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Tyne and Wear HER(7626): Birtley, The Avenue, No. 27, Rockville - Details

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Birtley, The Avenue, No. 27, Rockville






Early Modern


Extant Building

This noble residence may well have been the first to be built on the former grounds of Birtley House. It is grand and imposing, dwarfing the nearby (also Locally Listed) former lodge house, and enhances the streetscene beautifully in warm honey-coloured sandstone. From the outside it is completely unspoilt, delightfully embellished with art nouveau detailing, but in a design context firmly characteristic of the area, with the use of sandstone rather than the brick more common at this time. The cyclopean rustication and cill bands offer a depth and texture to the stonework, with articulation added by the elegant castellated bays. The timber fenestration, too, is fine, with nouveau stained glass toplights to the ground floor windows, and simple but refined upper windows with the typical pattern of multipanes to the top sash and single panes to the bottom. The small-slated roof crowns the composition, complete with bracketed eaves, intermittent looped ridge tiles, and in particular especially decorative mock half-timbering, with a different, curving design to the front gable from those at the side. A slender stair turret to the western end forms a punctuation mark to the design, and the whole is enclosed by matching low walls, with chamfered copings and finely made gate piers. The mature landscaping, too, offers an appropriate setting for the dwelling, with various trees, shrubs and hedging to the eastern boundary. The house was inhabited by Bertram Bolam, for whom it was presumably built, but by 1925 Joseph Edwin Lowther was in residence. MATERIALS Cyclopean rusticated sandstone, slate, clay ridge tiles, timber DATES by 1906 LOCAL LIST




Gateshead Council Local List X20/LL/262

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