Tyne and Wear HER(16783): Walker, St. Anthony's House - Details
Walker, St. Anthony's House
St. Anthony's House was built in 1620 by Dame Dorothy Lawson, widow of Roger Lawson of Heaton. The house was close to a place where 'in Catholick times' a picture of St. Anthony was placed in a tree near the River Tyne for the comfort of seamen. Dorothy Lawson had a Catholic chapel in her house. She died in April 1932 and her body was carried in state along the river to Newcastle where she was buried with full Catholic ceremonies in the Protestant church of All Saints. After her death her son Roger sold the house. The mansion was described as 'a seat most commodious for pleasure'. The house was set on fire by Royalist troops to prevent it being occupied by the Scottish army when they beseiged Newcastle. After the Civil War, William Bonner owned the house, followed by his son Thomas. In 1734 Anne Bonner married Thomas Leven. The house passed to Mrs Grace Ibbetson, daughter of Sarah Morton (nee Bonner). By 1781 it was owned by Henry Ibbetson. His father lived at Denton Hall in Yorkshire. A survey of St. Anthony's House dated 1781 shows an E-shaped group of buildings. At the north end of the estate there was a range of buildings around a farmyard. A road to the east led down to a ferry landing at the river. There was a melon-ground north-west of the house. Melons had been grown in England from the C16 in hothouses, in hot-beds and under bell glasses. On the west side of the house there was a tree-lined drive leading from a carriage turning circle. The drive left the estate through tall gate piers to join the Newcastle to Walker road. The gardens lay west and south of the mansion. Between the house and east wall of the estate there was a 'scittle ground'. Skittles or Ninepins had been popular in the C17 and early C18 but bowls became more popular. A second plan also of circa 1781 shows the house in more detail. The southern range had been rebuilt as the principal elevation of the property, with a five bay, three-storey faĆ§ade with a full-height canted bay on the eastern side. The brick building had sills and floor bands, quoins and wedge-shaped lintels probably in stone. The door had a pediment and probably columns. The canted bay window was also stone. The south range stepped back behind the canted bay and had a staircase tower. A C19 photograph shows that the tower had two serliana (Venetian) windows with a tall central window with an arched head and a rectangular window on each side. St. Anthony's House resembled other C18 elite dwellings such as those on Charlotte Square and Dean Street in Newcastle, Wallsend Hall, The Red House and The Grange at Wallsend. Wallsend Hall had a stone canted bay window like St. Anthony's. The architect of St. Anthony's House is not known. It may have been John Carr of York who designed Denton Hall near Ilkley in Yorkshire, Chesters near Hexham and made alterations to Raby Castle. But St. Anthony's House does not have the external decoration (half-balusters, architraves and keystones) that Carr's houses tended to have. It is more similar to William Newton's designs. Dissington Hall by Carr and Newton has a canted bay window. John Dodds was an architect as well as a surveyor. He altered Chipchase Castle in 1784. Henry Ibbetson died in 1825. He left the house to his wife and two daughters. By 1827 the house was the residence of William Fryer. By 1858 it ceased to be a private house. It became the Ellison Arms Inn. The surrounding area was industrialised (lead works, a pottery and chemical works). The house was still present in the 1930s but had gone by the 1950s. The site is now part of Walker Riverside Park.
Richard Pears, 2014, St. Anthony's House: a lost mansion near Newcastle upon Tyne in Archaeologia Aeliana, Fifth Series, Volume 43, pp 241-248; A Plan of Henry Ibbetson, Esqre Mansion House, Garden, Pleasure Ground Etc Situated at St. Anthony's in the County of Northumberland, surveyed by John Dodds, November 21st 1781 held by Northumberland Archives at Woodhorn, Ashington, SANT/PLA/3/1/2/3; South Front View of the Mansion House, Etc and Plan of the Garden Ground Etc at St. Anthony's Belonging Henry Ibbetson Esq, held by Northumberland Archives at Woodhorn, Ashington, SANT/PLA/3/1/2/4; Will of Henry Ibbetson of St. Anthony's in the parish of All Saints, Newcastle upon Tyne dated 9 September 1790, held by Durham University Library, Archives and Special Collections, Durham Probate Records: pre-1858 original wills and inventories GB-0033-DPR1/1/1825/I1/1-2; J. Davidson, 2008, Northumberland's Lost Houses. A Picture Postcard History, p 81