Tyne and Wear HER(4970): North Hylton, Wood House - Details
North Hylton, Wood House
Agriculture and Subsistence
The land within this meander of the Wear was known as the Wood House Estate and remained within the Hylton family ownership (Sir William Hylton built the castle in c.1400 and the family dominated the surrounding area) until 1743 when it was bought by William Maling. The Malings became one of the leading pottery families in the North East with important works on the Wear (HER ref. 4969) and the Ouseburn in Newcastle (HER ref. 4967-4968 and 4344). Maling established the North Hylton Pottery in 1762. Before the start of these works the immediate area of the present Wood House Farm comprised only five buildings. The Wood House itself was occupied by a tenant who probably farmed the immediate area. The remaining buildings comprised eight workers’ cottages. The opening of the local pottery brought some development in the area and by 1816 Wood House had grown from a single structure to a complex of farm buildings. A windmill had been erected to the front of the farm but had fallen out of use by the end of the Napoleonic Wars. The first Ordnance Survey surveyors in the 1950s found brickfields, a tar distillery, shipbuilding yards, a quarry, a rail network, cranes, a public house and over 30 dwellings. The farm itself had developed into a courtyard farm with attached gin-gan or horse wheel house, with a grand house known as the "Manor House" closer to the river. This still survives and holds a small place in aviation history - in 1910 Robert Welford, who lived there, constructed an early monoplane in one of the out-buildings. In the centre of the present day complex is a winding engine house in front of which is a sequence of cells for loading waggons from the railway above. The farm buildings themselves are full of interest with a square gin-house and threshing barn, extensive stables and a blacksmith's building, as well as a farm house and cottages. What industrial processes were carried out at Wood House remains something of a mystery. Cartographical evidence suggests many activities over 250 years.
<< HER 4970 >> I.M. Ayris, 1987, High Woods - History and Industrial Development I. Ayris & S.M. Linsley, 1994, A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Tyne and Wear, p 81