Old Images of Ryton, North East England

Categorised as Tyne & Wear
Old photo of the village green at Ryton, taken around 1910
Old photo of the village green at Ryton, taken around 1910. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries' Collections/Flikr.

Gimpse history through old images of Ryton, in North East England.

Ryton’s economy was built upon agriculture and coal mining, with the first known records of coal being shipped to London dating back to 1367.

With the rise of the Industrial Revolution, it became a popular location for those looking to escape to a cleaner and more pleasant environment, yet within easy reach of the urban areas.

Holy Cross Church

Holy Cross Church in Ryton was completed around 1220, and is today a Grade I listed building.

It has a striking 13th century broad spire, and inside the church is found a 13th century marble effigy of a deacon holding a book, made of Frosterly marble.

It was probably built on the site of the bailey in a Saxon motte and bailey castle, positioned close to the tidal ford across the River Tyne. Glaswegian soldiers may have been stationed here, during the occupation of Northumberland by King David of Scotland.

Old photo of Holy Cross Church in Ryton, taken in 1880
Old photo of Holy Cross Church in Ryton, taken in 1880. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.
Old photo of the interior of Holy Cross Church in Ryton, taken around 1910
Old photo of the interior of Holy Cross Church in Ryton, taken around 1910. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.
Old photo of Holy Cross Church in Ryton, taken around 1910
Old photo of Holy Cross Church in Ryton, taken around 1910. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.
Old photo of the River Tyne at Ryton
Old photo of the River Tyne at Ryton. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.

Holy Cross Rectory

Holy Cross Rectory was owned by the Holy Cross Church.

Originally a Bishop’s Palace, the house is built on an H-plan, with a medieval core and Queen Anne façade. The entrance is framed by a broken scrolled pediment from 1709, within which are set the arms of Bishop Lord Crewe. He was the last Prince Bishop, with news of his excesses having reached the ears of a displeased Queen Anne.

The two carved stone crosses at the apex of the gables are dated 1710 and the chimney stacks are of a rare octagonal design.

Inside, are an elaborate Baroque oak staircase, handsome wainscotting and exquisite scrolled door casings, folding shutters, and 15th-century stone mullion windows to the rear of the house.

The Grade II listed house was divided in two during the latter 20th century, with the principal rooms incorporated into The Old Rectory. Rectory House was the smaller property, created out of the original service areas and stable block.

Old photo of Ryton Rectory, taken around 1910
Old photo of Ryton Rectory, taken around 1910. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.

The Village Cross

In 1795, a village cross was erected in Ryton by Thomas Chancer, a well known local mason.

It is believed the site once held an older cross, because Ryton cross was used for preaching by Charles Wesley in October 1742, and by John Wesley in June 1757.

Made of sandstone, the monument is Listed Grade II as a scheduled monument, being the focal point of the Ryton Hirings, the site where John and Charles Wesley preached, and an example of a community cross which were plentiful before the Reformation changed attitudes to such monuments.

The cross was conveninetly located on the village green, next to the public house, the church and churchyard, and close to the shops.

Old photo of Ye Old Cross Inn and the 1795 Village Cross in Ryton, taken around 1910
Old photo of Ye Old Cross Inn and the 1795 Village Cross in Ryton, taken around 1910. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.
Closeup of an old photo of Ye Old Cross Inn and the 1795 Village Cross in Ryton, taken around 1910
Closeup of an old photo of Ye Old Cross Inn and the 1795 Village Cross in Ryton, taken around 1910. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.
Old photo of the village green and cross at Ryton, taken around 1910
Old photo of the village green and cross at Ryton, taken around 1910. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.
Closeup of an old photo of the village green and cross at Ryton, taken around 1910
Closeup of an old photo of the village green and cross at Ryton, taken around 1910. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.
Old photo of the village green at Ryton, taken around 1910
Old photo of the village green at Ryton, taken around 1910. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.
Closeup of an old photo of the village green at Ryton, taken around 1910
Closeup of an old photo of the village green at Ryton, taken around 1910. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.
Closeup of an old photo of the village green at Ryton, taken around 1910
Closeup of an old photo of the village green at Ryton, taken around 1910. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.

