Tyne and Wear HER(11417): Ouseburn, Lower Ouseburn Valley Conservation Area - Details
Ouseburn, Lower Ouseburn Valley Conservation Area
Designated in October 2000. The Lower Ouseburn Valley forms one of the main cradles of the Industrial Revolution on Tyneside and is subsequently rich in industrial heritage. Since the C17 the area has supported a splendid array of glass-works, lead, iron, soap, limeworks, mills and potteries which by the late C19 stood next to housing beneath the rail and road bridges. As a transport route the Ouse Burn was very effective, its tidal nature permitting wherries and barges to travel up the river. Processing industries in the valley relied on the river for delivery of raw materials and export of finished products. Mills and warehouses were built right up against the river's edge and incorporated slipways and shoring for boats and loading equipment. The river was also a source of power and mill races were constructed to harness the river to drive waterwheels. Industries were based on the availability of ballast generated by the coal trade. Glassmaking was the first industry in the valley with three glasshouses established by 1619. By the mid C17 bricklayers, potters, plumbers, brewers, felt makers and bakers had established themselves next to the glasshouses. The pottery industry located here in 1782, and culminated in the establishment of the Maling Pottery on Ford Street in C19. By the end of the C18 commercial industrial activity expanded to accommodate shipbuilding, masonry, hairdressers, tailors and shoemakers. Lead works and iron foundries established themselves in the valley in the C19, along with paint works, soap manufacturers, copperas works, tanners, swa mills, corn mills and flint mills. The valley's success was a result of the trade network system - on Stepney Bank for instance, slaughterhouses, bone and glue works, butchers and tanners stood side by side so very little of the animal was wasted. Likewise lead works produced white lead which was used by nearby paint works. The area provided substantial employment being a self-contained community with brick terraces, a doctor's practice, school and around 15 public houses. As a result of improvements in transport (road and rail networks) the traditional industry of the valley became redundant by the end of WW2. The population was gradually rehoused outside the valley and in the 1960s many buildings were demolished. The Conservation Area includes several listed buildings - Ouseburn Railway Viaduct (HER 4327), Ouseburn School (HER 5580), piers and railings (HER 9137) and caketaker's cottage (HER 8852), Crawford's Bridge (HER 1946), 30 and 36 Lime Street (HER 5161 and 5149), Sailor's Bethel (HER 1949), Victoria Tunnel (HER 4091) and Blenkinsopp Coulson Fountain. Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site (HER 201 and 202) runs through the upper part of the Conservation Area. Other sites include Byker Road Bridge (HER 1945), Ouseburn Culvert (HER 5046), Flint Mill Bridge (HER 5581), Metro Bridge (HER 9775), Cumberland Arms (HER 7989), Stepney Bank Stables (HER 5473), Ship Inn (HER 9879), Wood's Pottery and Upper Steenberg's Yard (HER 5280), Ballast Hills Graveyard (HER 1597), Maynard's Toffee Factory (HER 5472), Allan House (HER 5579), Tyne Public House (HER 9958), Ouseburn Mission House (HER 5583).
Newcastle City Council, 2004, Lower Ouseburn Valley Conservation Area Character Statement