Friday, 19 November 2010

North Seaton Hall (NZ297866)

You can barely imagine it today, but in the middle of a 1960s housing estate in North Seaton, near Ashington, there once stood a fine classical house which went by the name of North Seaton Hall. Pictured above in its declining years, it may even hold the distinction (according to his daughter) of being architect John Dobson’s very first commission in 1813.

However, there was without doubt a building already on the site – and known by the same name – throughout most of the eighteenth century. Directories give 1710 as a possible starting point, when the Watsons were in early residence. It is more likely that Dobson carried out alterations in 1813 – and was most certainly back on the estate in 1831 to add some outbuildings (workers’ cottages and, possibly, the Gothic lodge).

The grounds occupied a wooded site north of the present B1334, near to the junction with the A189. The Watsons remained in residence until deep into the Victorian era, the estate falling into the hands of prominent industrialist Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell in the 1880s. In the 1950s, Pevsner noted the hall’s “very neglected” state; and in 1960 it was razed to make way for modern housing.



    Here is the 1851 census for the occcupants..... including all the servants.

  2. William Watson 38
    J C Watson 36
    Robert Watson 14

    William Sadler 69
    Thomas Taing 31
    John Mains 19
    George Forster Potts 50
    Francis Chambers 38
    William Kennedy 26
    James Bishop 28
    Mary Hornes 40
    Sarah Forster 21
    Harriet Hall 20
    Elizabeth Smith 53
    Jane Ann Tweeddy 15
    Elizabeth Oliver 45

  3. Are there any aerial photos of north seaton hall ?

  4. Hello. I've just discovered your site. In the 1940s an Italian POW camp was built beside the hall. (I later lived in one of the "huts" in the early 50s) Does anyone have any information please? (My address was Summerhouse Lane.) Thank you.

    1. Thanks, Angela. If you haven't done so already you could try making some enquiries at the local record office and/or libraries.

    2. Hi Angela, thats interesting. My dad lived at no.9 Summerhouse lane in the late 40's

  5. William Watson was my grandfather. I have a cigar case of his engraved with a picture of the hall

    1. Thanks for that Laura - how interesting. The old hall must have meant quite a lot to the family, even years after the family had moved out. If you have an image of the cigar case I can try to add it to the original post.

  6. When aah wez a bairn, aboot siven or eight year aad, ahh remember being stood in Northumberland Avenue wetching North Seaton Haall being bornt oot afore they demolished it.
    That would hev been about 1959 or 1960.

    A couple of yeors laytor, wan of the Newbiggin Juvenile Jazz Bands would practice to theor.