The 18th - 19th Century Remodelling Of The Villages : Westnewton
At Westnewton, the picture is complicated by the uncertainty over the location of the original medieval/early modern village and the lack of detailed map evidence predating that accompanying the tithe award. However it is clear that the settlement had already been reorganised and a single integrated farm complex had largely taken shape by the time the tithe map was drawn up in 1849.
The settlement as thus reconstructed comprised three basic elements. A compact square of estate cottages were situated beside the junction of the Kirknewton-Kilham and Hethpool/Yetholm roads. Their style is essentially early-mid 19th century, but comparison of their form on 1st and 2nd edition Ordnance Survey maps shows they underwent some alteration during the second half of the century with rear wing extensions shown on 2nd edition. Some quoins and boulder plinth courses appear older, however, perhaps indicating that some of the cottages were built on the sites of earlier examples.
On the south side of the street at the west end of the settlement, beside the junction of the Hethpool and The Straw-Yetholm roads, lay the main complex of farmbuildings. This complex included a long stable building beside the Hethpool road, and a south range consisting of a threshing barn and straw barns, all early 19th century in form. A large square reservoir designed to feed the farm mill lay immediately to the west of the farm complex, in the angle between the Hethpool road and the Straw-Yetholm road. To the north, on the opposite side of the street, lay a more irregular group, including a stable and carriage house, which still remain in use as a garage and stores.
A couple of buildings at the east end of this range, which do not survive, may represent the original farmhouse and associated structures. These buildings are evident on the tithe map and 1st edition Ordnance Survey, set back from the street frontage, and were later removed by the drive leading to Westnewton House built in the late 19th century.
The 1st edition Ordnance Survey shows relatively little alteration had occurred by 1860, but the 2nd edition of 1897 shows further significant developments. A range of cattle shelter sheds had been added on the east side of the existing stables, threshing barn and straw barns (cf. Barnwell & Giles 1997, 72-3, 88), replacing part of the earlier south range. The east range to the rear was formed by a long single storey shelter shed with five short projecting ranges of sheds enclosing four yards. Each of the projecting ranges end in a root house with segmental arches and double doors into which the turnips could be led, whilst hatches in the root house opened directly onto stone feeding troughs in the sheds, providing a good example of the kind of economy of effort these large farm complexes sought to achieve.
Alterations were also made to the ranges of cottages at the east end of the village, as noted above. More imposing of all was the construction of a large house, Westnewton House, on the north side of the settlement towards the end of the century. This was set within its own grounds, well back from the line of the lane through the village, and had been further extended on its west side by the time the 3rd edition appeared in 1920. The original house was probably removed to make way for the western arm of the u-shaped drive of the new house.
Picture: Weston Newton