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“FREEVIEW AND WELL WORTH A VISIT!”

Bessie Surtees House
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Visitors can tour this beautiful mid 17th-century Tudor house, which is best known as the site of the romantic elopement in 1772 between Bessie Surtees and John Scott, the future Lord Chancellor of England.
Edinburgh, Scotland
Level Contributor
174 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“FREEVIEW AND WELL WORTH A VISIT!”
Reviewed August 3, 2013

On a walking tour round the historic city walls and quayside area of Newcastle last Thursday, two friends and myself discovered this little gem. The house dates back to around 1657 as can be seen on the chimneypiece of the first floor main room which bears the arms and initials of past owners Cock and Davison.

I am not going to spoil your research by telling the story of Bessie Surtees - all the information is there for the finding.

The main room is very large and bright, with a fantastic elaborate plaster ceiling, magnificent carved oak panelling, leaden lattice windows, creaky wooden floor and a trestle table and benches. It could have been used for conferences, meetings, meals, family gatherings, etc. in days gone by. It is said that Bessie eloped from one of the windows in this room - which would have been a fair jump unless she was somehow afforded a soft landing by her husband to be.

The adjoining room which is up a few stairs, is also very tastefully restored and overlooks an internal courtyard. This room too boasts some wonderfully carved oak panelling and a handsome fireplace. In between there is a 'reading room' where information is available regarding the history of the property and its many and varied occupants.

The whole building and its interior have been beautifully and sympathetically renewed and restored throughout down the years. English Heritage, the conservation group, has offices on the premises so, unfortunately, there is no access beyond the first floor.

The property is a landmark of some distinction and the friendly lady on duty was most helpful and informative.

The architecture in Newcastle is a diverse eclectic mix of ancient and modern, Elizabethan and Georgian. Newcastle is not a tourist trap but has an energy and vitality coupled with a progressive outlook all of its own which projects itself into the challenges of the modern age.

Bessie Surtees House is well worth a visit and I would certainly recommend it. OK some might say it's disappointing because you don't get to see around the whole building but, hey, it's free so who can complain about that?! Also, photography is allowed.

Sadly, due to the steep stairs, this historic site is not suitable for wheelchair access or the severely disabled.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank MadamZsaZsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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65 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Old Newcastle”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

An old house on the quayside, one of the few building to survive the great fire of Newcastle. If you like history this 16th century house is a must as there is a great deal of history inside. This area of Newcastle has been use from Roman times, when the first bridge was built over the river and was an important commercial area of Newcastle since the 16th century.
One of his tenants was Aubone Surtees, whose daughter Bessie is said to have eloped in 1772 from a first-floor window with John Scott, a coal merchant’s son. They ran away to Scotland where they were married (and were remarried in Newcastle after the families were reconciled). Scott eventually became a successful lawyer and, as Lord Eldon, Lord Chancellor of England.


Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Ronaldliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
łódż
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“disapointed”
Reviewed May 7, 2013

very dissapointed,only 2 wee rooms to see,top flor closed,nothing to see,couldn't find any staff to ask about house and history,mayby not right time(march) to visit.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank fugal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Part of newcastle history”
Reviewed January 4, 2013 via mobile

It's a free attraction, not many rooms open to the public but it is English heritages office. What rooms are open are full of information. Standing at the window watching the traffic going by, could stand there all day.

Helpful?
Thank alb1402
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Old Newcastle”
Reviewed August 29, 2012

A very interesting building with history. one of the few quay side buildings to survive the great Newcastle Fire. Well worth a visit.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Ronaldliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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