|Albums > Heritage Open Days 2011 > 55- 57 Westgate Road|
|This was a great opportunity to see inside a building of historical importance that I had only seen from the outside before. Its the building at 55 to 57 Westgate Road, more or less opposite the old County Court building.|
Presently under renovation its owner have a web site that charts its history @ http://www.newcastle-arts-centre.co.uk/55_57_history.htm - well worth a read.
Dating from the 15th Century there have been numerous occupants of this building including:
* In the 1680's it was the home of an Irish Roman Catholic, Sir William Creagh, an Irish Roman Catholic who was made Mayor and Freeman of the Town by Royal decree.
* Between1716 and 1736 the building was used as an Assembly House and at the same time was a school, for young ladies. Interesting when you realise that this was before the Old Assembly Rooms were built over the road in Fenkle Street. It was as an Assembly Rooms that Charles Avison performed his first subscription concert and the building now has a City plaque to commemorate the event.
* Other occupants have been Lady Winsor who was a Colliery Owner, unusual for a period in time when women didn't even have the vote. Geoffrey Fawcett The Recorder of Newcastle also resided here at one stage.
* In the 1870's the building became the home to the Northumberland Club.
* The building was the birthplace of Sir William Hume in 1879. He was to become a leading heart specialist and father of Cardinal Basil Hume.
* The ground floor of the building was converted into a shop during the late 1880's when Henry Walker & Son took up residency. They were famous as inventors of the pneumatic cash transit system used extensively in early department stores.