A not to be missed opportunity to purchase what can only be described as a unique family home. Situated adjoining the 16th century church of St Johns. Occupying a stunning setting amidst 3.5 acres of private grounds and surrounded by 25 acres of Park land, an oasis within a town which prides itself on its friendly pioneering spirit. The property as it stands today was rebuilt in 1790 using the stone from the original manor house (circa 16th century) as the home of the opulent and influential Carr Ellison family. Comprising originally of approx. eighty five rooms it has been the topic of great interest for many historians over the years as it is without a doubt the most prestigious surviving building in Hebburn. Being graced with a Grade II listed building specification the property has been thoughtfully and sympathetically restored with much of the restoration work being carried out in accordance with English Heritage guidelines replacing the Edwardian grandeur of a bygone era. On offer is a two storey cottage having the benefit of cellar which could be utilised for many purposes plus ground floor accommodation of the original manor house. Arguably the 'pick of the crop' within this bespoke development. Completion of this final phase brings the total dwellings of the West Wing to three (Two apartments located within the main building). This conversion has successfully combined classical elegance with country ambience and inevitably returns the dignity lost to this beautiful building. Freehold of the whole building has recently been acquired by our client with similar planning being proposed for the East Wing and out buildings (subject to necessary planning approvals). The intent is however, that the development of phase two will be done along parallel lines to phase one with the priority to keep dwellings to a minimum to enhance desirability. Although Hebburn has seen much expansion over the ten years it has managed to retain its warm community atmosphere. Easily accessible to all main transport routes via the A1 and A19 it also offers a good range of local shopping amenities, schools and being linked to the Metro system, in all makes Hebburn a very affordable and viable place to live. We strongly urge an early viewing of this exceptional family home to fully appreciate what perhaps may be one of the most sought after residential dwellings in South Tyneside

This copyright article and photographs are reproduced from the Shields Gazette article of 24 April 2001. The article is copied here for the benefit of ex-Hebburn folk who are now spread across the globe - particularly Colin in Australia, who once lived in the building. (Copyright Shields Gazette)
n.b. the article is scanned from a newspaper copy so there may be some minor transcription errors.

New Owners

The thought of living in a caravan for over a year and sharing your home with dozens at pigeons doesn’t appeal to everyone but this. Didn’t deter David and Sheila McKenna when they bought Hebburn Hall. Now after months of hard work to make a home the enterprising couple are ready to start again on another part of the building. Features editor CAROLINE SWORD went far a look round.

David has really got his dog to blame for buying Hebburn Hall. For it was while walking the alsatian that he watched the once magnificent building fall into disrepair. David said Sheila and I used to live not far from here and used to regularly walk past. I used to be so upset to see great holes appear in the roof where the tiles had been taken and doors vandalised and windows smashed.

David added; I used to imagine what the building had once looked like and think how wonderful it would be to restore it to its former glory.

David, who used to work as a coach builder, but now works as a night club bouncer in Whitley Bay, discussed his dream with his wife Sheila and when the property came on the market they decided to go for.

In order to buy Hebburn Hall the couple had to sell their former house in Victoria Road and live in a caravan in the grounds. David said "We couldn’t possibly move Into the hall because of the state it was in. You could see daylight through the roof where all the lead had been stolen and the pigeons had set up home in it. It had also been used by dossers and was regularly vandalised.

The first thing I had to do was build a new roof which cost thousands and took a long time but it was pointless doing anything else until that was sorted", David added: I managed to rig up electricity and water to the caravan so it was not too bad, but it was still pretty cold in the winter.

David and Sheila presently live in the West Wing of the hall which includes a cottage area with a cellar and the ground floor area of the original manor house. The couple have now put their home on the market for £225,000 and plan to start doing up the East wing of the building: The rest will he transformed into flats.

David said. "The next bit should be a lot easier because we have a much better idea of what we are doing this time. The hardest thing doing up the west wing was because it is a Grade II listed building so everything we did had to be approved by the English Heritage people.’

To replace the Edwardian grandeur of a bygone era took time and effort . In order to renew one of the staircases David visited an old Customs and Excise Building on the Newcastle Quayside to see how the stairs should look. He then hired workman to copy the staircase so it fitted-in properly with the house.

David said: "I think it is my attention to detail which has made the house look so good. Sheila and I have travelled all over the country find the right things for the house. The radiators are from an old hospital and a lot of the furniture is from abroad.

However, despite this the couple have also used items from IKEA and MFI to furnish the house.

David said: "I leave all the colours up to Sheila that is definitely her department".

The huge sitting room has a walk in bay window and period style "marblesque" fire surround. It is decorated in calming shades of pinks and creams and makes an ideal room to relax in.

The master bedroom is also huge and David and Sheila have made a feature with a fourposter bed. Sheila wanted a farm house type kitchen so David left the original Georgian wood panelling on the wails and added new beams to the ceiling. It has a stone effect tile floor and dark wood units.

The unusual bathroom has a sunken bath with Victorian style mixer tap / shower head and ceramic tiling on the walls. One of the most attractive features of the west wing is the hallway which is 77 foot long and classically decorated. Sheila chose a dark striped carpet to highlight the length of the room.

And if David and Sheila ‘want to hide from the world after a had day all they have to do is head for their huge cellar which with a Little work would make an excellent recording studio or den. David said: Some People do think we are mad for wanting to move into the east wing after spending so much time and money doing up the west wing but once it’s finished it will be bigger and give us more rooms.


David, who has two daughters and two sons, said I was an average DIY expert when I first started work on the west wing but now I am pretty good at turning my band to most things. One of the big advantages of dong the next part of the building is that I have all the contacts now and know who I can get in touch with to get things done properly.

David also plans to turn his hand to the beautiful grounds of Hebburn Hall where he is working on a large fish pond and water feature. He intends to create gravelled pathways with screened hedging, circular lawns, gazebo and decorative archways.

He said: "When you walk in the grounds you wouldn’t believe that you are in the middle of Hebburn. It is so peaceful and lovely I could never imagine living anywhere else.’