Tyne and Wear HER(15015): Newcastle, Diana Street, Nos. 14-20A - Details
Newcastle, Diana Street, Nos. 14-20A
Food Processing Plant
Group of buildings occupied by Harper Signs Ltd until April 2012. Brick with hipped slate roof. Incorporates the south wing of the peniteniary of 1831 (see HER 15014). In 1898 this was Blackett and Howden's Organ Works. From the 1920s this was Davison and Pickering's sweet factory. Davison & Pickering were wholesale provision merchants based in Stowell Street. Their 'Lucky Cross' toffees were made here. The range on Diana Street contains stores and delivery doors on the ground floor, and a canteen and sales office upstairs. The windows are mostly modern but the four windows between the roller shutter doors can be seen on a plan of 1898. Behind this are large workshops. Behind the workshops are the oldest parts of this block. Inside, the ground floor the concrete ceiling is supported by cast-iron columns. There is a small brick floored coal cellar. The chute is hidden by render. The middle floor was formerly a stable for about a dozen horses. Horses were taken in and out via a concrete ramp, which is still present under a timber staircase. Timber battens set into the concrete provided grip for the horses. The ramp would have been open to the sky, but now has a roof over it. The stalls were divided by cast-iron columns with makers labels 'Dinning & Cooke, Newcastle upon Tyne' (located at Percy Iron Works, 91-95 Percy Street in 1898). On each column there is a hook for harnesses and a larger flat hook or the horse collar. The concrete floor was cast with drainage channels, but has been levelled. The windows on the upper floor date to 1831. These are boarded up inside. The top floor is now a drawing office but was probably originally bedrooms for the penitentiary. Then a feed store for the horses with a loading door and hoist at the rear. The east end of this block was extended after 1898. The extension includes a large door which replaced an older smaller vehicle entrance. It is marked by a cast-iron corner guard on its south jamb. Above the door are three arched windows. On the top floor there is a loading door with dormer roof. The canteen and sales office were once dormitories of the technical college. On the south side of the horse ramp is a pair of large workshops on two floors (basement and ground floor), occupying the site of the peniteniary's south yard. The lower parts of the rear wall are sandstone, with brick above. There are three windows and two large loading doors. Above this there are four windows with deep sandstone lintels. Inside the ground floor is carried on steel beams and cast-iron columns. Large timber trusses carry an open roof with skylights. A light well opens at the end of the horse ramp. In the basement blocked windows of the penitentiary south wing can be seen. There are also blocked windows in the north wall adjacent to the horse ramp. The most southerly part of this block is a narrow range that once housed the laboratories of the technical college. It is now a paint shop and lobby. The rear wall is sandstone with roughcast above and a large sash window. The roof is pantiled. Inside blocked windows in the north wall once looked into the penitentiary courtyard.
Archaeological Services Durham University, 2012, 12-24 Diana Street, Science Central, Newcastle upon Tyne - Building Recording Report; Archaeological Services Durham University, 2013, 12-24 Diana Street, Science Central, Newcastle upon Tyne - Phase 2 Building Recording Report;