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Offerton, Wearside

Orchard Cottage, Offerton

Last Updated:

17 Jun 2020

Offerton, Wearside

This is a


54.900821, -1.474822

Founded in 

18th - 19th Century

Current status is


Designer (if known):


Nothing remaining of the site except a footpath

Orchard Cottage was an isolated dwelling on the 'head of the haugh', the meander of the River Wear between Barmston and Offerton. It is not known when the cottage was built but appears on all the Ordnance Survey editions, and by its appearance looks 18th Century. Its splendour is limitless, and is unfortunately the cottage isnt standing today. A ferrys landing was situated close to the cottage, suggesting the cottage may have been the residence of the person who operated it. It still appears on maps in 1951, and seems soon after this point it was demolished. According to Raggyspelk, it may have been in the late 1940s.

A full image gallery featuring content from Jean Potts, whose ancestor lived against the bank at Low Barmston farm, can be found on the link above.

Listing Description (if available)

Both editions above illustrate the Orchard Cottage as a small square just left of 'head of the haugh', the area the dwelling is situated in. The isolated cottage was surrounded by rolling fields at the time, and the closest settlement was either High Barmston to the south or Hylton on the way to Sunderland. The site will likely have been the main crossing around this area over the Wear, as a small rowing boat can be seen on one of the illustrations below.

The 1921 edition illustrates the dwelling against the banks of the wear. The life of this small picturesque cottage was to end around 30 years later but was still in use at this point. The area is still very rural, and only a few industrial sites and farmsteads are nearby. This is a similar site today on this side of the wear, through the industrial sprawl of Washington is to the west.


Illustration of Orchard Cottage by Albert Milton Drinkwater, undated. Penshaw Monument is visible in the background. A lady is standing in front of the cottage, observing the rowing back gliding past on the Wear.

Retrieved from raggyspelk


Illustration of Orchard Cottage by Albert Milton Drinkwater, 1895. A steamer can be seen in the foreground, reputedly going from Fatfield to Sunderland every summer. As per the previous painting a figure can be seen at the cottage. A small rowing boat is at the front of the cottage, signifying a potential ferry crossing.

Retrieved from raggyspelk


Photograph of the Orchard Cottage, 1900s. A small used footpath can be seen leading to the cottage. As the path seems heavily used it is likely this was the main path towards Cox Green from Hylton, and potentially to the ferry crossing at the cottage. The golf course is to the left, and some golfers can be faintly seen. The scene is vastly different today as shrubbery and woodland have overgrown the area.

Retrieved from raggyspelk

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