Shotley Hall

Shotley Hall is a fine example of High Victorian Neo-Gothic architecture with much of the original interior. It was designed by Edward Robson and built for Thomas Wilson in 1863. Robson had previously worked for John Dobson in Newcastle and for Sir George Gilbert Scott in London. While working for Dobson he had met some of the leading Pre Raphaelites, including William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. 

The interior contains some outstanding stained glass, tiles and other design elements, including ten stained glass windows, designed by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones and manufactured by Williams Morris’ firm. As a result, the Hall is classed as a Grade II* listed building.

Thomas Wilson was the son of John Wilson of Nent Hall and the family fortune was derived from lead and silver mining in the area. He married Elizabeth Cunard, of the famous shipping family, in 1868. The couple had no children and on Thomas’ death in 1880 the hall was left to his nephew, John Wilson Walton. A clause in the will required the nephew to change his name to include Wilson at all times, so he became John Walton-Wilson.

The original hall, later known as Derwent Dene, was built 100 yards further south, much closer to the river. It was built in the early 1700s in the Queen Anne style. The Wilson family purchased the estate in 1818 and Thomas Wilson lived there while the new Shotley Hall was being built. All that now remains of the old hall is the gatehouse, Derwent Dene Lodge, close to the bridge. It is believed that at one time it was occupied by a Dr Andrews, physician to the Duke of Cumberland (the “Butcher of Culloden”).

Shotley Hall is set back from the road in extensive private grounds. The gate lodge and gate piers mark the entrance and at one time the piers were surmounted by three figures by the sculptor John Graham Lough of Greenhead. Only Perseus holding the Gorgon’s head remains.

Have a look at the article in Consett Magazine by Brian Harrison.

There is also an article in the Chronicle about the inside of the hall.