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Tyne and Wear HER(4955): North Walbottle, Fell House Farm - Details

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North Walbottle, Fell House Farm

North Walbottle


Agriculture and Subsistence

Land Use Site


Early Modern


Extant Building

Farm with industrial interest. In advance of the conversion of this stone-built model farmstead, James Garfield Nairn of Nicholson Nairn Architects recorded the buildings. The farmstead is quite typical of Northumberland. The farmhouse stands separate from a range of farm buildings around a fold yard. Over the years the buildings have been altered and adapted to absorb technological farming improvements. There was a farm at this location from at least 1767 and the site has always been in the ownership of the Duke of Northumberland. Fell House Farm was built in the centre of the common between Newburn and Walbottle at the time when the common was enclosed. It was presumably the farm from which much of the enclosure was effected. The farm was a ‘U’ shaped complex in 1767. By 1848 the site had been totally redeveloped to form the complex which still largely survives. The farm plan is typical of the period of ‘agricultural revolution’ when multi functional barn ranges were built, threshing was mechanised, fertilisers were used and new feed such as oilcake introduced. A valuer's report states that there was an absence of turnip land (turnips, carrots and parsnips were grown as field crops to feed stabled livestock in winter) on Fell House Farm and that due to the land being of weak character for growing roots, it was worked together with Dewley Farm (NRO ZAN Bell 71/8). The earliest farm buildings are built of squared random rubble sandstone with dressed and chamfered jamb stones and eaves string course. The façade of the Georgian farmhouse in good quality materials provides an imposing frontage. The gin-gang was demolished some 30 years ago along with the north wing, which would have been a split level mixing barn with granary, threshing machine and animal stalls. The byres opened into the yard in order that manure could be collected to fertilise the fields. The farmhouse was divided lengthwise into two, with two front rooms on ground and first floor and a central staircase. To the rear was the kitchen and scullery and a separate staircase to the servant’s accommodation. Unfortunately the house was ‘improved’ in the 1960s so few original features survive.




<< HER 4955 >> Tyne and Wear Industrial Monuments Trust, Newburn Plan Area; Valuers Report on Dewley Farm, 1875, NRO ZAN Bell 71/8 (Woodhorn); Jennifer Morrison, 2007, Newburn manor - an alnalysis of a changing medieval, post medieval and early modern landscape in Newcastle upon Tyne, unpublished MA thesis for Durham University; James Garfield Nairn of Nicholson Nairn Architects, 2007, Fell House Farm - Building Recording; The Archaeological Practice, 1996, Crescent Farm Opencast Site, Archaeological Desk Based Assessment, pp 12 and 14

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