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Gt. North Road
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Donald O Clarke
A Brief History
Murder at Mill
Vincent "Bush" Parker
The Cestrian Club
A Dastardly Deed
The Lumley Warriors
CLS Cricket Club
Meet the Members
WOOLWORTHS - End of an Era
NEWS & EVENTS
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
100 Years Ago
Links for Chester-le-Street Heritage Group
Would you like to see a Heritage Centre in Chester-le-Street
Grand Houses of Chester-le-Street
|Picture of Whitehill Hall.
Today, there are very few Grand Houses left in the Chester-le-Street area. Probably the most prominent is The Hermitage, which stands in grounds to the south of the town.
Whitehill Hall in the North West quarter of Chester-le-Street was owned by the Millot family from the 15th Century until 1747. In the 19th Century the then owner John Cookson had the hall restyled in a more modern form, with neat bay windows either side of a central colonnade. The building existed through until the late 1960`s when it was demolished due to its dangerous condition brought on by vandalism. Most of the estate belonging to the house has been built on by modern housing developments.
In days gone by, there were others, equally important in terms of architectural design. The Elizabethan styled house called Harraton Hall built c1600, which was located on the North Bank of the Wear some distance from Chester-le-Street, was the ancestral home of a family called D`arcys and latterly during the 17th Century, it belonged to the Hedworth family who were a prominent coal mining family. It was demolished in 1797, having been bought some decades earlier by Ralph Lambton, so incorporating the Harraton Estates into the lands owned by the Lambtons.
Lambton Castle was later built on the site of Harraton Hall.
|The Deanery in the 1890's
The Deanery formed part of the Church lands prior to the Reformation by Henry VIII. The house itself survived and was in design, square and quite plain. Throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries it was tenanted by a number of families not always associated with the Church. They included the Hedworths, Charles Joliffe and Lady Byron, John Morton Davidson and Lieutenant Colonel JP. Edward Johnson. This was Edward Johnsonís home from 1830 until his death in 1885. After that John W. Luccock lived there, Whellan`s 1894 Directory indicates that he was a wholesale manufacturing confectioners as well as a Butter and Cheese Importer. It was demolished in the early years of the 20th Century. A number of rare photographs still exist of the original structure.
The Hermitage Ė as recorded in the 1891 Census
|The Hermitage c1918
There is no doubt that throughout the British Isles at this time there existed levels of opulence to which only a small percentage of the population were exposed. The Hermitage was one of these houses.
Altogether there were 20 servants either living in the main house or in residence in cottages nearby. This level was unmatched by any other house in the Chester-le-Street area with the exception of Lambton Castle.
The Head of the House was Lindsay Wood, a local magistrate and mining engineer. Lindsay not only was responsible for running collieries but also had part ownership in them. Some were in the Hetton area while others were closer to Chester-le-Street. In addition in the house were his wife, Emma, four sons and two daughters. His sister-in-law, nephew, niece and two grand nieces were also in residence.
The servants ranged from Governess and Butler down to Gardeners and Laundresses in strict order of rank. The staff came from many different parts of the country to work at this house. Fred Hutton the butler came from Bishopthorpe near York, the footmen from Oswestry and Welshpool, a ladyís maid from Huntingdonshire and a nurse from Roslin in Scotland. The kitchen maids were local girls from Lamesley, Craghead and Gateshead while the three laundresses hailed from Derbyshire.
A family called Byges were, on the night of the census, visiting the Woods while another mining engineer, probably employed by Lindsay Wood was living in Garden House on the Hermitage estate.
At the time of the 1891 census, The Hermitage was not owned by the Wood family. Lindsay Wood was knighted in the Honourís List of 1897 and later bought the Hermitage. He died there in 1920. He left an estate valued at £853,834. 4s. 8d., having sold off many of his mining interests to the Lambton & Joicey coal empire.
In his will Emily Gould was to have an annuity of £40, as was Marcus Thompson and Isabella Allison widow of the coachman John Allison. The gamekeeperís widow Christina Tindale received an annuity of £52. Long service brought its rewards.
A full list of people in residence during 1891 at the Hermitage is as follows:
Lindsay WOOD Head Magistrate & Mining Engineer
Emma B WOOD Wife
Arthur N. L.WOOD Son
Maud L WOOD Daughter
Henry L WOOD Son
Elsie L WOOD Daughter
Collinwood L.WOOD Son
Robert L WOOD Son
Maria G SMITH Sister in Law
Amhurst G.BYGE Visitor Fellow and lecturer in Coal Mining .
Edith L S.BYGE Niece
Evelyn M S.BYGE Grand Niece
Edith C S. BYGE Grand Niece
Deny S BYGE Visitor Electric Trainee
Hilda TURNER Governess
Fred HUTTON Servant Butler
John GRIFFITH Servant Footman
Edward C. JONES Servant Footman
Annie LIDDELL Servant Nurse
Emily GOULD Servant Ladyís Maid
Mary A ANDREWS Servant Housekeeper
Mary A HALL Servant Kitchen Maid
Sarah BRUCE Servant Kitchen Maid
Sarah ROBINSON Servant Kitchen Maid
Martha AUSTIN Servant Housemaid
Louise AUSTIN Servant Housemaid
Elizabeth A.WAKEFIELD Servant Housemaid
Louise MILINER Servant Nurse
Annie CORAM Visitor Nurse
Beatrice WRIGHT Visitor Nurse
Newton TINDALE Head Gamekeeper
Christina TINDALE Wife
Eleanor TINDALE Daughter
James TINDALE Son
Elizabeth TINDALE Daughter
Elspeth TINDALE Daughter
John ALLISON Head Coachman
Isabella M. ALLISON Wife
George PATTISON Visitor Groom
George CARVER Visitor Groom
Marcus THOMPSON Head Domestic Gardener
Dorothy THOMPSON Daughter Dressmaker
Anne THOMPSON Daughter Draperís Asst.
Marcus THOMPSON Son Scholar
Robert CLARK Servant Gardener
James HARLAND Servant Gardener
John DEIGHTON Servant Gardener
Dorothy WOOD Head Laundress
Mary C WOOD Daughter Laundress
Sarah WOOD Daughter Laundress
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