“In Consequence of the Demolition of Haggerston Castle…”

by Arthur on Friday, December 18, 2009

in 19th-Century,Architecture

I. In Consequence of the Demolition of Haggerston Castle, Beal, Northumberland:  Illustrated Catalogue of the Most Expensive and Best Period Style Fixtures and Fittings, Metal, Materials and Fabric; Also Garden Ornaments, Balustrading, Paving, Sculptured Stone Figures, Fine Wrought Iron Gates, Etc. Etc.  II. Haggerston Castle, Beal, Northumberland: Catalogue of Four Days Sale.  III.  llustrated Particulars of Sale with Plans and Conditions of Sale of the Valuable Freehold Sporting, Manorial, Residential Estate, known as Haggerston Castle, covering in all about 1750 Acres, Etc. Etc.  [45871]

llustrated Particulars of Sale with Plans and Conditions of Sale of the Valuable Freehold Sporting, Manorial, Residential Estate, known as Haggerston Castle

Illustrated Particulars of Sale with Plans and Conditions of Sale of the Valuable Freehold Sporting, Manorial, Residential Estate, known as Haggerston Castle

On Saturday, the 3rd of May, 1930, C. D. Leyland attempted to sell his late father C. N. Leyland’s estate at auction, entrusting the sale to Ward Price & Co. The firm issued a small folio catalog describing the property in detail, including Haggerston Castle, a 150-room Italianate mansion replete with Georgian and Adams fireplaces and other desirable amenities.

The sale, unfortunately, was not a success.

Buyers may have been deterred by local legends that the house was cursed by witches and possibly haunted, a theory that several somewhat ghostly images from the catalog do little to discredit. Or perhaps the contemporaneous collapse of global financial markets had something to do with it.

The 1750-acre  property was not without attractions, which Ward Price & Co. meticulously documented in their prospectus, including a lake, parsonage, post office, and “practically the whole of the Village of Fenwick.”

The Barns

When he failed to find a buyer, Leyand made the decision to demolish the castle, liquidate its desirable architectural fittings and appliances, and parcel out the surrounding lands for development. Six months later Ward Price & Co. issued two additional catalogs — less lavishly illustrated and smaller in size than the first — describing in brief over 3,500 individual lots, including everything from the gardener’s stock of chrysanthemum plants and the kitchen linens to a massive oaken staircase and marble portals.

They document the contents of the Leyland estate in minutia, providing a window into the household economy of the lapsed Edwardian aristocracy, down to the particulars of its toilet.

The catalogs also contain a wealth of information about architectural details of Haggerston Castle, including an inventory of fireplaces, doors, portals, chandeliers, plumbing and other fixtures.

This second sale was successful.  After the dust had settled and buyers carted away their purchases, the land itself was sold in lots. Today, the site is largely tenanted by Haggerston Castle Holiday Park, a popular discount-rate summer residence & campsite.

Haggerston Castle Holiday Park

Haggerston Castle Holiday Park

Leyland and his predecessors would surely be horrified…

Evidence of the witches’ curse come true?

FAB Item I.D. # 45871.  Please contact us for price & availability.

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