Ouseburn Farm

For 26 years the Byker City Farm in the Ouseburn Valley offered locals a green haven in the centre of their city - and gave youngsters the chance to befriend the kind of animals not often seen roaming the East End.

In 2002, however, the farm had to close its doors when its land was found to be contaminated by a Victorian lead works which once stood there. The farm’s buildings were demolished and the animals re-homed.

The site, now known as Ouseburn Farm, was re-opened in 2005 and now houses a new environmental and heritage centre which lets youngsters learn about environmental issues relevant to their lives and also teaches them about life in the Ouseburn Valley in days gone by.

20th May 2022

Nortumberland Lead Works remains.

Within the Farm complex is a surviving masonry structure which contains a relocated plaque reading "Northumberland Lead Works 1871". The site was occupied by buildings including a flax mill and steam corn mill from the mid 18th century, shown on a plan by William Donkin dated 1767.

Thomas Oliver's plan of 1830 shows a property owned by Thomas Coultherd, John Beckington's steam corn mill and the Northumberland Flax Spinning-Mill of Clarke, Plummer and Co.

The Northumberland Lead Works, manufacturing white lead, was established in 1871 by John Ismay, and in 1873 the works expanded northwards, replacing the Steam Corn Mill and The New Flax Mill public house. New brick corroding houses were built, in which sheets of lead were hung above pots of vinegar and left to oxidise. The resulting corrosion product - white lead - was then scraped off and ground and mixed with oil to form paint.

Ismay and Co also used the white lead in their cosmetic and medicine business in the Groat Market. The company merged with James and Co. Ltd in 1884 and the combined firm operated until 1914.

By 1903-4 at least part of the site was occupied by Elders Walker and Co. Ltd, paint manufacturers.

By 1928 the lead works were known as Walker's Paint Works. It closed in the early 1960s.

In c.1973 the City Council imported sterile topsoil onto the partially cleared site. A number of features associated with the flax mill and lead paint works survived this process, including a pair of massive sandstone wall bases, possibly part of the engine house of the flax mill, several 19th century brick walls, and a cobbled lane incorpoarating a number of millstones.

In June 2002 a programme of archaeological trial trenching and subsequent watching brief revealed well-preserved structural elements of the lead works and flax mill.

Source Sitelines

17th March 2022

17th January 2022

7th August 2021

7th June 2021

26th March 2020

1st April 2015

14th May 2012

22nd November 2011

18th December 2009

27th November 2009

23rd June 2009

16th June 2009

23rd April 2009

16th April 2009

25th May 2007

19th June 2006

17th January 2006

16th December 2005

More Information:
See my other photos around Ouseburn:


Amy E said...

Hi, I've been a silent follower of your blog, but I have given you a Kreativ Blogger award, one of seven given to my favourite blogs.

I've posted details of the award here, http://amykins-writefromthebeginning.blogspot.com/2009/12/kreativ-blogger-award.html it's a pass-it-on deal, I recieved an award, passed it on to you, and you do the same!

Amy xx

Newcastle Photos said...

Thanks, I'm honoured.
I'll try and find the time to do my own this weekend.