18 thoughts on “A flood at Browns Bridge, Stockton c1890

  1. Intrigued by this puzzle I had my maps and books out to take another look.
    If the picture is taken from the north side of the bridge looking south it does fit.
    The pathway from the bridge is the bottom end of Bishopton Road and the curve near the top also fits. Newby Terrace was not built the large building on the left would be part of West Stockton Iron Works, the Steeple has me beat.
    Lustring beck fed Lustring house mill, that and Greys Cottage would be out of shot to the right, again it is to me a possibility although not proven. If this is so then Newby Terrace was built on a place they knew would flood, nothing changes.


  2. I cannot comment on the location of the photograph as I am not too familiar with that area of Stockton but I have looked through the various maps in the Album ‘The History of Stockton and Thornaby in Maps’ published by the Cleveland and Teesside Local History Society and have found some relevant information. A plan of the town dated 1826 (Map 5 in the Album) shows Bishopton Lane as ‘Brown’s Bridge Lane’. The map presented to Parliament in 1827 to promote the building of the Clarence Railway (Map 7) includes a Branch Line to Stockton which terminated at ‘Brown’s Bridge’ (later amended and re-located to the north as the North Shore Branch). A plan taken from the Ordnance Survey and dated 1837 (Map 8) shows the Lustrum Beck as ‘Hartburn Beck’. The present Oxbridge Lane is titled ‘Lower Road from Bishopton, crossing Hartburn Beck at the ‘Ox Bridge’, while a continuation of the present Dovecote Sreet is marked as ‘Higher Road’ from Bishopton.


  3. This photo has me well and truly stumped, I’m still looking…

    I think I have it, the view is looking up towards Lustrum Hall, that tree in the front – we used it for a swing, must admit I fell in the beck a couple of times coming off the swing. Also I saw a lamp post where I think the bridge is…


  4. Quite a puzzle, there are two Chapels that could have spires if the picture is looking North, they are in Durham Road Burial Ground one was the Mortuary Chapel C of E and the other Nonconformist.
    The buildings to the left again looking North would then be Newham Grange a country house and quite substantial.
    Browns Bridge has Bishopton Lane on one side then a marked path that leads to Newham Grange although no obvious bend is shown on my maps. The lights would be Gas lit by the lamp man as ours were up to the war and for a little time after. We have to remember people walked in those days and the Sunday Evening stroll was still going strong in my youth, a walk out of town after church on a balmy summers night would be a pleasant interlude.
    I cannot say if my musings are correct so throwing in a few more maybes.


  5. It is the buildings on the left hand side that are the ‘fly in the ointment’ here. I’ve checked the Ord.Survey maps back to the 1860s and NO buildings occur on that side of the road looking from the corner, (almost at the foot of Green Lane which lead to Newham Grange Farm where the Methodist Sunday School/ Butterwick Hospice later stood), toward Stockton. I’ve also done a Google ‘Streetview’ from that very spot.

    There were buildings on the other side of the road (about where the row-boat shown) adjacent to Lustering Beck, namely Lustering House and the ‘Old Mill’. There is also a mass of trees/bushes indicated on the maps, to the part of Bishopton Rd bank (as can be seen in the distance) leading up to what became Newtown Corner at the junc. of Durham Rd. If we assume that location is correct, then the spire of Holy Trinity Church on Yarm Lane, is in exactly the right position on the horizon.

    We might then say that the ‘negative’, or ‘plate’ had been printed the wrong way round and we are looking at the distant bank being Green Lane, except Green Lane didn’t have a ‘bend’ in it as can be seen and there’s no church ‘spire’ anywhere in that direction.

    If this photo is circa1890 and as ‘Newby Terrace’ and Craggs & Samuel St’s (The New town) were not developed until the cusp of the 19th/20thC I’m wondering how the ‘streetlights’ shown to the bridge were powered, or why they existed so far out of Stockton town centre?


    • Does anyone have a date for when Lustrum Hall was built, that may dependant upon date, be an indicator of if this view is looking towards or away from Stockton.


      • John,

        I’d always thought of it as ‘Lustrum’ (House, Hall, or beck!), but the mid 19thC. OS maps show it as ‘Lustering’.


  6. The only view that can be in my mind and judging by any map I have of the time is that….
    the bridge railings would fit with the bridge now at Newtown school.. the road going up the hill could be Green Lane towards Newham Grange school. The spire in the distance? the only thing I can see on any map is the cemeterys.. or the fever hospital on Durham Road – there’s no church in that direction within that scale.

    So the image would have been taken from around no.70 ish? Bishopton Road – the school would be over the road at Wrensfield. When was the general dealers shop opened that stood next to the beck and is now a house?


    • There is a plaque on the bridge but I don’t know what it says from memory – can’t find out why it got its name – I’d guess maybe the builder of it? It may also not be the original name – they do change over time…


  7. Totally puzzled on this one! Is this photographed from the bank on Bishopton Lane, where Grays Road now stands, i.e. looking east across ‘the mighty’ Lustrum Beck toward the other bank leading up to the junction with Durham Road and Stockton Railway Station bridge? Which must make that the spire of the former Holy Trinity Church, on Yarm Lane to the r/h side, just seen in the distance above the rowing boat? Or am I in totally the wrong place?


    • I think I’ve got it Chris, the picture was taken from the bottom of Newtown Avenue at the junction with Bishopton Road, or where it would be in the future. The bridge railings can be seen, and the uphill track is surely what was to become Green lane. If this is the case, then the spire on the right, and the large building on the left remain a bit of a mystery.


      • I thought (though it’s a few years since I saw it) that Newtown School was built around 1876, which means that it should be on the right if the track leading up the hill is Green Lane…unless the photo is earlier than 1890’s….also, would have thought that the terraces of Castlereagh Road, etc would have started to appear by the 1890’s?


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