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Historic England Research Records

Crowhall Towers

Hob Uid: 1497917
Location :
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : NZ2765961607
Summary : A mixed development of tower blocks with deck access built as public housing using the Larson-Neilson industrialised building system. The development comprised one sixteen-storey block and six seven-storey blocks of maisonettes. Construction of the blocks was approved by committee in 1966. Four of the maisonette blocks were destroyed in 1987 amidst great controversy due to their deterioration and unpopularity. The consulting architect and engineer for the six seven-storey blocks, known as St Oswald's Court, was John Poulson.
More information : The blocks were constructed by Felling Urban District Council. The Primary and Alternate addresses are the individual addresses of the remaining tower blocks; all are current and of equal status. The Alternate name was the name given to the contract for the development. The six seven-storey blocks formerly known as St Oswald's Court consisted of 185 dwellings. The sixteen-storey block, Crowhall towers, consists of 88 dwellings. (1)

Demolition of 4 of 6 of the seven-storey blocks occurred in conjunction with the more high profile demolition of four tower blocks on the Nursery Farm estate also in Felling. The consulting architect and engineer for all of these blocks was John Poulson. John Poulson was jailed for 7 years in 1974 for running corrupt building contracts. (2)

Building Design reported in 1984 that Councillor Ken Buckingham threatened court action against Gateshead Council on the grounds that insufficient information was released regarding the real cost of demolition and rebuilding of the Poulson developments. The debt incurred as a result of the tower blocks, which had been opposed by Buckingham and other councillors were thought to amount to approximately £50 million and would take up to 50 years to pay off. (3)

Additional source consulted. (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Tower block : modern public housing in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Source details : Gazetteer 1
Page(s) : 357
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : The Guardian
Source details : "And the £5 million high rise flats come tumbling down" by William Flatau, 22nd Nov, 1968.
Page(s) : 12
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Building design
Source details : "Storm over cost of demolishing Gateshead blocks" by Lewis Blackwell, 7 December, 1984.
Page(s) : 4
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Personal archive of Dr Miles Glendinning held at Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh.
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Mid 20th Century
Display Date : Construction approved 1966
Monument End Date : 1966
Monument Start Date : 1966
Monument Type : Tower Block, Deck Access Block, Maisonette, Council Flats
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Late 20th Century
Display Date : Partly demolished 1987
Monument End Date : 1987
Monument Start Date : 1987
Monument Type : