Tyne and Wear HER(5005): Jesmond Dene - Details
Gardens Parks and Urban Spaces
Mid19th century pleasure grounds, 18 ha, along the valley of the Ouse Burn. The areas were used as public parks from the late C19. Jesmond Dene was originally associated with house and grounds of Sir William George Armstrong, mid C19. Jesmond Towers 1817, enlarged by John Dobson 1820s, extended 1833, altered by Norman Shaw 1871; Jesmond Dene House largely by F.W. Rich 1896; both demolished. Banqueting Hall by Dobson 1860, on west side of Ouse Burn. Lodge by R Norman Shaw 1870. Park given to Newcastle Corporation 1883, opened as public park 1884. Wooded valley or dene, sloping steeply on both sides down to the Ouse Burn, which runs roughly north-south for 2km, turning to south-east and then again south, through park. Shrubbery, mature trees, some exotics. Castle Farm Bridge at northern end, Armstong Bridge 1879 towards southern end of park. Links with Freeman Park (north-east), Armstrong Park and Heaton Park (south-east). Various buildings and features in park along course of Ouse Burn, not all connected with Armstrong. At northern end of park, Blackberry Crag represents remnant of quarry, and waterfall beyond was constructed by Armstrong. Mill House 50m east is 18th century on older site, now ruined. South and south-west of Banqeting Hall are St Mary's Chapel, medieval, and St Mary's Well with 18th century or early19th century stonework. 20th century developments further south include 'Pets' Corner' and Colemans Field. Survey of planting in the Dene 1894 by James Anderson, plant expert from Manchester - sycamores, Wych elm, beech, oaks, Spanish chestnuts, oriental planes, birch, elder, poplar, flowering cherry, yew, azaleas. Armorer Donkin left Jesmond Park to W.G. Armstrong when he died in 1851 (Armstrong had trained as a solicitor with Donkin in 1833, had became a partner in the business and then manager at Donkins Elswick Works). Armstrong bought Heaton Dene from Sir Matthew White Ridley. In 1883 Armstrong gave the Dene to the people of Newcastle. The dene was officially opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1884 and a Turkey Oak was planted by the Banqeting Hall, which still survives.
<< HER 5005 >> Archaeological Services University of Durham, 2003, Ouseburn Parks Refurbishment Project, Archaeological Desk-top Assessment English Heritage, Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England, GD2185 N. Pevsner & E. Richmond, 1957, Northumberland F. Green, 1995, A Guide to the Historic Parks and Gardens of Tyne and Wear, p 34 F. Green, 1995, Historic Parks and Gardens in Tyne and Wear - Stage 2 Research, Heaton & Armstrong Parks; Newcastle City Council, 2003, Jesmond Dene Conservation Area Character Statement