Tyne and Wear HER(11880): Sheriff Hill Conservation Area - Details
Sheriff Hill Conservation Area
Designated on 26th March 1999. A Character Statement was approved in August 1997. The Conservation Area is situated in an elevated position with commanding views over the Tyne valley. It is based around a crossroads, where Sheriff's Highway, Windy Nook Road and Church Road meet St. John's Church. It includes a mixture of early and mid 19th century buildings, turn of the 20th century villas in large gardens, early flat-roofed houses and a wooded setting. The Sheriff, Mayor and Corporation of Newcastle used to meet the Judges of Assize at this spot to conduct them to Newcastle. Sheriff's Hill was once called Sodhouse Bank. The first residents were workers from the local quarries and mines. Sheriff Hill Hall (HER 7715 and 8282) was built in the early 19th century. When Durham Road turnpike was built in 1827 (HER 4125) to the west, the importance of Sheriff's Highway as a routeway diminished. At the turn of the 20th century villas were built on Church Road and The Plantation. The Egremont Estate was built. The east side of Sheriff's Highway has coursed ashlar or tooled sandstone buildings with slate roofs. On the west side are a terrace of stone cottages some with shops on the ground floor. One has a finely carved datestone. There are two public houses - the Queens and the Three Tuns and a chapel (HER 7593). On Kells Lane is the church hall of St. John's, now offices and two stone cottages hidden by a high garden wall. The co-operative funeral parlour on Windy Nook Road has been inappropriately restored and extended. Further east are red brick semi-detached houses behind privet hedges. Sandwell House and Field House are large stone dwellings with slate roofs and large gardens. On the north side there is a derelict stone house. An adjacent lane retains its original stone setts. A decent stone terrace is spoilt by replacement windows. The Egremont Estate was developed by philanthropist Nicholas Herdman. It is early 20th century in date and is an unusual example of early flat-roofed houses. The houses were built in two phases by two different architects. Egremont Drive dates to 1905 and is a small cul-de-sac of semi-detached houses. Egremont Gardens dates from 1909 and was a terrace of ten houses. Only three remain. The houses have a concrete frame with brick facing at ground floor and render at first floor. The cills, lintels, doorways, steps, cornices and roof parapets are stone. All have sizeable gardens with brick walls or privet hedges. Most have porches and external stairs to the roof. Most have modern windows, doors and porches which have diluted character. Church Road leads to St. John's Church with its elegant tower and spire. Opposite the church are a number of stone houses on Church Drive and Sourmilk Hill Lane with high stone boundary walls. The remains of Sheriff Hill Hall sits on a slope of mature woodland. Bungalows have been built in the grounds. Early 20th century brick semi-detached villas stand further down Church Road behind stone walls and railings. They have bargeboards, balconies, decorative ironwork and dormers and long steeply sloping gardens. The Plantation is a group of detached villas built on a former woodland in the early 20th century. The gardens are well-wooded. The houses are generally two storey, in brick or render with slate roofs, bargeboards, timberwork, tall chimney stacks, porches and polychromatic brickwork.
Gateshead Council, April 1999, Conservation Area Policy Guidelines, Strategies and Character Statements, Proposed Sheriff Hill Conservation Area, pp 79-82 (Supplementary Planning Guidance); Gateshead Council, July 2003, Sheriff Hill Conservation Area Policy Guidelines, Strategy and Character Statement (Appendix to Supplementary Planning Guidance 1), pp 14-19