Methodists

Ryton cross was used for preaching by Charles Wesley in October 1742, and by John Wesley in June 1757, so there have been Methodists in the village since it was a revival movement in the Church of England, and continued into the era when it became a separate denomination.

The Ryton Methodist Wesleyan Chapel was photographed around 1910 with a collection of women and children in front of it, possibly the Sunday School.

Old photo of the Ryton Methodist Wesleyan Chapel, taken around 1910, with a close up of what may have been the Sunday School class gathered outside
Old photo of the Ryton Methodist Wesleyan Chapel, taken around 1910, with a close up of what may have been the Sunday School class gathered outside. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.

Ryton Post Office

This photograph from around 1910 shows the post office located in a portion of the Grocery and Confectioner’s shop owned by J.A. Thomson.

Old photo of Ryton Post Office and Grocers, taken around 1910, with a close up of the shop window
Old photo of Ryton Post Office and Grocers, taken around 1910, with a close up of the shop window. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.

Ryton Hotel

The Ryton Hotel’s large building still remains, although by September 2016 the property was empty. Permission was granted to turn it into three two-bed apartments and three ground-floor retail units, supported by the North East Property Fund.

Old photo of the Ryton Hotel and the water fountain outside, taken around 1900
Old photo of the Ryton Hotel and the water fountain outside, taken around 1900. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.
Old photo of the Ryton Hotel and the water fountain outside, taken around 1900
Old photo of the Ryton Hotel and the water fountain outside, taken around 1900. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.
Closeup of the old photo of the Ryton Hotel, showing the shops and homes in the street behind the hotel taken around 1900
Closeup of the old photo of the Ryton Hotel, showing the shops and homes in the street behind the hotel taken around 1900. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.

Ryton Willows

Ryton Willows is a popular leisure area today, with walkers, dog owners, cyclists, runners and families all enjoying the open space next to the River Tyne.

Back in the Edwardian era, the Willows also hosted a mini fairground, with ‘shuggy boats’, roundabouts, and a cafe.

Old photo postcard of the Ryton Willows Fairground around 1910
Old photo postcard of the Ryton Willows Fairground around 1910. Thanks to Mark Crombie on Flikr.

Ryton Centenary 1963

Ryton Urban District Council celebrated its centenary in 1963, which included special events and a grand parade, filmed by local resident Jack Teasdale.

Includes hundreds of local people, with images clear enough to recognise anyone you ay have known. Also several homes in the background.

Ryton Centenary 1963 – BlaydonAces on YouTube


The 1990s

As this photo from the 1990s shows, bedding plants were the cornerstone of public places. I’ve added a closeup because the Ryton Hotel is in the background, 80 years later than the photo of the same establishment shown further up this page.

Old photo of Ryton, taken in the 1990s
Old photo of Ryton, taken in the 1990s. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.
Old photo of Ryton, taken in the 1990s
Old photo of Ryton, taken in the 1990s. From the archives of the Newcastle Libraries’ Collections/Flikr.

Jonas Brothers

Thorpe Academy is named after Charles Thorpe, the Rector of Holy Cross Church, who established a ‘penny bank’ for low income households in 1815 in Ryton’s White House, and later became the Archdeacon of Durham and then the first warden of the University of Durham.

He was also a conservationist, who planted Ryton’s churchyard with oak, sweet chestnut and beech trees, and arranged for his family to buy the Farne Islands, employing a wildlife warden to protect threatened bird species.

On 18th November 2009, Jonas Brothers performed at Ryton Comprehensive (now Thorpe Academy).

This is a quick clip of them signing autographs.

Meeting the Jonas Brothers at Ryton Comprehensive School in Gateshead 18/11/09 – CharlotteMay25

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