N is for Newton

Newton HallNot the bloke who invented gravitas when he had an apple shot off his head while composing the theme tune for the Lone Ranger. This N is for Newton, a place not far from where I live.

There are quite a lot of Newtons in the world as you can see from this list on Wikipedia, or this even longer one at A Vision of Britain.

Its derivation doesn’t take too much working out either — New Town — which is paradoxical for the Newton in question because parts of it are extremely old.

The Wikipedia entry is brief: Newton is an area of Hyde, in Tameside, Greater Manchester, England. Originally a separate district in Cheshire, it was incorporated into Hyde in the 1930s, and occupies a narrow strip of land from the River Tame near Newton Hall to Matley, and lies between Hyde and Dukinfield.

What this doesn’t tell you is that Newton Hall pictured above is one of Britain’s earliest cruck-framed buildings. Carbon dating places its construction at around 1370 and it only survived because much later it was encased in a brick building as a barn for a local farmer.

It was being demolished in the 1960s and the original timber frame and historical significance was exposed. Local industrialist, Sir George Kenyon, stepped in to rescue the building and paid for its restoration.

The cruck blades are the building supports made from wind-swept oak which spring directly from the grounds and hold up the wattle and daub construction. Over 1,200 oak pegs were needed to complete the frame. You can see the blades in the photo, through the glass panel.

One buildings that didn’t survive the ravages of time was Newton Lodge shown right. Built in 1820, it was home to the Ashton family who were influential mill owners and one of the town’s main employers.

The family moved to Staffordshire in 1890 and in 1897 offered the lodge and its grounds to Hyde Corporation in 1897 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Thus it became Hyde Park and Newton Lodge survived for a while, but was demolished in 1938 and replaced by a new building called Bayley Hall.

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7 comments… Add yours
  • rog 20th April 2011

    ha, I thought it was named after the gravity guy.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  • Leslie 20th April 2011

    I think it’s criminal to tear buildings down just ‘cuz they’re old. That’s what I love about Europe – its old architecture! Here, if something is 50 years old, it has to be torn down for some new monstrous “modern” “thing.” What a wonderful history this building had!

    abcw team

  • Ankush 20th April 2011

    I Agree with Leslie, it is a crime to tear down old buildings. Specially cause they always bring about nostalgia.

    Sad that all of us don’t realize this and by the time we realize it’s too late.

  • Tumblewords 20th April 2011

    What a wonderful piece of history. Fascinating!

  • Mr Parrot 20th April 2011

    Thanks all. I doubt if a building such as the cruck barn would be demolished today, but it wasn’t so in the 1960s. We must be grateful for the likes of George Kenyon. Sadly not so for Newton Lodge.

  • Reader Wil 20th April 2011

    You make history a lot more interesting by mixing the gravitas Newton with Wilhelm Tell!! Lol.
    Thanks for your comment on my “enlightened despot”.BTW what is your nationality??

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