Dean Street

Dean Street's dramatic descent stems from the ancient geography of the city. Generations of Geordies will have tackled the steep gradient - up and down to the Quayside.

The building on the corner od Dean Street and the Side is Milburn House which, in 2014, boasts state-of-the-art office space in a grade-II listed building.

The office block was built in 1905, with finance from the wealthy local Milburn family.

Because of the family’s connection with shipping, the building is designed like an ocean-going liner, with the floors labelled deck-style - A at the top and G on the ground floor. In its early days almost 1,000 people worked there.

Today, the smart street with its restaurants and specialist shops betrays little of the area’s history. Dean Steet was built over a stream called the Lort Burn, which ran down to the Tyne and was essentially an open sewer.

Meat waste from the old Flesh Market was also thrown into the burn providing, no doubt, a rich aroma in the area. In 1827 it was described as a “vast nauseous hollow, equally unhealthy and inconvenient”.

Description courtesy of Chronicle Live.

7th April 2023

Dean Street/Grey Street works.

22nd June 2022

Milburn House.

Office block. Dated 1905 on plaques; begun 1902. By Oliver, Leeson and Wood.
Dark red granite basement and entrances; rusticated sandstone ashlar ground floor; brick with ashlar dressings above. Welsh slate roof with stone gable copings. Triangular plan with 3 light wells. Free Baroque style.

Left basement; 5 storeys and attics; 13 bays. Tower-like first bay, of plain brick with ashlar bands, has full-height pilaster and banded gable chimney. Basement dies into slope at 8th (entrance) bay containing double door and fanlight in hollow-chamfered arched reveal in Ionic doorcase. Similar arches in 4th and 12th bays contain round- headed windows; sash windows in other bays.

Ground-floor cornice, bracketed over arches to support 3-storey stone-mullioned-and-transomed canted oriels; intermediate windows have keyed elliptical brick arches on first and second floors, flat stone lintels in band on third; all sashes with projecting stone sills and upper glazing bars. Third-floor cornice.

Fourth (attic) storey has stilted Diocletian windows, with drip moulds, above canted bays; and elliptical-headed windows elsewhere. Top cornice; console bracketed high gables: above the canted bays, contain stone- mullioned-and-transomed windows in aedicules.

High-pitched roof has paired sashes in dormers. Rounded corner section at left: 5 bays under turret. Rear to The Side of 20 wide bays, stepping up a steep slope, with varying numbers of floors and 4 entrances; the highest bay has large top sundial; that next to it contains niche with bust of Admiral Collingwood and inscription commemorating his birth in 1748 in a house on that site.

Interior has much high quality wood and bevelled glass; circular balustrade to principal lift well with heraldic glass, by Laidler of Newcastle, facing light well. Low-relief panels,in Arts and Crafts painted-leather style, in Dean Street entrance hall; much original detail and Art Nouveau tiling, the latter overpainted.

Source: Sitelines.

Milburn House, bust of Thomas Bewick.

Though Thomas Bewick never did particularly well in school, he showed a talent for drawing from an early age. At just 14 years old, he became an apprentice to Ralph Beilby, an engraver in Newcastle. During that time, Bewick learned the craft of engraving by marking family coats of arms on jewelry and cutlery.

Bewick is best known for his natural history illustrations. His book A History of British Birds was published in two volumes, in 1797 and 1804, and played a role in reviving the craft of wood engraving. It is still admired today because of its intricate wood engravings, especially the small, well-observed, and often humorous vignettes known as tail-pieces.

He is also known for his work on various editions of Aesop’s Fables that spanned most of his creative life. The first was created for the Newcastle bookseller Thomas Saint during his apprentice years.

Bewick is often credited with popularising technical innovation in the printing of illustrations. He adapted metal-engraving tools to cut hard boxwood across the grain, which resulted in printing blocks that could be integrated with metal type. This process also made much more durable printing blocks, which gave bookmakers the ability to create high-quality illustrations at a relatively low price.

When it came to his workshop, Bewick focused on collaboration and developing the skills of his apprentices. Though he did not complete every task for every illustration himself, he was always closely involved in overseeing the work of his apprentices. Some of the apprentices that Bewick trained include John Anderson, Luke Clennell, and William Harvey, who went on to become well-known painters and engravers in their own right.

In 1825, the Literary and Philosophical Society commissioned a marble bust of Bewick from the sculptor Edward Hodges Baily. Today there are several copies of that bust, including this bronze version, which sits in a niche of the building that replaced Bewick’s workshop in the Saint Nicholas Churchyard. (Another copy of the bust can be found at the British Museum in London.)

Source: Atlas Obscura.

Dean Street Viaduct.

A finely constructed 80 feet (24.4 metres) elliptical span which is only part of a long viaduct from Newcastle Central Station to Manors Station. Built in 1848, but widened to the north in 1894 on a slightly larger span. Another part of the viaduct takes the form of an iron bridge (at NZ 250639) with diamond grid bracing in the spandrels, built by Abbots of Gateshead in 1849.

