor, architect and PcP, a bespoke solution was designed consisting of a special nosing solution to enable installation off aftermarket nosing, whilst relying on the integrity of the close PcP MESH™ tread.

Additionally, slip-resistant requirements were addressed by reducing slip and fall risk to enhance slip-resistance.

Utilising our experienced in house drawing office, we initially provided general layout drawings and ultimately panel drawings for client approval, to ensure all items were correct, with any specific site considerations being accounted for.

From sketch to complete solution

It all started with the architect prescribing PcP quality gratings and treads in the construction drawing, which led to a meeting with PcP safety experts. Every single requirement was discussed to find the perfect steel flooring and stair treads, which had to be suitable for public access whilst maintaining an architectural look fitting with the surrounding environment. 

Clarifying all requirements with PcP led to the selection of two quality products that exceeded expectations as to safety, slip-resistance, loading capacity and DDA compliance regarding the contrasting nosing on treads and landings.

OPTIMO® gratings combined with MESH™ treads

  • PcP OPTIMO® O5 plank grating, stiletto proof

  • PcP MESH® grating providing heel friendly aperture only 

As part of the process, samples of the products were tested and approved before manufacturing the product.

The result

Auckland Castle stands fully equipped today with safe walkways, landings and stairs consisting of tailored PcP products. Regardless of site changes and drawing amendments to meet both aesthetic and British standards, the look of the product aesthetically matches the building type.

“We specialise in being able to provide technical data and solutions to all, offering the client and engineers peace of mind. Sometimes this can take some time with various options as the extent of the application evolves."

Peter Webster, Director of PcP United Kingdom



From the viewing platform and public access stairs and landings, visitors can safely experience stunning views over Auckland Castle across the town and surrounding parkland and follow the ongoing developments of the Auckland Project.

  • High strength

  • Design

  • Tailored solution

  • Fast production time

  • Safe and comfortable to walk on

  • High load capacity

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