12 thoughts on “Darlington Road, Hartburn c1900

  1. Good day. I am writing a book about the history of haunted Halls of North Yorkshire and I am focusing on three from the Teesside area. Does anyone know of any sighting story at these locations or other that I have not listed that are NOT on the internet and hopefully can be researched eg names, dates etc. Does not matter if not as nothing make better than a good old haunting or ghost tails
    Preston Hall, Kiora Hall, Hartburn lodge…Does anyone know of any other Halls or stately homes please?
    If you have any stories, please get in touch via Picture Stockton and they will pass along my email address. Kind regards.


  2. Elmwood was indeed a family home before it became a Community Centre. The property was built in 1873 for a Mr Lewis Dodshon, head of one of Stockton”s largest wholesale grocercy houses. Lewis Dodshon”s wife died in 1881 aged just 33 and he found the house too large and moved out one year later. The property stood empty for several years until Stockton shipbuilder Mountjoy Pearse (of Pearse, Lockwood & Co.) moved into the house in 1885. In 1889 Elmwood became the home of the Spence family. First Henry Grant Spence then after his death his son Col. Gilbert Omerod Spence lived there ultil 1922. Colonel Spence was tragicly killed in 1925 while driving his car down Leven Bank towards Yarm, ironically with his chauffeur as passenger. The car struck a large stone, obscured by a heavy fall of snow, and overturned. In 1926 Elmwood became the home of Col. H E Kitching and family after he retired from the army. Col. Kitching”s former batman, Wilfred Young, became his chauffeur and lived with his wife and three daughters in the gatehouse by the main gate. One of My Young”s daughters, Muriel, later found fame in television. Many (mature readers!) will remember her as “Aunty Mu” presenting the long running ITV children”s programme “Five O”Clock Club”. Col. Kitching moved from Elmwood just as the Second World War broke out. During the war years the property was used by ICI (Fertilizer & Synthetic Products) as a research unit. By 1952 Elmwood was being used to accommodate three classes of the overcrowded Hartburn Junior school. Throughout 1952 alterations were undertaken to convert the property into Stockton”s first Youth and Community centre. In November 1952 the “North-Eastern Weekly News” reported that many rooms have been set aside for adult education including arts & crafts, metalwork and pottery etc. The stables were to be converted into a den for Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. The newspaper report went on to say, “Ultimely, tennis courts and a bowling green are planned, though when these amenities will be available remains to be seen”. These amenities never materilaised. The Community Centre was officially opened in 1953. During the 1980″s celebrations were held at Elmwood to mark the hundreth birthday of the houde, but by then the house was well past it”s centennial year! It has been written that Elmwood is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a young servant girl who hanged herself in one of the rooms. However no one who works at the house has ever seen a ghost or heard anything unusual. It is not known how this story originated so it cannot be confirmed. Condensed from my research on Elmwood (and several other large properties in Hartburn).


  3. Cliff, not really sure of name, can just remember walking from Fairfield to this big house in Hartnurn, with a gravel drive and many rooms, all full of babies.


  4. Mary – if you are asking about the building that is now the Elmwood Community Centre, then it was being run as a community centre back in the 1960s. I think it was then the responsibility of the Hartburn Residents Association, although I don`t know who runs it these days.


  5. Elm Wood House. Home of the Dodshon Family from 1870,Corn and seed merchants from their warehouse in West Row row, (now part of Regency-Mews) Elmwood had both tennis court and croquet-lawn to the south and west. The kitchen wing, laundry-room and carriage-house is still “in situ”. The Dodshon family donated a drinking fountain, which initial was located in the High St. 1878, then to Ropner Park 1892, now back in the High Street nr Marks & Spencer. In 1992 a Colonel Spence, owner in the 1920s, bequeathed his magnificent collection of arms and armour to Stockton Council, now on display in Preston-Park Museum


  6. Does anyone know the history of Elmwood Community Centre? I”m just curious to know approx when it was built, and if it was a family home at first.


  7. The Dodshon family name is still carried in Stockton. A Drinking fountain for Man, Horse and Dog erected by the Dodsun family stood near the Shambles.1878-1892 Moved to Ropner Park (East side) 1892-1992,it was returned to the High Street , outside Marks & Spencer, after pedestrinisation 1992.


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