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Tyne and Wear HER(1339): Woolsington Park - Details

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Woolsington Park



Gardens Parks and Urban Spaces


Landscape Park

Post Medieval



A late 18th and early 19th century landscape park and pleasure grounds providing the setting for a 17th century and later country house. A plan by John Robertson of Woolsington of 1727 shows a formal garden to the south and east of the 17th century Woolsington Hall (HER 4870). A central path ran from the hall past formal beds to gates on the south boundary (HER 4916). West of the Hall was a grove of trees, with an orchard of fruit trees planted in a kitchen garden. Armstrong's map of 1769 shows the Hall approached from the west, standing within a compact, rectangular enclosure with no parkland indicated. By the early 19th century wings had been added to the Hall which stood at the southern edge of a belt of pleasure ground. The Hall overlooked the park, which was planted with clumps of trees and enclosed by a belt of trees, and led south to a lake, formed from the Ouse Burn. Since then the landscape has been little altered with the exception of a 20th century housing estate in the south-west corner of the park. The entrance at the south end of the Park is marked by a lodge and a pair of early 19th century gate piers and walls (listed grade 2, HER 4916) through which the main drive leads north across the centre of the Park. The pair of cast-iron gas lamps also early 19th century are also listed grade 2 (HER 4915). A longer ride led through South Lodge Plantation, across a stone bridge (HER 4920) over the waterfall (HER 4921) at the east end of the lake, through the pleasure grounds east of the Hall. A second lodge, Bee Croft, stands outside the Registered Park, north of Woolsington Bridge, on the west side of the Park. A further entrance, now the main entrance, lies north-west of the Park. The principal building is Woolsington Hall (listed grade 2*, HER 4870). To the north east is an early 19th century wing (listed grade 2, HER 4872). Stables and a coach house (late 19th century, listed grade 2, HER 4914) stand to the north. To the east of the Hall, facing south, is an orangery (listed grade 2, HER 4873) dated 1797. Lawns below the south front are separated from the park by a ha-ha. In 1999 there was a revolving summerhouse of early to mid 20th date on the lawn. This has now gone. Its location is probably marked by a circular earthwork (HER 4917). Mature trees now form screens to the west and east of the south lawn. The main area of pleasure grounds lies to the west of the Hall. A gravelled walk passes through a low ornamental fence into the formal gardens which lie to the south of the kitchen garden. A long walk runs parallel to the kitchen garden wall. At the eastern end is a small paved garden. At the centre of the garden, box hedges form a pattern of formal beds. The focus is an iron-work rose arbour and circular seat. Some of the decorative ironwork fences which divide up the garden survive. The sundial shown on the first edition OS of 1861 has gone. There is a tennis court at the south-west corner of the garden and a pavilion. This is probably 20th century, contemporary with the adjacent area of rockwork. The layout of the park remains much as in the early 19th century. The park is encircled by a broad shelter belt of trees, through which run the west and east rides. A strip of housing has encroached into the western shelter belt. The Park is now partly under arable cultivation. It is planted with a number of large clumps of trees. The standing stones (HER 4922 and 4923) in the eastern half (present in 1998) have gone. The lake (HER 4919) is partly stone-edged. It is formed by the damming of the Ouse Burn from Woolsington Bridge to the weir and waterfall. At the centre-point of the lake is the site of a boathouse. Some 150m to the north-east of the dam is a bath-house. 100m east of this structure is the site of the icehouse. At the centre of the kitchen garden (HER 4918) is an artesian well, pool and pump. A number of trained fruit trees survive. A range of glass houses line the north wall. On the outer north side of the




J. Robertson, 1727, A Plan...of Woolsington... - Northumberland Records Office ; M.H. Dodds,1930, Northumberland County History, XIII, pp. 207, 373; English Heritage, 1999, Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England, GD 2393; F. Green, 1995, A Guide to the Historic Parks and Gardens of Tyne and Wear, p 21-23; Hutchinson, 1776,View of Northumberland; Mackenzie, 1825, View of the County of Northumberland; Armstrong, 1769, A Plan of Northumberland; Simpson & Brown, February 2012, Woolsington Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne - Draft Conservation Plan: Historical Development & Significance; Addyman Archaeology, 2014, Woolsington, Woolsington Park - Archaeological Assessment

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