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Tyne and Wear HER(1858): Houghton-le-Spring, Houghton Hall - Details

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Houghton-le-Spring, Houghton Hall





Manor House

Post Medieval


Extant Building

Houghton Hall was the manor house of the original village, a tall square forbidding building of the early C17, two-and-a-half-storeyed, with no gables, the straight parapet (though later) no doubt part of the original design. Four bay façade with four-light mullioned windows and a quasi-classical door surround (triangular hoodmould like a pediment with an oval window below it above the four-centred door). The same doorcase on the side and back elevations, but with mainly three-light windows. The back is three-bay with two-light staircase windows in the centre. Ground-floor room with upper panels arcaded and an overmantel with strapwork {1}. Surtees records that local tradition credited the Parliamentarian Robert Hutton (d1680) with erecting the Hall, although Surtees himself thought the character of the building suggested that an ealier Robert Hutton, rector of Houghton 1589-1623, was the builder. The later Robert was buried in his own orchard, either due to his Puritan views, or, according to local tradition, to his wish to be buried alongside his favourite horse. The tomb seems to have been removed to the churchyard in the mid C20. The manor descended through the Hutton family until the C19. Ralph Anderson lived in the Hall around 1834. The Hutton family sold it in 1839. In 1841 Ralph and Grace Anderson lived in the Hall with their 6 children, John (farmer), William (farmer), Grace, Ralph (surgeon), Margaret and Shadforth. John Anderson (now a proprietor of houses) lived there in 1851. By 1855 he had moved to Market Place with his mother, brother William (High Constable) and sisters grace and Margaret. Fordyce records that it was then the home of George Elliot, colliery viewer to the Marchioness of Londonderry, later Sir George Elliot, MP (died 1861, buried in Houghton Hillside Cemetery). In 1861 Houghton Hall was occupied by his widow Margaret Elliot (nurse), their children Margaret W, Elizabeth, Alice A, George W, Henrietta, their nieces Mary A P Elliot and Mary L Green and Elizabeth Younger, housekeeper. On 29 September 1861 the 20 year old Elizabeth died when her dress caught fire. On 8 October 1865 Elizabeth Younger died from disease of the liver. The staff then comprised Mary Mattewson, cook, Elizabeth Atkin, house maid, Mary Watton, lady's maid and Thomasine Lawson, kitchen maid. In 1881 the servants were Andrew Bell (gardener and domestic servant), his wife Jane (house keeper) and son John. In 1891 Alice Parkin, Elizabeth Younger's daughter was housekeeper. Alice's granddaughter Jane Parkin was a servant. In 1896 the Martin family lived in the Hall. In 1899 Selwyn Austin occupied the Hall. In 1901 the Hall was unoccupied. By 1902 the house was occupied by a Mrs Atkinson. Subsequent editions of Kelly's directory do not record it as being the home of any named private resident. In 1917 the Hall was bought by Houghton Social Club for £1,030. The extensive grounds included apple and pear orchards and a bandstand. The building was listed in 1950. Pevsner (1953) wrote, describing the entrance as 'covered up by a recent wooden porch and a brick structure marked 'Gents'. In 1964 a new social club was built in the grounds facing onto Hall Lane. It opened in April 1965. In 1967 the YMCA took over the tenancy of the Hall. They bought it in 1971 for £2,500. Modern extensions were demolished and the original entrance was restored. The John Edwards Sports Hall was built at the rear. During this work early fabric and features were revealed. In the mid 1990s the YMCA vacated the building. The building was added to the Buildings At Risk Register. From 2001 it has been a private residence again.




<< HER 1858 >> N. Pevsner, 1983, County Durham, The Buildings of England, p 331 P.F. Ryder, 2000, Houghton Hall, Houghton-le-Spring, A Provisional Archaeological Assessment J.R. Boyle, 1892, Comprehensive Guide to the County of Durham W. Fordyce, 1857, The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, II, p 18-20 W. Hutchinson, 1794, History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, III M. Roberts, 1994, Durham Batsford/English Heritage F.H. Rushford, 1950, Houghton-le-Spring, A History Guidebook H.C. Surtees, 1816, History of Durham, Vol I; Department of National Heritage, List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, 7/46; Mackenzie and Ross, 1834, View of the County Palatine of Durham, p 354; Paul Lanagan, 2012, Houghton Hall - Amsion House of the Hutton Family,

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