Thursday 5th September 2013 -
Richard Meeres, Stephen Jones and
A small group of some 25 members arrived at Newham Hall with little or no comprehension of what a treat was awaiting us. We were welcomed by John Meeres, chairman of Ridsdale & Company Ltd, and introduced to Stephen Jones and Colin Flintoff, both employees who have dedicated much time and research to their ‘place of employment’. Stephen then gave us a short but extremely comprehensive introduction to the history of the house and surrounding estate, and effectively demonstrated the historic importance of the site as the only remaining Ironmaster’s home on Teesside as well as having been mentioned in the Domesday Book. This was followed by the group having been divided into two groups being shown around both outside and inside a property that has been kept as far as possible, bearing in mind it is a working environment , as an example of a late 19th century grand house suitable for the ownership of Jack Mills. The downstairs floor has many outstanding, original features of the period, (including a sympathetically renovated inlaid parquet floor) and the outside also retains evidence of the medieval moat! The location of the house within its surrounding parkland adds to a sense of timeless peace within a busy surburban sprawl.
It was hard to absorb all the information but I am sure I am joined by the rest of the group in expressing our gratitude for allowing us to visit and would recommend any who might have missed this opportunity to capture the next one!
The entrance to Newham Hall