Hardwick Hall

This is a photograph of Norton Hardwick, otherwise known as Hardwick Hall. It is taken from a book, Durham at the Opening of the 20th Century. Contemporary biographies, published in 1906. The caption to the photograph reads Norton Hardwick, Stockton-on-Tees, Residence of J.I. Hopper, J.P. This large property was situated on Harrogate Lane, in seven acres of woodland, opposite the junction with Letch Lane. An Ordinance Survey map of 1889 shows the property was much smaller then and known simply as Hardwick House but by the time the 1898 Ordinance Survey map was published it was known as Hardwick Hall. John Ingledew Hopper (1842-1908) was a wire rope manufacturer in Thornaby, he moved into the property sometime between 1901 and 1906. The Stockton & Teesside Herald has a report of a Garden fete at Norton Hardwick Hall by kind permission of Mrs Hopper, September 1920. After the death of Mrs Hopper, the property was bought by ICI and they used it for many years as a training centre. The Hall was also the one time home of ICI Chairman, Lord Fleck. Hardwick Hall gave its name to the large council estate built behind it in the 1950s. In the mid 1980s, when ICI had no further use for the property, the house and the seven-acre site, came on the market and several builders were interested in the land. Stockton council tried to save the property, even contacting the Department of the Environment, but failed. Stockton development control officer Mike Leason said, ”Although the building was attractive it was not listed as being of architectural or historic interest”. Leech Homes (N.E.) bought the land, demolished the house and built a small housing estate on the site but they saved many of the mature trees which are still standing today. The Stockton Lodge elderly care home was also built on the site. There is another photograph on Picture Stockton which is wrongly titled Hardwick Hall. This photograph shows the large house on Darlington Back Lane, close to the junction with Harrogate Lane and next to the Mitre public house. Photograph and information courtesy of Brian Swales.

14 thoughts on “Hardwick Hall

  1. My 2GGrandmother was a servant in “Hardwick Lodge, Norton Hardwick, Durham” in the 1881 census. A solicitor, Robert Richmond and his young wife Jane were Heads of house, so prior to the Hopper residence, where would I find more information from this time period?

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  2. According to Medical Journal records pertaining to dentists, Hardwick House was home to my Great Grandfather and his family before they emigrated to South Africa in the 1920s. His name was Arthur Bertram Sibson.

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  3. Re. Garden Parties. My father (Ray Raw) helped organise the annual Garden Parties in the sixties at Hardwick Hall before they moved to St James Church. As a young boy it was great fun to wander through the hall and around the grounds. I also have memories of being chased by a game keeper in the mid sixties when sneaking into one of the ruined houses within the grounds.

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  4. Not saying you are wrong Brian, but was Hardwick Farm situtated along Darlington Back Lane between Salter”s Lane and Elmtree? This is on the 1961 OS 1″ map. The one I think you are saying about is Tithebarne Farm, although I”m not 100% sure on this. There was another farm situtated on the present North Tees Hospital site called High Newham.

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  5. Hardwick farm was situated on Harrogate Lane, roughly half way between Letch Lane and Scurfield Road (the entrance to Hardwick estate). Turning right out of Letch Lane, about two hundred yards along on the right hand side and alongside the road, you will notice an uncultivated area of rough grass and a few trees in the field. According to old maps this is where Hardwick farm once stood.

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  6. I have recently purchased several documents dated 1765 relating to Hardwick Farm. This must have covered the area of the Hardick House and the new housing estate and hospital. I would be grateful for any information on Hardwick Farm.

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  7. My dad was Keith Ingledew – born 1933 – worked for ICI for 25 yrs! I have some family folklore – my gg grandfather was a lead worker – crafted the pipework on Newcastle firestation. I would be so pleased to find anything out about my dad”s family! He died in 1986 when I was 23.

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  8. Kevin. The local Church St James had at least one garden party there I think about 1963. There is a picture I took there being processed at present to go on the site.

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  9. I remember my mother taking me to a garden party at Hardwick Hall in about 1962, when I would have been aged 6. I have no idea what the occasion was, and in fact this remains my only garden party experience, so far!

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  10. Such a shame that a beautiful building like this was left to be demolished. I remember in the 60s and living on harwick, we used to go and explore the woods around this hall. At the gateway on harrogate lane I remember there being a house maybe it was a gatekeepers home. We used to call it the haunted house. The local kids used to go oggy raiding for apples but always got chased.I seem to remember little buildings around the area possibly sheds. On opening one there was a man inside looked like he was hiding from someone. After that scare I dared not venture around them parts again.

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  11. John Ingledew Hopper was the son of an ironmaster and managing director of the family wire-rope making firm and the Tauplin Brattice Cloth & Linoleum Co. He married the eldest daughter of Castle Eden brewer William Nimmo. When Nimmo died in 1901 Hopper became chairman of Nimmo”s until his own death in 1908.

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