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Tyne and Wear HER(12124): Wallsend, village green - Details

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N Tyneside

Wallsend, village green



Gardens Parks and Urban Spaces

Village Green



A large open space some 1.2 hectares in size. Lies at the heart of the Conservation Area and was at the core of the village's development pattern. Wild (2004) suggests that the characteristic green villages of Northumberland date back to the reconstruction of settlement in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest and the 'harrying of the north'. The greens originally had a defensive function to protect livestock against Scottish raiders. The wide open space in the centre of the village could also be used for fairs, markets, for grazing animals and a meeting space (Rowley and Wood, 2000, 41). Dwellings were often built around the green, with a common forge, bakehouse, pinfold, smithy, alehouse, stocks, spring or pond on the green itself (Roberts 1977, 146). A rare tract of large green space with trees in the town centre, to be prized for its amenity and ecological value. Originally the oval shaped green would have been used for grazing - local people report cows on the Green as late as the 1960s! In the nineteenth century it was more scrubby with fewer trees. The public part of the green comprises three areas of mown grass, dissected by the throughroad, an access road and two paths. Around the southern edge are mature native trees - poplars, limes, sycamores and horse chestnuts, mostly planted in the nineteenth century. The part to the north, by Elm Terrace has trees lining the through road. A low unpainted jockey rail lines the south edge and a series of unpainted timber bollards line the northern edge. The land in front of the Hall, Hawthorn and Park Villas have been enclosed and made private. This end of the Green was fenced off to increase the privacy and grandeur of the Red House (HER 8659) which was built between 1840 and 1858. Simple black estate fencing divides this area from the Green plus two pedestrian gates in the north-east and south-west corners, the latter an interesting timber gate, and two low stone-topped curved brick walls and gate piers at the vehicle entrance to the drive. An iron water pump survives. The foregrounds to the Hall are more formal. This part of the Green was enclosed by 1800. The Ordnance Survey first edition map shows that this had been formalised into a front lawn edged by belts of trees and a circuit path. There was a shaped forecourt in front of the Hall with a long striaght walk east along the brow of the dene towards a summer house, ornamental gardens and lawns against the Hall to the east; and belts of trees and open ground leading further east. To the north were the picturesque grounds of the dene itself (HER 9492). The Hall's east extension has been built over the ornamental gardens, the west extensions over the drive and the Health Centre and surgery over the tree belts and open ground in the east. The foregrounds that do remain are attractive, with a squarish lawn surrounded by large broadleaf trees and one large tree in the centre. Along the drives are evergreens and ornamental trees. The flat lawn is raised behind a low sandstone retaining wall along the boundary to the Green. A tall brick boundary wall defines the west edge of the Hall's foregrounds with an early service gateway at the north end and a later inserted gateway further south. Connected to it at the Green is the Hall's lodge. n the late C20 the Green was formally registered as a village green under the Commons Registration Act 1965. It is the only space in the Borough to be registered in this way.




North Tyneside Council, 2006, The Green Conservation Area Character Appraisal, Draft August 2006; T. Wild, 2004, Village England - a social history of the countryside, p 13; T. Rowley and J. Wood, 2000, Deserted Villages (third edition), p. 41; B.K. Roberts, 1977, Rural Settlement in Britain, p. 146; B.K. Roberts, 1987, The making of the English village - a study in historical geography, p. 151

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