Ushaw Historic House & Chapels

The original land on which Ushaw stands was purchased in 1799 by Bishop Gibson; the buildings date from 1804 - when work commenced on the building of the seminary. The original quadrangle, designed by James Taylor of Islington, was occupied in 1808.
The building remained largely unchanged until 1840, when a period of major expansion began which continued into the next century.

The driving force of these developments was Dr Charles Newsham, President from 1837 to 1863, whose vision and courage rapidly expanded the work of the College and generated momentum for the future. His vision of the future College was realised with the help of Augustus Welby Pugin, who brought Gothic Revival Architecture to Ushaw.

Pugin's work at Ushaw began with designs for a Chapel in 1839: initial designs were rejected and work finally began in 1844. This began an association with the Pugin family that lasted 100 years, and although other notable architects worked here during this period, the style that Augustus Pugin introduced endured.

The Ushaw Estate comprised of some 200 acres of land belonging previously to Sir Edward Smythe, a major landowner in the district at that time. This holding was expanded in the 1850s and 60s to over 500 acres, chiefly to provide the necessary agricultural land to support the growing College community. Production centred on the Home Farm, built in 1852, which Ushaw continued to manage for its own use until 1972.

At various times there have been other substantial land holdings locally, amounting at one point to nearly 1500 acres for farming, but many of these holdings were sold in the middle of the 20th century.

Ushaw currently sits in some 500 acres, over 30 acres in immediate gardens and grounds, and the remainder utilised for short season willow crop and tenanted for agriculture.

Address: Ushaw: Historic House, Chapels & Gardens, near Durham City  DH7 9RH
For SatNav use DH7 7DW Telephone: 0191 373 8500  Email:

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