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Kitchen Garden Wall and Garden House at St Cuthbert's College, Ushaw

A Grade II Listed Building in Esh, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.7896 / 54°47'22"N

Longitude: -1.6566 / 1°39'23"W

OS Eastings: 422181

OS Northings: 543914

OS Grid: NZ221439

Mapcode National: GBR JFW1.4V

Mapcode Global: WHC4H.JWC2

Entry Name: Kitchen Garden Wall and Garden House at St Cuthbert's College, Ushaw

Listing Date: 24 June 1987

Last Amended: 9 January 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1116419

English Heritage Legacy ID: 350533

Location: Esh, County Durham, DH7

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Esh

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Esh and Hamsteels

Church of England Diocese: Durham

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Garden wall and garden house dated 1864.


Garden wall and garden house, incorporating part of bounds wall. Dated 1864 over door.

Materials: coursed sandstone rubble with ashlar copings and dressings; garden house roof of large Welsh slates.

Plan: rectangular-plan garden wall; west wall attached to ball court (q.v.).

West wall has chamfered segmental vehicle entrance with double boarded doors; low-relief date panel above arch; pedestrian door at right in same style; flat stone coping. Other walls have roll-moulded coping. Garden house at north-west corner two storeys, one bay, has doorway in east wall, and cross windows with glazing bars on garden fronts; similar windows in half-dormers in high pyramidal roof with north chimney and lead finial.

Interior of garden house not inspected.


St Cuthbert's College was opened in 1808 to serve as the Catholic diocesan seminary for the Northern District. It continued a lineage of training for the English priesthood established at Douai, France by Cardinal William Allen following Elizabeth I's Protestant Religious Settlement of 1559; its students and professors having been driven out by the French Revolution. The early buildings by James Taylor of Islington were formed around a courtyard with its final, west range completed in 1819. However, the middle years of the century saw Catholic ambition and confidence burgeoning after the Emancipation Act (1829), the arrival of Oxford Movement converts, the Irish immigration and the Restoration of the Catholic Hierarchy (1850). Both lay boys and "church students" were taught the faith according to the requirements for diocesan seminaries, laid down at the Council of Trent (1545-63). This was reflected in the college's remarkable expansion led by its 5th President, Monsignor Charles Newsham (1937-63). Newsham brought Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, Joseph and Charles Hansom and Edward Welby Pugin to build or rebuild chapels, the Exhibition Hall, the library, the Junior House, the museum, the infirmary, the laundry, the kitchens, the laboratory, the Bounds walls, the farm, the cemetery cloister and to carry out numerous alterations and additions to the existing buildings. The construction of the kitchen garden was part of this expansion, intended to increase the college's level of self-sufficiency.

The reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-5) to the formation of Catholic priests placed an increased emphasis on contact with communities and starting training later. As a result Ushaw experienced a sharp drop in numbers but developed strong links with the University of Durham, providing degree courses accredited by the University. The Junior College closed in 1973 and the college itself closed in 2011 although proposals are being developed for new uses related to Catholic education. As a result the garden is now uncultivated.

Reasons for Listing

This walled garden and garden house dated 1864 is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: this is a large walled garden with an arched entrance and a small Gothic garden house;
* Historic interest: the large scale of the walled garden was intended to help the college be self-sufficient, an aspiration which has been partly attributed to its character as a Catholic seminary;
* Group value: the walled garden forms part of the complex of listed buildings at St Cuthbert's College, Ushaw.

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