Al Kirtley – Hamsterley Lodge
“You may recall we’ve had previous contact between your site and ours (www.theblacketts.com) and I wonder if you can help us.We’re trying to identify Hamsterley Lodge, which we’ve seen referred to as the home of William Robinson, whom we believe married Margaret Blackett at Hamsterley in 1765. I’ve seen your reference to an invitation by Mrs. and Miss White to a tea party at Hamsterley Lodge in1841 and I wonder if you can identify this property for us, e.g. what was the house for which it acted as a lodge? We’re pretty sure the references we’ve found relate to “your” Hamsterley and not the one near Ebchester that was the home of the Surtees family. Any help will be much appreciated.”
We wrote suggesting Hamsterley Lodge might be in the other Hamsterley: Hamsterley Lodge, and Mr Kirtley wrote:
“My reasons for thinking it’s not the other (Surtees) Hamsterley are:
1) the tea party invitation mentioned on your site (it’s a long way to go up to the other Hamsterley, and rather short notice for someone just invited for tea!)
2) a reference in the 1868/9 register of voters for the “southern” division of the county of Durham showing Hamsterley Lodge mentioned alongside Edge Knowle and Mayland Lea.
In addition, the descendant of William Robinson who contacted us believes that the Robinsons were based in Hamsterley by Bishop Auckland, and that several of their children were baptised there. It seems this William Robinson (who we think married Margaret Blackett in Hamsterley in 1765) was described variously as “gentleman of Hamsterley”, and “of Hamsterley Lodge”, and his 2nd wife, Johanna Robinson (daughter of Admiral High Cloberry Christian) was buried at Hamsterley in 1827. If he’s the one I think he is, his father would have been William Robinson, a mason of Hamsterley, so William junior would have gone up in the world a bit.”
Jonathan Peacock replied:
“I have just picked up your query about Hamsterly Lodge. People were confused because these days it is called just “The Lodge”, but great friends of ours live there. It lies on the south side of the road at the western end of the village. I am preparing a sort of village history including ancient ownership where I can identify it, and my entry for the owners/tenants is:
1827 William Robinson
1828 same (P&W dir)
1834 same (M&R)
1846 Thomas White, born 1805 (MI)
1876 Thomas White died 4th March (MI)
now David & Emma Gray”
Al and Jonathan are now in active communication and are following up on other aspects of Al’s family history. Al writes in his last email:
“I’m copying this to Derek at the Hamsterley site as my enquiry has paid off better than I could have expected and in no time at all.”
Al contributed the article on ‘The Blacketts‘.
Roger Gomersall writes:
“Having lived at ‘The Lodge’ for more than 20yrs., I may be able
to give your friend Al a few pointers. Firstly, there never was a ‘big house’
associated with The Lodge – one theory was that the house was the site of a
hunting lodge of the Prince Bishops of Durham, for as you know a great deal of
the land around here was their protected hunting ground.
The Lodge was sold in July 1929 by ALBERT JENNINGS of 12, Swinburn Road,
Darlington to Mrs ETHEL GUEST, wife of ROBERT SAMUEL GUEST, an antique dealer of
1, Thornhill Terrace, Sunderland – with some land in the village, for £700.
In May 1936 The Lodge and its land was sold to JOSEPH Marquis GREENWELL and
SARAH JANE GREENWELL for £700. Joseph died on 20 July 1942, his wife dying at
The Lodge on 13 December 1975. Probate was granted the following September and
later that month the house was sold to RICHARD HUGH CHAYTOR VAUX & KATHLEEN VAUX
for £33,500. The Lodge ‘horse field’ attached,was sold to SHEILA TURNBULL of
Pond House for £3500.
The Lodge was then sold to CHARLES ROGER GOMERSALL & DOROTHY GOMERSALL in June
1982, who later bought back its historically associated field, from Sheila
The house and its land was then sold to its current owners DAVID & EMMA GRAY in
Many Deeds & Wills pertaining to the house prior to 1929, had been held by
Solicitors ‘Hewitt, Brown- Humes and Hare [ now 'Hewitts'] & their existence
only became known to me and came into my possession in January 2002. They were
passed to Emma & David Gray some months after the sale in 2003. They could have
placed them with the County Record Office in Durham by now.
I am not aware of any other specific occupants of the house, but can confirm
that a WILLIAM ROBINSON, described as a Gentleman, lived there in 1826/8.”
If you can help with any information, please respond via the ‘Leave a Reply‘ box at the foot of the page.