Washington Old Hall~July 2016 part 3

Part 1.  Part 2.

 

Technically speaking these shots are from the Holy Trinity church right next door to the hall, but we did it on the same day so I’ve chucked it in with the Hall report. 🙂

The History Bit

Holy Trinity Church is known locally as the ‘Church on the hill’ and has been central to Washington’s large parish for centuries. The oval mound on which it stands, once within a rounded enclosure, suggests the re-use of a pagan site. Rounded churchyards usually have Celtic origins. Unfortunately the Domesday Book (1086-7) excludes places north of the Tees and because of this the church’s earliest documents belong to the 12th century. In 1112 the area around the church was mentioned as being part of Bishop Rannulf Flambard’s lands. Again it is mentioned in 1149 as being part of Bishop William of St Barbe’s estates. The next bishop, Hugh of Le Puiset (1153 – 1195) decided to re-organise his estates. In one of the areas to be changed he required more land to build a castle and to make a new borough. This area was known at the time as Stockton and Hartburn and was held by William of Hartburn. William exchanged his lands and by 1180 William had settled in his new lands and was known as “de Wessington” from which the name Washington derives.

Some really old graves to be found

and also some new ones

theres always a spider

We did go inside..

In 1832 the old church was demolished and, sadly, it is likely that many historic objects disappeared. This included the Saxon (or early Norman font). However, fortunately, the font was later found, being used as a water trough, and returned to the church where it still stands.

and that’s the end of our day out in Washington. (UK…Not where Trump works 😀 😀 )

(info @ http://www.holytrinitywashington.org.uk)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fraggle Report~ Washington Old Hall ~July 2016 ~part 1

It was a lovely day when Sophie and I went to visit Washington Old Hall which has a (tenuous) link to the 1st President of the USA, George Washington, I say tenuous as it is his ancestral home, but way back!

The History Bit

William de Hertburne, an ancestor of George Washington, assumed tenancy of the Wessyngtonlands from the Bishop of Durham for an annual fee of £4. Soon after, he changed his name to William de Wessyngton (later Washington). Although he used the Norman French spelling the estate is of Anglo-Saxon (specifically Anglic) origin, originally being “Hwæssaingatūn”, meaning “estates of the descendents of Hwæssa” (Hwæssa being rendered Wassa in Modern English). In 1613 the Washington family moved south to Sulgrave Manor, and the manor was sold to the Bishop William James of Durham and lived in by his grandson William.

The Hall continued to be used as a residence until the 19th century, when it became tenement flats and gradually fell into disrepair. In 1936 the building was declared unfit for human habitation, and was rescued from demolition by Fred Hill, a local teacher, who created what is now the “Friends of the Old Hall” to press for restoration of the building. Preservation work stopped during World War II, but was completed in 1955. In 1957 the National Trust assumed responsibility for the building.

As a result of these historic ties, Washington, D.C., and City of Sunderland have announced a “friendship agreement,” hoping to create cultural and economic ties with one another. (Typical Mackem’s trying to be cultured & cashing in on it!)

The Wessyngton (Washington) Family had not owned Washington Old Hall since the early 15th century when Sir William Mallory married Dionysia Tempest, the last Wessyngton heir at the Hall. Dionysia was daughter of Sir William Tempest and his cousin, Eleanor Wessyngton. The sale in 1613 was by Sir John Mallory and Anna Eure, investors in the Virginia charter; Sir John Mallory having been a descendant of Sir William Mallory and Dionysia Tempest.

The Hall

 

The ground floor presents a home in the 17th century when Washington was in the hands of the James family. There were extensive renovations made to the hall during this time and was most likely at its grandest when this work was completed.

 

 

The hall is now run by the National Trust, their website and info is HERE

More to come of course 🙂