The Renaissance and Early Modern Period

The Will of George Blakiston which details Farnton Hall

After Monastic Granges were dismantled and their estates forced into private ownership, Farnton Hall came into the possession of a local landowner known as George Blakiston, who died in 1571 during the Elizabethan Era. A copy of his will, whereby he bestows the estate upon his son John is available in the public domain (see above).

The Blakistons were previously associated with the land 200 years previously in the mid 14th century and also at a given point possessed Washington old hall, an estate which would become the ancestral home of the U.S President George Washington.

Later, Queen Elizabeth I granted the land to Sir John Forster, a military commander who engaged in a series of battles against the Scots and quashed a rebellion by earls in Northumbria. During the late 16th century, a servant who worked at the hall, simply titled as “John” was executed in 1596. His crime remains unclear. The following year in 1597, records show a new manor was built on the land on what is now Anthony Road.

Research from Leeds Trinity University reveals that during the English Civil War, Scottish soldiers took up camp at Farringdon Hall having crossed the south side of the River Wear in preparation for the Battle of Boldon Hill. However, no other available sources have been found to verify this claim.

By the end of 16th century Farnton passed into the hands of another landowning family known as the Peppers who originated from Richmond, North Yorkshire. In this period records show that a Yeoman owed rent to the hall known as Robert Huntlie, who died in 1622 and the expenses were set out in his will.

The Peppers owned Farringdon for over 100 years until in 1721 until it was granted to Esquire of Newcastle John Cuthbert. In 1764 it was then given to James Donnison of Sunderland, who gave it to Reverend Watson Stote, who then in 1801 granted it to Anthony Hopper of Silksworth.

However, as time went by Britain was changing. Around the corner lay an enormous upheaval in social and economic life which would obsolete the need for manor based settlements such as Farringdon… Read about the estate in the 19th century here.

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