Iron and Steeds – The Stables of the Central Lodge

As work on the renovation of the Central Lodge draws to a close, I think this is a good time to reflect on one of my favourite rooms in the building and the changes which have occurred in it throughout the course of the project. This stable space has always been one of my favourite rooms in the building, in no small part due to just how many original features have survived within it.

Stable-Loose-Box-Central-Lodge-Middlesbrough-Stewart-Park-Bolckow-Vaughan-Horse-Equine-Askham-Bryan-College

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The Gustav Martens Dilemma

Before I talk about Gustav Martens, firstly I would like to introduce myself. My name is Vincent Graham and I am a Teesside University graduate, now employed by Askham Bryan College on their project to develop the Central Lodge buildings at Stewart Park. We are very fortunate to be working alongside Dr Joan Heggie, Research Fellow at Teesside University. Joan is a consultant to the Askham Bryan at Stewart Park project, offering her expertise from research she has carried out on local 19th century iron and steel industrialists and on John Ross, Architect of Feethams, Darlington.

The Central Lodge buildings are situated in an area which is microcosm of local history, being both the birthplace of James Cook as well as the site of the seat of power of one of Middlesbrough’s founding fathers, Henry Bolckow. It is then, extremely exciting for me to have been given the chance to be involved with this project. The estate buildings themselves and what remains of their original features, despite years of disrespect, are microcosms of history in and of themselves, incredible survivors of Middlesbrough’s past.

However there are many questions that need to be answered and just as many assertions that have been made about these buildings that need to be proven. Even down to what we know about who built them.

Durham County Advertiser (15 April, 1864)

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