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Tyne and Wear HER(7696): St. Mary's Island, fisherman's cottage/ale-house - Details

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N Tyneside

St. Mary's Island, fisherman's cottage/ale-house

St. Mary's Island





Early Modern


Extant Building

In 1855 George Ewen, a fisherman from Aberdeen, built a house on the island which became an ale-house in 1862 {1}. Ewan built the cottages with the help of Lord Hastings of Delaval. The roofs were thatched with 'bents', grass gathered from the headlands. The inn of 1862 was called The Square & Compass. Ewan was evicted from the island by Lord Hastings in 1895 following arguments about land ownership {1 and 2}. An attractive stone built fisherman's cottage which predates the lighthouse (HER 1037). Forms part of a compact group of picturesque buildings on this tidal island. Mid C19 in origin. Later alterations include the loss of its original thatch roof. However the original 'but and ben' plan with central entrance is still readable. Three chimney pieces survive inside, one fitted with a range. The conversion of the cottage to an inn, later a temperance hotel, adds to its interest. The interior decorative scheme includes wainscoting (skirting boards). The barrel room retains a range and fireplace. In 1895 the Trinity House surveyor lodged here. Cottage owner Thomas Crisp assisted him in surveying the island. After the formal opening of the lighthouse in 1898, the inn was the venue for supper and speeches. LISTED GRADE 2




F. Graham, 1973, Tynemouth, Cullercoats, Whitley Bay and Seaton Delaval, p 18; North Tyneside Council, 2005, St. Mary's Island Draft Conservation Area Character Statement; English Heritage Advice Report, 30 March 2012, list entry number 1408464; St. Mary's Island, 2017, Archaeological Assessment

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