Allerburn House

Built in 1863 for Dr. George Wilson, from plans by F. R. Wilson. Later owned by the Carr-Ellison family. Acquired by Health authority (probably c. 1960) as nurses home. Acquired by Council on re-organsation (1972-3) for £55,000. Now sold for conversion to multiple residential use.

Allerburn House was built in 1862/3 for George Wilson, Esq. M.D. and was designed by the architect and surveyor Frederick R. Wilson. It was built on a site called Allerburn Close, named after the Aller Burn, which runs at the side of Denwick Lane down to the Aln. In his History of Alnwick, George Tate described Allerburn House as a “beautiful mansion”.

Dr. Wilson lived at Allerburn House with his wife Rosa Isabella and daughter Rosa Robina for only six months. He died in November 1863. His wife died two days later and they were buried together in Alnwick Cemetery. The house was left to their only daughter.

Dr. Wilson was obviously a man of some means, although by 1862 he was semi-retired because of his health. He’d had a very successful practice in Alnwick, in partnership with his father, who died in 1856, aged 75.

Allerburn house was a substantial property, with five bedrooms. The two principal bedrooms had adjoining dressing rooms. Dr Wilson employed male and female servants, and the house was built with three water closets: one for the family, one for the maid servants, and one for the menservants. It also had a bathroom, and water was piped to the site from the end of Bondgate by means of a two inch pipe, laid by Alnwick and Canongate Local Board of Health, at Dr Wilson’s expense. Gas was also laid on, and it must have cost something to bring services to a site some distance from town.

Census returns for 1871 show Allerburn House was occupied by Isabel Ann Parker who was born in Africa, and who described herself as an annuitant.

She lived there with four daughters and a middle aged friend who formerly was a governess. They had four servants, a cook, a housekeeper, a parlour maid and kitchen maid, and also employed a gardener who lived in the lodge with his wife and two grand-daughters. Three of the daughters were still there in 1881. By then they were employing different servants.

By 1883 Allerburn House must have been owned by Thomas Tate, a local man who was born in Lesbury. In 1883 he gave notice to the Local Board of Health of his intention to build an earth closet in the garden, near the vinery. This was built by Thomas Robertson and Sons.

In 1886 plans were submitted by F. R. Wilson for an extension at Allerburn House for Mr. Tate. The extension was a servant’s hall with bedroom above, and this was built at the western end of Allerburn House, next to the kitchen.

Census returns for 1891 show Thomas Tate was then 55 years old, he describes himself as “living on his own means”. His wife, Sarah, was 39, they had one son and four daughters, the youngest of whom was only two. They employed a governess, and seven female servants, also a gardener who lived in the lodge with his wife and two young daughters.

In 1906 Marmaduke Temple Wilson, one of F. R. Wilson’s sons, submitted plans to Alnwick U.D.C. for an Earth Closet, and various agricultural buildings in the field to the north of Allerburn House, and these were described as “additions” for Allerburn.

By 1910 Thomas Tate had moved away, and Allerburn House came into the possession of the Carr-Ellisons. After WW-II it was sold to the Health Authority. In preparation for the formation of Alnwick District Council on 1st April 1974, Allerburn House was acquired from the Health Authority for £55,000.