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Boldon House

Boldon House, a Grade II listed building, was constructed in 1760 and refurbished in 1790, probably after a fire.  It is built on a square, with a fa├žade of Flemish bonded brick, the remaining three sides of local stone, with a roof of Welsh slate.  It overlooks the space where the original Front Street was much wider than it is now, and which was probably the village green.  The house is said to have been built for a lawyer, and had the advantage of accessibility from and to both Tyneside and Wearside.

In 1840 a brick-built extension was added, designed by the Newcastle architect, John Dobson, adding an extra bedroom (making a total of 7) and a panelled study on the ground floor, extending the living room by some 10 feet and incorporating three large stone surrounded sash windows overlooking the garden.

During the war years and until 1956 Boldon House was divided into flats.  It is still classed by the Post Office as number 66, 68 and 70, Front Street and the ghostly outline of an extra front door can still be discerned behind the clematis next to no. 64.  In 1954 one of the tenants of these flats was one Henry Smart Short, the Sunderland shipyard owner.  He was so impressed by the house and its history that he vowed to restore it to its original state.  Consequently, in 1956 he purchased the property, reconverted it into a family dwelling house and boarded up the servants' stairs, which remain boarded up to this day.

Features of the house include the original Georgian pillared entrance, three Adam-designed fireplaces, a large vaulted Adam-designed window, deep finely carved plaster cornices in the reception rooms, the original polished timber floorboards in the dining room, a large 3-roomed cellar and outside, a small orchard, a Victorian ornamental pond, a large tennis/croquet lawn and a terrace of Nenthead stone.

Our thanks are due to Mr Donald Graham, the present owner of  Boldon House, for giving his kind permission to describe his home on the site.

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