Dunston - Old Asylum
A Mr. J.E. Wilkinson established the Asylum in 1830 and Cornelius Garbutt took over in 1852. In 1865 his son William took control and remained at the helm until its closure in 1900. Dunston Asylum was considered to be one of the best in the country and had several influential inmates. Its recovery rate was well above the average and its peaceful and attractive setting must have been a great factor in its success.
Dunston Lodge was formerly held by the Marley family. It was an old mansion on Dunston Road. The estate of eighty five acres included a farm and gardens.
By the early 1920s the estate had become a market garden run by the Kennedy family. Only a small part of the house remained suitable for habitation.
An illustrated letter heading advertising the Asylum as, "For the recovery of the insane" which dates from Wilkinson's time shows the Lodge as an impressive house with a frontage of six bays and quite a stately door surround.
Together with Dunston Hill, Redheugh Hall and Farnacres it must have been one of the grand houses of this part of our area.
Dunston Lodge and a Petrol Station now stand on the site.
I think Dunston Fire brigade station stood on this site too at some later time, does anyone know of anything about the fire station, e.g. its station number was it B14 ?
Posted by: Ken at January 5, 2009 1:48 AM
Yes I am the owner of Dunston service station. I can remember Dunston fire station which was a corrugated building which was pulled down by Catterick Bros and rebuilt to a petrol station by several of their freinds. I worked for Catterick Bros from leaving school. The fire station moved to Swalwell which has now been pulled down and has now been rebuilt with another new one. I think Dunston fire station was pulled down approx. 1969/1970.
Dave Cummings Tudor Rose Dunston
Posted by: david Cummings at June 22, 2009 12:10 AM
My Great Grandmother died at Dunston Lodge in 1888, 17 days after the birth of my Grandfather. Do you know if there are any records in existance for the Lodge at the time that may explain why she was in the asylum.
Posted by: Colin Sweet at March 4, 2010 10:25 PM
We have no information about those asylum records and unfortunately have no idea whether any such records still exist.
Posted by: Whickham Web Wanderers at March 5, 2010 10:17 AM
My Gt. Gt. Grandmother died 4th May 1846 at Dunston Lodge Asylum her death cert. gives as the cause of death as Puerperal Insanity Exhaustion 3 Months certified. Puerperal Insanity is today called Post Natal Depression.
She had given birth to a son on 24th December 1845 but prior to that on 12th December 1845 and again on 3rd January 1846 two of her other children died, 1 aged 4yrs and the other 21 months, of what today we call Scarlet Fever.
She must have been frantic to keep the new born baby from catching the disease too but he grew up to go to sea as an apprentice on board his father's ship.
Perhaps Colins ancestor died of a similar thing, he says she died 17 days after giving birth.
Dunston Lodge Asylum was well known, apparently, for it's cures of the insane.
Posted by: Jenny at June 26, 2011 1:09 PM
My paternal Gt Gt Grandmother was Mary Ann Garbutt b.1821, she was the daughter of Cornelious Garbutt who was born Seanour Yorkshire and married to Isabella Gustard. Mary married Watson Walker baptised 9 Feb. 1812 St Mary's Gateshead and was a mason. My great grandfather was John Thomas Walker b. 1845 Gateshead and my father was Cornelious Garbutt Walker b.1914 Victoria Terrace Tyneside. His father & my grandfather was also Cornelious Garbutt Walker b. 17 Feb 1880 Gilesgate Bank Hexham.My father and his mother, stepfather Jack Clements and sister Irene all emigrated to NZ in about 1926 to live in Taranaki.
Posted by: Bruce Y Walker at March 2, 2013 3:35 AM