Last Updated:

11 Jun 2020

The Old Rectory, Gateshead

Gateshead, Tyne & Wear

54.967245, -1.602280

This is a

Vicarage

Founded in 

1428

Current status is

Demolished

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The Sage now occupies the site

'The earliest recorded incumbent of St Mary's was Robert de Plessis in 1275. It is possible that even at this date the rector's house stood on the site of the later rectory on the east side of Oakwellgate. It was certainly there by 1428. Archaeological investigations in 1990 and 1991 revealed at least one structure on the east side of Oakwellgate, possibly part of the medieval Rectory. A number of 18th century plans, including Thompson's map of 1746 (the earliest covering the east side of Oakwellgate) show the Rectory as a large rectangular building, standing in its own grounds. In 1783 the rector of Gateshead was given licence to rebuild and enlarge the premises. The Rectory was further altered in 1814, and in 1834 it was described as being 'a commodious house’. By 1839, however, it had been abandoned in favour of a new building in Bensham and the western part of the old Rectory was converted into a public house run by Susanna Stobart - the name of which - The Brandling Arms - reflected local interest in the then current Brandling Junction construction works and appropriately commemorated that family's contribution to the industrial development of this part of Gateshead. Between 1861 and 1863 the Co-operative Society had its first store in the old rectory. A photograph dated to the 1880s, shows a two storied building of squared stone with a pantiled roof. The Rectory and public house became a 'muniment office' for the North East Railway by the late 1880s, and was later converted into gas and water offices for the company. The Rectory was mostly pulled down c.1914 and rebuilt as stores and offices for the Judge Brand Co. Ltd.'

- Retrieved from Sitelines

Both editions above illustrate Gateshead as it was in the latter half of the 19th century. St Mary's can be seen, but the focus in this features if the Old Rectory, a vicarage adjacent to the church. In the first edition, The Old Rectory is labelled on the map being of significant interest. It was described as old as the building was no longer utilised for its original purpose, and by this point was a store for the Co-Operative Society.

The second edition is from the late 19th century, when the building was offices for the gasworks, of which the containers lied behind (see picture below). The area was teeming with industrial sites, with railway branches littering the area down to the quayside. A branch also served the gas works.

By 1945, the rectory was already demolished for 30 years in favour of new offices for Judge Brand Co Ltd. Sadly nothing remains of seemed a beautiful structure, but has since been replaced by another iconic Gateshead feature; The Sage.

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Photograph of the Rectory in 1886. The photo shows the site as offices for the gas works. The holders can be seen behind. Previously. it was a public house called the Brandling Arms.

Retrieved from Gatesheadhistory.com

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