Old Images of Fenham, Newcastle upon Tyne (+ Todds Nook & Arthur’s Hill)

old images of fenham

Enjoy a glimpse of history through old images of Fenham, Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Fenham 1880-1919

At the end of the 1800s, one part of Fenham was dominated by the estate of Fenham Hall, owned by the Blackett-Ord family, surrounded by fields and trees. The Georgian estate had been established for John Ord, the Mayor of Newcastle, with the hall completed in 1748, but wasn’t part of Fenham township until 1905.

The other parts of Fenham, including Arthur’s Hill and the Westgate area, were terraces for the workers in densely populated areas, surrounded by back alleys and industry. There were some streets with spacious middle class homes, too.

If you look carefully, you’ll notice both cows and horses appearing in several photos from this period.

The Sacret Heart Nuns purchased Fenham Hall in 1905, and opened the St Mary’s Training college for Catholic students and school for girls there. Their legacy lives on today, through the Sacret Heart Catholic High School.

Surprisingly, given what happened to the majority of large houses in and around Newcastle, Fenham Hall still stands today. The other estate buildings, and roads through the estate, would soon disappear.


Fenham in the 1920s

World War 1 ended in November 1918. Just over a year later saw the arrival of the 1920s, when fashion, music, transport, housing, society, and so much more was about to be transformed.


Fenham in the 1930s

By now, Two Ball Lonnen has changed beyond all recognition. Fenham Hall may still be standing, but the gates, lodges and Fenham Laundry have all disappeared.

It’s thought that the Blackett-Ord family, who had owned Fenham Hall, took the two balls from the gate columns and moved them to Whitfield Hall in Northumberland when they left Newcastle.

The fields and woods are rapidly making way for modern housing estates, expanding urban Fenham ever outwards.

Meanwhile, the authorities have assessed the Victorian terraces and buildings near the city centre and found them wanting for safe and acceptable habitation. Luckily, photographs were taken of the condemned buildings before the demolition teams received their orders, so we have a record of how these streets and properties looked.



Fenham & Arthur’s Hill in the 1950s


Fenham in the 1960s

Nuns Moor Park, Fenham 1960s – Newcastle Upon Tyne & UK – Video from the past (YouTube)

Back in the 1960s, Fenham Baths was a great place for kids to learn and play. Over the years the council closed the pool, then a community group tried to keep the facility going, but by 2019 the doors were forced to close permanently.

Fenham Baths 1968 – Newcastle Upon Tyne & UK – Video from the past (YouTube)

In 1969, local families came to greet the girl guides as they returned from camp.

Fenham Girl Guides 1969- Newcastle Upon Tyne & UK – Video from the past (YouTube)

These scenes of Fenham childhood from the 1960s & 70s includes a CND march.

Fenham Kids 1960s-70s – Newcastle Upon Tyne & UK – Video from the past (YouTube)


Fenham in the 1970s

Rutherford School Newcastle National Swim Champs 1975 – Ian Oliver

88 Fenham Hall Drive 1976 – Butterflies – Newcastle Upon Tyne & UK – Video from the past (YouTube)


Fenham in the 1980s

A cine camera captures glimpses of Fenham in 1983.

Fenham ’83 – David Rigg (YouTube)

These home movies from the mid 1980s were recorded in and around Fenham. Scenes include Fenham Hall Drive, Cedar Road, Hadrian Road, Bolbec Road, Newminster Road, Two Ball Lonnen, West Road, Nuns Moor, Cow Hill, and the Oven Door tea room.

Driving around Fenham in the 1980s – Newcastle Upon Tyne & UK – Video from the past (YouTube)

Fenham, Cow Hill & The Oven Door Tea Room 1985 – Newcastle Upon Tyne & UK – Video from the past (YouTube)

Fenham Hall Drive 1985 – Newcastle Upon Tyne & UK – Video from the past (YouTube)

Fenham mid-1980s (extended version) – Newcastle Upon Tyne & UK – Video from the past (YouTube)

Fenham – Newcastle Upon Tyne Mid-1980s – Newcastle Upon Tyne & UK – Video from the past (YouTube)

Nuns Moor 1985 – Newcastle Upon Tyne & UK – Video from the past (YouTube)


Fenham in the 1990s


The 21st Century

Fenham presented by youngsters in 2008.

Fenham Tours – pinpoint08 (YouTube)

Snow in Fenham, Newcastle 2010 – wkdmahfuz (YouTube)

A bike road from Wingrove Road to Newcastle University in 2011.

from Fenham to Newcastle University, by bike – Andres Emen (YouTube)

2014 saw the reopening of Fenham Library, in partnership with Newcastle City Council.

Fenham Library, Newcastle upon Tyne – YHNNewcastle (YouTube)


The History of Fenham

Mike Greatbatch is a well known and well respected historian on Tyneside.

In this short film created to complement the Discovery Museum’s 2013 ‘West end Stories’ exhibition, he talks about the history of Fenham.

West End Stories: Mike Greatbach – TWMuseums (YouTube)


Map of Fenham in 1917

This is an extract of the Boundary Commission map of 1917, showing Fenham, Arthur’s Hill, and the surrounding area.

I’ve added today’s Google map of the area so you can compare how building, development, and the decline of industry have changed the area.


Old Photos of Fenham & Arthur’s Hill

In the first video of old photos of Fenham and Arthur’s Hill from 1880 to 1949, you’ll see the two filial balls which gave Two Ball Lonnen their name, trams and horses on familiar roads, and the country lanes which became bustling roads and housing estates within fifty years.

Old Photos of Fenham and Arthur’s Hill – Part 1 (1880-1949) – Local History Videos on YouTube

In the second video, the old photos of Fenham and Arthur’s Hill taken between 1950 and 1997 show us many streets and homes which have long disappeared, as well as the buildings and facilities many of today’s adults remember from their childhood.

Old Photos of Fenham & Arthur’s Hill Part 2 (1950-1997) – Local History Videos on YouTube


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