Grade 2 Listed. Source: Sitelines.

Dean Street, No. 6.

Dean Street, No. 10.

Offices. 1888 by Stockwell and Spicer for John Burnip; 1895 alterations by W. Bell for North Eastern Railway Company.

Sandstone ashlar; roof not visible. 3 storeys, 4 bays. Double door in architrave under bracketed canopy at right; floating overlight above in architrave. Sloping sills to 3 high windows in rusticated ground floor, under cornice; first-floor windows in architraves, each under high entablature; elliptical-headed second-floor windows on sill string. Top entablature with dentilled cornice and blocking course. 2 end chimneys.

Grade 2 Listed. Source: Sitelines.

Dean Street, Nos. 12 and 14.

Offices and warehouse, now restaurant. 1901 by Oliver, Leeson and Wood for John Taylor and Co., leather and rubber manufacturers.

Painted rusticated ashlar ground floor with later shop front; steel frame above with wood pilasters and mosaic panels; brick first bay tower and canted right corner.
Jacobean style treatment on steel frame. 4 storeys and attics, 8 bays. First bay tower contains round-headed office entrance with voussoirs under oval window; narrow sashes in architraves on upper floors; eaves cornice and oculus in tower above with parapet.

Central restaurant recessed in slender pilasters; slender quasi-Ionic pilasters above frame 7 lights, sashes with glazing bars, on each floor, with strap-work patterns in blue and yellow mosaic panels between floors. Eaves cornice. Hipped roof has segmental-headed 3-light dormer.

Grade 2 Listed. Source: Sitelines.

Dean Street, Nos. 16 and 18 (Surtees Hotel).

House with shop. 1789; late C19/early C20 shop inserted.

English bond brick with ashlar dressings; graduated slate roof. 4 storeys and attics, 2 bays. 6-panelled house door at left and shop door at right. Wedge stone lintels to plain sashes on upper floors, with projecting stone sills to second and third; first floor sill band. Roof has 2 elliptical-headed dormers and one ridge chimney.

Grade 2 Listed. Source: Sitelines.

Dean Street no 17-21.

1897 by Marshall and Dick for the Manchester Fire Assurance Company. Baroque terracotta-clad public office below. Prominent central gable.

Source: Sitelines.

Dean Street, No. 20.

House with shop, now restaurant and offices.C1784; circa 1900 shop.

English bond brick with ashlar dressings; Welsh slate roof. 4 storeys and attics; 2 bays. Shop in classical style has right entrance; plain sashes above have lintels with false keystones; projecting stone sills to upper floors; first floor sill band. Roof has inserted gabled dormer with bargeboards, one end brick chimney.

Grade 2 Listed. Source: Sitelines.

Dean Street, No. 23.

Also Known As: 14, St Nicholas Churchyard. Shop with verger's residence above. 1902. Designed by Oliver, Leeson and Wood.
Red brick with ashlar dressings and slate roofs. 4 storey. Dean Street elevation has original ground floor shop front with flanking pilasters, fascia board above and recessed central glazed door. Above rusticated quoins to both corners on upper floors topped with ashlar cornice and curved gable with ball finials.

2 storey canted bay window to first and second floors, each with 3 sashes, with glazing bar upper sashes and moulded pilasters between. Above each window a moulded strap-work panel with brackets between. Top surmounted by iron balustrade with tripartite sash windows divided by ashlar Ionic columns and topped with moulded entablature and central pediment.

Right elevation has two narrow sash windows, with glazing bar upper sashes and ashlar keystones. Rear elevation 2 windows and 3 storeys with ashlar cornice and above a broad curved gable with central ashlar plaque and ball finials. Rusticated ashlar quoins to left corner. Doorway to right with moulded wooden door frame and ornate iron brackets supporting flat hood, 5 panel door with glazing bar overlight. Small window to left with plain sash. Above 2 sash windows, that to left narrower, both with glazing bar upper sashes and ashlar keystones. Above again 2 similar windows to eaves cornice.

Grade 2 Listed. Source: Sitelines.

Dean Street, Nos. 30 to 48.

Shops, and houses, (now offices). Circa 1784 (street laid out by David Stephenson). Late C19 shops.

Painted English bond brick with ashlar dressings; roofs mostly graduated Lakeland slate, some Welsh slate (Nos. 38-44). Each house 3 storeys and attic, 2 bays. Doors at left of houses. Wedge stone lintels to windows, sashes except for C20 glazing to No. 46; architraves to those of the 3 right houses. Projecting sills to second floor; first floor sill band. Segmental-headed dormers, most with sashes and some with glazing bars. End brick chimneys except to Nos. 38-42 which share one roof and one chimney; other roofs step down slope.

Grade 2 Listed. Source: Sitelines.

Dean Street, Nos. 50 and 52.

