Although this must be one of the oldest, if not the oldest, building in Middlesbrough, I didn’t get a sense of history while I was there. Too manicured and twee for me. A green plaque indicated a date of 1678 but major restoration in the mid-19th-century, and again in 1912 must have substantially altered its appearance.
Back home, I looked up what Pevsner had to say about Acklam Hall: “The original core has a seven-bay facade of two storeys, all the windows with open pediments alternatively triangular and segmental. The porch is not original, nor are the dormers.1Pevsner, Nikolaus. “The Buildings of England – Yorkshire – The North Riding”. Penguin Books. Reprinted 1985. ISBN 0 14 071009 9”
I had to look up what a pediment was. It’s the decorative lintel above the windows, usually triangular but, looking closely at the windows on the second storey, they do indeed alternate as Pevsner wrote. Fascinating, I’ve learnt something new. Pleased with that.
The house was built by Sir William Hustler, a Bridlington cloth merchant, who wanted a country estate close to the River Tees, from where he could trade2“Acklam Hall.” Acklam Hall, 6 Nov. 2020, www.acklamhall.co.uk/history/. Accessed 20 Mar. 2021.. Apparently it has “superb plasterwork inside” (Pevsner again), which has somehow survived its 20th-century life as a school. It is now an events centre, wedding venue and restaurant, but in the light of the Covid regulations, is all closed up and looking forlorn.