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Tyne and Wear HER(6972): Newcastle, Pilgrim Street, No. 98, Alderman Fenwick's House - Details

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Newcastle, Pilgrim Street, No. 98, Alderman Fenwick's House





Merchants House

Post Medieval


Extant Building

Merchant's house, later The Queen's Head Inn and latterly Liberal Club. Now offices. Third quarter of seventeenth century, with eighteenth century alterations. English garden wall bond brick, renewed pantiled roof. Basement and four storeys. Carriage entrance at right. Interior retains open-well stair with wide grip handrail and fat turned balusters. First floor panelled room with strapwork stucco ceiling. The earliest name which might be linked with the house is Thomas Winship, tanner. He died in 1695 and the house passed to his daughter Sarah Fenwick (and her husband Nicholas, merchant). The house is shown in the margin of James Corbridge's 1723 map as the property of an "Alderman Fenwick" - possibly Cuthbert Fenwick, Alderman, but probably Cuthbert's brother and Nicholas and Sarah's nephew, also called Nicholas. He was an Alderman in 1719, 1723 and 1724 and Mayor of Newcastle in 1720. The malting part of the house was occupied by a Christopher Rutter. Charles Turner owned the house in 1781, and converted it into The Queen's Head Inn. This coaching inn was the favourite for important receptions and banquets. In 1811 it was used as an auction room for the Benwell estate. In 1883 The Queen's Head Inn was let to the Newcastle upon Tyne Liberal Club. They occupied the building until 1962. It was empty until 1980 when it was leased by Newcastle City Council to the Tyne and Wear Buildings Preservation Trust, who restored it. The work was completed in 1997, and the building is now used as offices. A rare survival in Newcastle of a merchant's house. The Fenwick family played a prominent role in the commerce and government of the town. One of only three significant early brick buildings in Newcastle (the others being Holy Jesus Hospital and Keelman's Hospital). A programme of archaeological recording, carried out in advance of restoration work, suggests that the house was built some time around 1670. Fenwick altered the building shortly after 1693. There is no other house like this, with closet wings framing the front elevation, in Newcastle, Durham, or other north-east towns. There is a parallel in London - Schomberg House, Pall Mall. Its arrangement of rooms somewhat echoes that of a country house of the period. Quality of internal finishes - richly-moulded panelling, fashionable wallpaper, painted lobby on second floor, fine first floor ceiling and cupola. There were further alterations when the building became an inn, and then a gentleman's club. LISTED GRADE 1




Department of National Heritage, List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, 21/449; D.H. Heslop and G. McCombie, 1996, "Alderman Fenwick's House - A Late Seventeenth Century House in Pilgrim Street, Newcastle" in Archaeologia Aeliana, Series 5 (1996), Vol XXIV; D.H. Heslop, B. Jobling and G. McCombie, 2001, "Alderman Fenwick's House - The history of a seventeenth century house in Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, and its owners", Buildings of Newcastle No. 3, The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne; H. Bourne, 1736, History of Newcastle upon Tyne; J. Brand, 1789, The History of Newcastle; W.H. Knowles & J.R. Boyle, 1890, Vestiges of Old Newcastle and Gateshead; E. Mackenzie, 1827, History of Newcastle upon Tyne; N. Pevsner and I. Richmond, second edition revised by G. McCombie, P. Ryder and H. Welfare, 1992, The Buildings of England - Northumberland; Grace McCombie, 2009, Newcastle and Gateshead - Pevsner Architectural Guide, p. 11 and 144-7; Graham, F. 1959, Old Inns and Taverns of Northumberland

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