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Tyne and Wear HER(7403): Birtley, Birtley Lane, Talbot Cottages, Nos. 1-6 - Details

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Birtley, Birtley Lane, Talbot Cottages, Nos. 1-6




Multiple Dwelling


Early Modern


Extant Building

Built by the Birtley Iron Company for its officials. The cottages bear the initials and family crest of Augustus Henry Hunt. The name Talbot is from the Talbot dogs - hounds used for hunting - on the Hunt family crest {2}. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE These cottages were built by Augustus Henry Hunt (1829 – 1877) for the higher-level workers at Birtley Iron Company – leaving both his initials and family crest on plaques on the buildings for posterity. He was of the gentry Hunt family who owned Birtley Hall, and later Birtley House, which was built by him in 1864. Their historical connection with this important family is therefore significant, particularly as little physical remains of their legacy in the village. Their quality is clear in both the materials and attention to detail, in contrast to the average humble house, and the composition is well-balanced and visually animated. This 2 storey row of cottages was built of squared sandstone rubble with solid lintels and sills with carved detail, and quoined jambs. The roofs are of heather-coloured Welsh slate with advanced gables to each end and a small gable to each side of the central name plaque with 2 gabled entrance porches between. There are black painted barge boards with decorative pinnacles to all gables, and 3 stocky pale brick chimneys along the ridge with inset courses, cornice and decorative angled course just below. The square section chimney pots have peaked tops. The window openings contain replacements (mostly plastic and are all single save the narrow double lights to porches. All doors are to the side. The low stone boundary wall with chamfered coping is punctuated by decoratively capped small gate piers, and encloses modest lawned gardens with hedging between. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Augustus Henry Hunt was partner in the iron works; he lived in Birtley House, The name ‘Talbot’ is from the Talbot dogs – hounds used for hunting and tracking – on the Hunt family crest. – Their motto was ‘From Truth Unswerving’. In 1878 Edward Trench inhabited ‘Talbot Villas’. [information from Heather Marshall] MATERIALS Sandstone, slate, beige brick, timber DATES 1873 (on plaque) LOCAL LIST




Gateshead Council Local List; George Nairn and Dorothy Rand, 1997, Images of England - Birtley; Gateshead Council, Local List Fact Sheet; Harry Letch, 1970, Gleanings from the History of Birtley.

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