Tyne and Wear HER(15732): East Rainton, Summer House Farm - Details
East Rainton, Summer House Farm
Agriculture and Subsistence
Owned by Lord Londonderry. Occupied by Mr Walker. The farmhouse has been restored in 2013. The barns were recorded in 2014 in advance of conversion to dwellings. The southern barn appears to be 18th or early 19th century in origin. The northern barn was then added and access inserted through to the southern barn at first floor level. In the 1920s or 30s the original doorway in the east wall was blocked up. Stables were added to the east and west and machinery into a ground floor room and a machine belt slot in the west wall. Today all ground floor features are blocked up. A range of farm buildings is shown around a yard on the tithe map of 1839. The east and west ranges have now gone. The farm was known locally as Walker's Farm. The Walker family were pub landlords, ran the post office and ran the farm. The barns are two storey, built in roughly-coursed sandstone masonry with quoins at the corners. The southern roof was corrugated asbestos, the northern roof was tiled. Southern barn - the east elevation contains two small square windows, one on the ground floor, one between ground and first floors, probably marking the former location of a staircase. There is a blocked doorway with a timber lintel adjacent to this window. There is a later doorway on its north side, now blocked with breeze-blocks. This door has four brick and concrete steps. There are several brick repairs on this elevation. Scars on the wall face show the position of the former east-west range. The rear wall behind the barn is part of this structure, with terracotta pipe vents and hay racks. The central quarter of the barns has a central blocked doorway with two small windows to either side and another window at first floor level. The windows have sandstone lintels and sills. The northern barn contains a double-width doorway with timber doors at ground floor level. The lintel above is a replacement. On the first floor is a single central window with sandstone sill and lintel. The north elevation is a featureless gable end with quoins. The west elevation is single-storey in height because ground levels have been altered. The south barn contains a roof scar showing the location of former stables. These had a sandstone rear (south) elevation and brick north elevation and partitions. The stables were late 19th or early 20th century in date. The south barn has a bricked-up doorway with timber lintel. The north barn contains a first floor doorway with timber lintel. A set of brick and concrete steps now provide access. It is likely that this was an original loading door. To the south of the doorway is a sandstone lintel to another probable door. Inside there is evidence of animal stalls and a hay feeding rack along the west wall. There is an inserted timber staircase to the first floor. There are two machines on the ground floor - a feed or chaff cutter and a Bentall Grinding Mill, both of early 20th century date. The engine powering this machine was outside the building, with the machine belt passing through a slot in the west wall. The machine was fed from a timber hopper in the room above. The boundary wall attached to the north-west corner of the barns and running along a track to South Street, was 1.4m in height and constructed of small sandstone blocks. It is shown on the tithe map of 1839.
East Rainton Women's Institute, no date, History of East Rainton (typescript); Dr Gillian Eadie and Philippa Cockburn, Archaeological Research Services Ltd, 2014, Middle House, East Rainton - Archaeological Building Recording and Evaluation; D Amat, Archaeological Research Services Ltd, 2010, An Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment and Photographic Building Recording at Summer House Farm, East Rainton; Hetton Local & Natural History Society, 2015, The Hetton Village Atlas