Shop and house. Circa 1784; remodelled 1902 by Benjamin Simpson.

Sandstone ashlar ground floor; painted brick above with painted ashlar dressings and quoins; Welsh slate roof with stone gable copings. Art Nouveau shop. 3 storeys and attic, 2 bays. Door at left and wide window at right in 3 fat Ionic half-columns with exaggerated entasis; wood mullions and transoms to segmental-headed window. Plain sashes above in architraves, bracketed on second floor. Eaves band and gutter cornice. Mansard roof has wide pedimented dormer and ashlar-corniced brick chimneys.

Grade 2 Listed. Source: Sitelines.

Dean Street, Cathedral Buldings.

Shops and offices, now including restaurant. Dated cartouche 1901, by Oliver, Leeson and Wood.
Cast iron ground floor columns; 3 floors of brick with ashlar ornament; rendered attic storey and attics; iron balcony. Welsh slate roof with stone gable copings. Free Jacobean style.

5 storeys (with mezzanine to 3 left bays), attic storey and gable dormers. 7 bays. Mezzanine provides extra height needed on steep slope. Slightly-projecting central bay has double door recessed in tetrastyle porch, below heavy corbels of 5-storey shallow canted oriel with sashes in architraves. Elaborate Ionic columns between shops. Plain Ionic mezzanine under 3 similar bays with pilasters. Cartouches between floors.

Attic storey has balcony on large brackets; triple sashes and central round-headed window under drip cornice; paired sashes in 7 gables above. Steeply pitched roofs. Rear has free Baroque doorcase with large oculus above. Drip mould over has large sculptured hare finial.

Listed Grade 2. Source: Sitelines.

Dean Street, No. 27, vampire rabbit or hare.

At rear of 27 Dean Street, middle of architrave above the door.

The "exubererant" Cathedral buildings fronting on to Dean Street, painted pink and cream, 1901 by Oliver, Leeson and Wood, have a mass of Jacobean-style detailing. At the rear of the building on St Nicholas' churchyard above the rear door is a large circular window and the architrave surmounting this has a dark grey painted sculpture of a rabbit set into the middle.

The presence of this rabbit does not seem to have any relationship to the quiet cloistered atmosphere of St. Nicholas's churchyard. The animal has oversized canine teeth and a "manic expression on his face", which have led to the beast being popularly known as The Vampire Rabbit.

Christopher Goulding suggests that it is in fact a hare and that it was an aesthetic joke on the part of the architects Oliver, Leeson and Wood. 'Mad' March hares were associated with the advent of Spring in pre-Christian times and were adopted as a symbol of Easter in Christian iconography and architecture. In British medieval churches there are carved hares playing bagpipes, chasing Green men and 'trinity of hares' running in circles. Where normally a gargoyle might be expected in buildings overlooking the Cathedral churchyard, the architects for the Cathedral Buildings used a grotesque hare. The hare may alternatively have been used as a reference to the work of the engraver of Thomas Bewick, who had a workshop in Cathedral Close. His work often featured hares. The cathedral's patron saint, St. Nicholas of Myra is also associated in some East European Christmas stories with woodland animals such as hares and deer {Christopher Goulding 2006}.

An alternative explanation is that was placed there by the architect William H Wood as a reference to Sir George Hare Philipson, who was a physician at the Newcastle Royal Infirmary, providing the vampire association. Hare Philipson was also the founder of the University of Durham Masonic Lodge, and William H Wood was possibly a prominent freemason in the area. Hares appear in masonic symbolism. In 2008 the rabbit was repainted black.

Source: Sitelines.

Cathedral Stairs.

Dean Court.

8th May 2022

Milburn House.

9th December 2021

Milburn House.

28th February 2017

Milburn House.

29th March 2016

Dean Street, No 23. (A.K.A. 14, St Nicholas Church Yard)

Dean Street, No 17-21.

Cathedral Buildings, Dean Street, newcastle upon tyne

Dean Street, Cathedral Buldings.


Dean Street Viaduct.

Built in 1849 for the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway Company. Widened on the north side c.1894 for North East Railway Company.

Listed Grade 2. Source: Sitelines.

Mosley Street, No. 12.

Bank. 1891 by A. Waterhouse for Prudential Assurance Company.

Basement and 4 storeys; 5 x 5 bays. Red granite basement with wrought iron grilles; red brick and red sandstone upper floors; Lakeland slate roof. Free early-Renaissance style. Canted corner bay contains steps up to c.1980 glass door in round arch flanked brackets ending in Ionic capitals- these support entablature, above which are scrolls and a small pediment.

Ground floor has large mullioned-and- transomed windows; mullioned windows above, those on second floor under seqmental pediments. Steeply pitched roof with small segmental pediments on gables.

Grade 2 Listed. Source: Sitelines.

17th February 2016

Dean Street Viaduct.

18th January 2012

Dean Street from Moot Hall.

1st June 2009

Dean Street Viaduct.

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