Take a tour of this unique town house on the line of Hadrian’s Wall – Featured as ‘Assembly House’ on the ‘Corbridge Map’ of 1723. As a Mansion House, the centre of civic power in the 1680s. It now stands as modernised in 1788.
In the 1680’s it was the home of an Irish Roman Catholic, Sir William Creagh. He was made Mayor and Freeman of the City by Royal Mandate, the King removed the incumbent Mayor and officials, ordering the electors to choose Creagh and other Royal nominees. The electors refused, on the grounds that they were “papists and persons not qualified”. However this action had no effect, but his period of power was short lived, as when William of Orange landed in England in October 1688, Creagh was removed from office. From 1716 to 1736 this was known as the Assembly House (at the same time playing host to a school, for young ladies!). These public assemblies for dancing and card playing were a new feature of northern society and at first appear to have encountered considerable opposition – as objectionable on moral grounds. In 1735 the celebrated Newcastle Composer Charles Avison performed his first subscription concert here. Soon 55 had returned to a more conventional role as the home of leaders of the community. It was owned for a while by Lady Winsor and used to oversee her County Durham coal enterprises (Daughter of Lady Clavering who had lived next door) and later the home of Geoffrey Fawcett Recorder of Newcastle. The interior in particular contains some rare and elaborate “Imperial” plasterwork in a Northern version of the Italian style that dates from when the house was remodelled about 1760.
The building will be hosting an exhibition by Mike Tilley ‘The City that Never Was‘.
Saturday 8 September: Tours 1100, 1200 & 1400
Saturday 15 September: Tours 1100, 1200 & 1400
Call: 0191 261 5618
Go to: https://www.newcastle-arts-centre.co.uk
Wheelchair access to ground floor only.
Max 35 people per tour/session. Tour lasts approx 35 mins HODs is one of the few times in the year that the building is open.
Contact for the day: Mike Tilley
Near Central Station. Situated on 55 Westgate Road NE11SG (A186), opposite the Old Assembly Rooms
Newcastle Arts Centre Trust Ltd
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