Tyne and Wear HER(3994): Kenton Bankfoot, Brown's Buildings - Details
Kenton Bankfoot, Brown's Buildings
Metal Workers Workshop
By the 1840s and 1860s three dwelling/workshops had been built at Brown's building complex, one a blacksmith’s, one a carpenter’s and one an agricultural workers’ dwelling. The quality of the buildings, all of which survive, reflects the good standards to which Matthew Bell, the landowner, was improving his property. The original building seems to have been built between 1828 and 1840, being a long probably single storey construction. In 1841 a blacksmith and his family are recorded at the property. By 1860 the house had been added to the site and probably comprised a two storey house with a single storey off-shoot to the rear. Between 1860 and the 1890s the house was extended and enlarged to its current proportions and the smithy buildings were adapted to the existing plan. The leasing of the property shows a long history of a family enterprise. The earliest leasees date from 1840 when R. Slater operated a blacksmith's shop. Within the next two years the lease passed to John Brown, born in Greenridge, Northumberland but then living in Byker. By 1858 the lease had passed to John Brown’s wife Mary but later fell to the eldest son Johnathan who continued as a blacksmith, engineer and millwright on the site until the turn of the 20th century. The business remained as Brown's until it was recently vacated. Although the buildings are not of architectural interest, the house and smithy represent part of the original community of Kenton Bankfoot. The continuity of use of the site is also worthy of note, as is the survival of a building group which reflects the work of an improving landlord of the mid-19th century.
<< HER 3994 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey map, 1864, 6 inch scale, Northumberland, 88 Tyne & Wear HER, Brown's Buildings File, SCT/N/IA 17 I. Ayris & S.M. Linsley, 1994, A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Tyne and Wear, p 50