Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Swarland Park Northumberland. The lost Carr house.

Swarland Park was built for Davison Richard Grieve (high sheriff of Northumberland in 1788) in 1765 by the architect John Carr of York in the classical style. He had made his fortune as a merchant and shipowner on the Canada trade route during the American war of independence. The house was simple in style, stuccoed and using the doric order. The main portico faced SE across extensive parkland with trees arranged to represent the British fleet positions during the battle of Aboukir Bay against the French Fleet in 1798. This arrangement and an obelisk memorial to Nelson erected in 1807 were commissioned by the owner Alexander Davison (1750-1829) who purchased the hall on the death of Davison in 1795. He found himself imprisoned a year later, found guilty of fraudulent activity while organising government supplies. His family survived this episode and the hall remained with them until 1874 when it came under the ownership of a coal mine owner previously of Felton Hall, Hugh Andrews. Following a number of exchanged ownerships which saw the house become a miners’ hostel in 1922, the building was considered economically unsustainable and demolished in 1933 to make way for a settlement to provide employment for tradesmen from Tyneside. Swarland Hall Cottage still exists having been built in the late C19th to act as an electricity generating house for the hall. It was in operation not long after electricity was famously installed for the first time at nearby Cragside House in the 1870s.

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