In the Victorian era while Newcastle flourished, it was almost impossible to obtain countryside land in small quantities to reside upon and escape the pressures of industrial life. By coming together in the form of a co-operative however, likeminded people found that they could acquire various estates, not otherwise procurable, and divide them amongst the component purchasers at cost. Thus, towards the end of the nineteenth century a group of about twelve Newcastle businessmen formed the Northern Allotments Society for this purpose.
The property of Painshawfield, Batt House and Birches Nook Farms were first offered for sale by auction (along with Merryshields Farm) in April 1895. At a meeting of the Allotments Society at Lockert’s Café on 29th April, a delegation was appointed to attend the auction and ‘upon their own account to take whatever course appeared to them to be expedient’. Although the various lots were withdrawn at the auction, it was resolved at a meeting on 2nd May 1895 to offer £6,000 for lots 2 and 3 and put negotiations with the vendor in the hands of Newcastle solicitors, Messrs Clayton and Gibson.
On Friday 17th May, the purchase of the estate was effected at £5,900, including the value of the timber, with a date of possession of May 1896 and agreement that the vendor would compensate the tenants turned out by the sale.
At the first General Meeting of Owners held on 30th May 1895, 44 members were present and approved the Deed of Mutual Covenants with only minor amendments. This deed along with other historical documents related to the estate can be viewed under ‘documents’ on this website.
Also available are a number of historical photographs which have kindly been donated and show the development of the estate since its purchase 1895.
The book written by Robert M. Browell to commemorate the Centenary of the Painshawfield Estate is an excellent source of historical information, painstakingly researched and presented in a very concise manner along with many of the photographs contained on the website. This can be purchased by contacting the Estate Secretary whose contact details are listed in the footer below.