Tyne and Wear HER(8480): Sunderland, Ashbrooke Hall (Corby Hall) - Details
Sunderland, Ashbrooke Hall (Corby Hall)
Described by at least one writer as one of the finest houses ever built in Sunderland, this large Italianate villa of 1864 lent its name to the lush Ashbrooke area of Sunderland, where its lodge may still be seen. The architect was Thomas Moore, also responsible for Monkwearmouth Station. His client was James Hartley MP, the famous glassmaker. On Hartley's death in 1886 it was acquired by John Short, of Short Brothers, ship builders and timber merchants. His wife lived there until her death in 1932. A large port-cochere led to a sumptuous interior with heavy decorative plasterwork forming an extravaganza from floor to ceiling and back down again the other side. The apsidal hall, with stained glass, was later converted into a chapel by the Jesuits, who bought Ashbrooke from the executors in 1932 and converted it into a retreat house for men. They renamed it Corby Hall after Ralph Corby, a Jesuit martyr who was hanged in London after a preliminary trial in Sunderland. In 1973 they left and after a well documented period of dereliction it was demolished in 1976.
P. Meadows and E. Waterson, 1993, Lost Houses of County Durham, p 46