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Tyne and Wear HER(7630): Chowdene, The Lodges Road, Chowdene Lodge - Details

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Chowdene, The Lodges Road, Chowdene Lodge






Early Modern


Extant Building

One of a number of late C19 and early C20 houses in the Chowdene Conservation Area. This one is secluded in its heavily wooded garden. This beautifully made villa style residence is likely to date from the later 19th century, although unfortunately no plans have been traced for it. The site had originally been a farm, and appears to have been used as such until 1858, so the villa may date from around the 1860s/70s. This date would also accord with other development in the area. It displays fine workmanship, and architectural detailing in common with other buildings in the area, for example those dwellings at Derwent Crook – in particular the snecked stonework and use of gabling to create depth and interest. The detailing is chunky and robust – no spindly finials or skinny chimneys here! Instead large, deeply moulded gable finials, elegant hood mouldings, strong water tabling with substantial (though plain) kneelers, and bold square chimneys reminiscent of battlemented turrets. It appears that inspiration may have been taken from the castle architecture at Ravensworth, as the site had been part of the Ravensworth Estate, as even the grand ashlar doorway, nestled in a crook of the building, features mock battlements with a large shield inset, and is further embellished by rope mouldings above the windows and door. The windows are timber sashes (although perhaps not original) and a 9-panel timber door has been retained to the entrance, which is likely to be original (although now not a traditional colour). Other detailing includes an exuberant ornamental lamp bracket attached to the house, and plates remaining adjacent to the door, which are likely to have been part of the original doorbell system. The enclosure of the site is important; with sandstone walls and gate piers punctured by swirling gates unusually dated 1953. The building also enjoys a pleasant landscaped setting, with broad stone steps leading down to a lawned area surrounded by many mature trees. Outbuildings include stables and (ironically) a lodge building, but these are unfortunately in a very poor state of repair. If their condition is not addressed as a matter of urgency they are at great risk of being lost. The principal building is also underused – this situation also needs addressing to avoid the risk of serious deterioration of the fabric in the future. In 1858 Messers Blenkinsop were leasing the site from Ravensworth Estate (Chowdean Foot farm) - half a year’s rent was £92. Later the property was called Chowdene Cottage. MATERIALS Sandstone, slate, timber DATES c1860s/70s USES Historically residential, now leased for social charitable purposes LOCAL LIST




Gateshead Council Local List X20/LL/266; Gateshead Council, 1999, Chowdene Conservation Area Character Statement, p 73; TWAS DF.HUG/136/1; Archaeological Research Services Ltd., 2009, Chowdean Lodge, Low Fell, Gateshead - Archaeological Building Recording

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