Tyne and Wear HER(4938): Forest Hall, Clousden Hill House/Earlington House - Details
Forest Hall, Clousden Hill House/Earlington House
Agriculture and Subsistence
This is a robust, stone-built former farm dwelling possibly dating from c.1850, with a number of later alterations but without embellishment or particular features. The core of the house is shown on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey of c.1855 and the house with its extension to the east is shown on the Second Edition Map of 1898. The house is single-storey. Extending eastwards and attached to the house is a lower and narrower single storey, rubble-built range, added in the second half of the 19th century. In the garden area immediately to the west of the building are the remains of low walls, and to the front are sandstone garden walls. A fish pond is marked immediately to the rear of the building. The Clousden Hill area holds a notable position in British Social History as the site of one of the best known and earliest experiments in communal living. In the period from c.1894 to 1898 an anarchist communist colony based at "Clousden Hill Farm" farmed 20 acres of land with revolutionary ideas of both communal living and agriculture. The instigator of the commune was Frank Kapper, an anarchist tailor from Bohemia who followed the ideas of Prince Peter Kropotkin, a Russian anarchist based in Britain. The chosen location of Tyneside was based on Kropotkin's idea that intensive agriculture under glass could be carried out in coal mining areas where coal could be bought cheaply. It seems that the building in question was occupied by at least part of the commune in early 1898.
<< HER 4938 >> I. Ayris, 1994, Lamb Farm House, Great Lime Road, Forest Hall 1898, The London Illustarted News, (8 Jan 1898), p 51 J. Quail, 1978, The Slow Burning Fuse: the lost history of the British Anarchists, p 226-227 1898, The Co-operative News, (26 Feb 1898), p 218 One of the colonists, 1900, An Ill-Fated Colony - Story of the Clousden Hill Experiment M. Bailey, 1992, The Observer paradise that was Tyne's Left Bank N. Todd, Roses and Revolutionaries 1995, News, Guardian (9 March 1995), p 11 1995, North Tyneside Herald and Post, p 1