Update on Hebburn Vicarage wall plaque…
Posted by Barry Cram on February 12, 2020, 9:50 am
Hello folks, |
A while back, Barrie Mortimer posted an image on the board that he found on the Durham in Old Pictures Facebook website. Barrie contacted the lady that posted the image, though without response. My daughter is on Facebook, so also contacted the lady without any response.
To make doubly sure if the plaque was there or not, our invaluable resident photographer, James Goring, kindly visited Hebburn, last week and inspected the surrounding walls of both the St Oswalds church/old vicarage of St Oswalds Road, and the old former St Cuthberts vicarage, at Witty Avenue, and no plaque was evident.
These results were not a disappointment - quite the opposite - as James’ thorough search was very positive, important and informative, as it proves that the plaque is not presently at those 2 places:
Courtesy: James Goring.
Courtesy: James Goring.
Many thanks to James for travelling to Hebburn and taking the time and effort to search the vicarage walls and take photographs – this is very much appreciated.
On the same day that James e-mailed me his photographs, the lady from Facebook replied to my daughter about the vicarage plaque photograph that she had posted on the Durham in Old Pictures Facebook website; she said that the 1944 photograph came from and was taken by her late Father-in-law, and he normally took photographs of things about to fall down or get demolished; this would suggest that the plaque no longer exists and was removed shortly after the 1944 photograph was taken. The lady said that she would get back if she could find anything further on the image.
Later, while researching on the Internet I found the following information:
“In 1886, Colonel Ralph Carr Ellison altered the servants' quarters of Ellison Hall into a vestibule for the newly-converted St John's Church, on the north side of the hall. The hall's west wing became the vicarage. During this time the hall's tenant was Sir Herbert Rowell of the shipbuilders Hawthorn Leslie.”
As Ralph Ellison converted part of the hall into a vicarage in 1886, is it not possible that this is what is recorded on the plaque? Ralph Ellison 1886 = R. E. 86.
It could, as Mac (Cummings) cleverly pointed out be an R. Ellison of 1686, though I can’t see any significance with an R. Ellison to that date.
The lady on Facebook said that the plaque was in a vicarage wall, so the above information (R. E. 86) seems to fit with the opening of St Johns vicarage.
But, what does the ‘j 6’ indicate? Could it be ‘January’, ’June’ or ‘July’? The newspapers show that the foundation stone of the Church was laid 11 August 1886, though I can’t see a month in 1886 for when the vicarage opened - I have contacted Durham College about this and will let you know if they reply.
Maybe Stan Wears, our resident Architectural Ecclesiologist, could tell us whether, in his estimation, the stone plaque, by its design, and the form of its letters and numerals is from the 17th or 19th centuries.
The case is very much open and still being researched.