Celebrating Washington Old Hall

The seventeenth-century manor house, Washington Old Hall, Tyne & Wear

In 1956, Washington Old Hall came under the care of the National Trust. But its journey starts long before that and a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £9,500 helped us to celebrate this little gem's story.

Dating back to the 12th Century with a remodel in the 1600s, the hall was once home to Lords. By the 19th Century its purpose had dramtically changed and it housed nine families. Deteriorated to the point where it became unfit for human habitation. 

Almost in ruin, in 1933 it was closed – step forward Mr Fred Hill.

Fred Hill 1937
Fred Hill with a group of school boys looking at a derelict Washington Old Hall
Fred Hill 1937

Fred launched the Old Hall Preservation Committee to which a local industrialist donated £400. It was enough to enable the group to buy the property for £350 and start a restoration fund.

While the Second World War halted proceedings, in 1955 the hall was fit to be opened to the public for the first time. Saddly, Fred Hill died soon afterwards.

Present day, we invited you to share your memories of Washington Old Hall, and you didn't disappoint. Here, you can watch them in full. 

" I feel at home in here. Seven of us lived in here, so you can imagine what it was like."
- Stanley Bone, resident in No,5 Washington Old Hall in 1929
" She met Princess Anne, she met Jimmy Carter, she also met pop star Alice Cooper. Although she was a bit taken aback to find that Alice was a man."
- Duncan McKean, remembering Peggy's time at Washington Old Hall