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Tyne and Wear HER(1864): Elswick Hall - Details

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The Lake Elswick Park, Newcastle upon Tyne



Elswick Hall





Country House

Early Modern


Demolished Building

Originally the Elswick estate was held by the Jennison family, who made their first purchase of land there in 1640. Sir Ralph Jennison, a successful Newcastle merchant, continued to add to his holdings during the Protectorate, buying up several of the surrounding farms. The subsequently-enlarged estate was sold by his great-grandson, who preferred to live at Walworth Castle in Durham. The purchaser was John Hodgson, an affluent cloth merchant, and a considerable colliery owner along the banks of the Tyne. His father had settled in Newcastle in 1671, the family having originated from Brough in Westmorland. The purchaser's grandson, John Hodgson III, commissioned the rebuilding of Elswick Hall in 1803, the year of his marriage to Sarah Huntley. The father and son partnership William and John Stokoe of Newcastle were chosen as architects. John Hodgson died in 1820, leaving Elswick to his son, another John, an MP for Newcastle and enthusiastic supporter of the development of the city. He sold the estate in 1839 to Richard Grainger, who made it his home for a short time. Grainger paid £114,100 for the Hall - it was the single largest purchase he had made. Grainger planned to create an industrial suburb at Elswick with quality residential accomodation. The purchase almost bankrupted him and it was sold in lieu of payment to his creditors. In the 1860s the manufacturer Christian Allhusen lived there. Eventually the estate came back on the market for sale as building plots. The sale never went ahead as a number of Newcastle worthies banded together and bought the estate, passing it to the City Council for use as a public park. Elswick Park was opened to the public in 1881. For some years the house was used to display the work of the local sculptor J.G. Lough (1798-1876), designer of the Stephenson monument in Newcastle. Later, however, rising running costs forced the Council to abandon the Hall and it was eventually demolished about 1980 and a swimming pool constructed on the site {1}.




<< HER 1864 >> T. Faulkner & P. Lowery, 1996, Lost Houses of Newcastle and Northumberland, p 17-18; L. Wilkes and G. Dodds, 1964, Tyneside Classical - The Newcastle of Grainger, Dobson and Clayton; W.W. Tomlinson, 1888, Comprehensive Guide to the County of Northumberland

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