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Tyne and Wear HER(7394): Low Fell, Belle Vue Bank, St. Helen's Church Hall - Details

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Low Fell, Belle Vue Bank, St. Helen's Church Hall

Low Fell



Meeting Hall

Church Hall

Early Modern


Extant Building

This eastern end of this modest parish room was originally the caretaker’s house, but is now understood to have been incorporated into the hall building. It is by noted local architect John Wardle, who also designed the Church 5 years earlier, for Mr Edward Joicey of Whinney House. In cyclopean rusticated stonework, with ashlar dressings, the ridgeline of the slate roof varies between the higher hall area and the lower cottage. Variety in the rhythm of the elevation is created by the use of gables of different designs, which also differentiate between the Parish Hall use and the humbler accommodation use. This is expressed in stone water tabling to the Parish Room end, decorated with mini gables at both termini (reminiscent of those seen at Saltwell Park and elsewhere); and with decorative bargeboards to the cottage end. These gables are topped by delicate finials in stone and timber. A Tudor arched doorway originally offered entrance to the visitor, but now this has been replaced with a window, and the original cottage entrance is now used for the whole building. A relatively small extension has been added to the east end, utilising the existing yard wall to the cottage, and a good match has been obtained with the stonework. It is extremely disappointing, however, that the stonework has been cleaned, as this significantly detracts from the character of the building, and the weathered appearance cannot be reinstated. It is also a shame that the Tudor arched doorway has been removed, and that some intrusive lead flashings have altered the appearance of the bargeboards, as well as much of their detailing having been lost. The windows, too, have been replaced with brown sashes, whereas the original windows appear to have been leaded casements, with possible timber glazing bars to the Parish Room end. Despite these alterations, however, the building remains of group value with the church and terrace adjacent. ARCHITECT John Wardle MATERIALS Sandstone, slate, timber DATES 1878 LOCAL LIST




Gateshead Council Local List; plan 1878 TWAS CB.GA/BC/Plan 1878/27

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