Originally the home of a Henry Nicholson, the first record of the building appears in 1710 when it was surrendered by a John Mills together with the principal part of the stackyard to his son, John Mills. The Mills family were, at this time, prominent land and property owners in the village.
By 1757, East Farm was shown to be in the possession of a Henry Hudson Esq.
It is recorded that during the 1800s, whilst some wallpaper was being removed from a room in the farmhouse, a large oil painting was found on a stone above a chimney-piece. The painting was said to be in a ‘remarkable state of preservation’, and depicted a ruined castle on a hill surrounded by trees. Nothing further is known of this picture.
In another room, a romantic legend was found scratched on a glass window pane which read: ‘John Bennet, Margaret Hall, 1796 – Lovers’. Sadly nothing is known of this couple.
Between 1827 to sometime after 1841, the tenant of East Farm was recorded as an Ann Nixon, so that the farm for many years thereafter was locally referred to as ‘Nixon’s Farm’. A well which stood close to East Farm was known as ‘Nixon’s Well’ or ‘Nixon’s Pond’ and could be topped up and fed by diverting the water course running from the higher Cold Well. This pond was regularly used as the watering place for cattle and horses.
Another well which stood in a nearby field and known as the ‘Far Well’ was occasionally used when other water supplies failed.
Other tenant farmers over the years have included: Percival Wright (1851), Thomas Wright (1871), William Nesbit (1887), William Harrett (1889), John Nellis (1899), Henry James (1924).
The farmhouse was uninhabited during 1881, and the site was demolished and cleared in 1961 to make way for new housing on Percy Terrace under the name of Relton Place.
by Charlie Steel © 2011
Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, local historian Charlie Steel has lived almost all of his life in Monkseaton. His books “Monkseaton and Hillheads” and “Inns and Taverns of North Shields” are published by Tempus and are available in all good book shops.
All Charlie’s articles which are featured in Roundabout Monkseaton can also be found on his website www.monkseaton.info. Charlie also writes articles for Roundabout Tynemouth.
If you have any old pictures or photographs of Monkseaton that you would like to share then please e-mail Charlie at firstname.lastname@example.org.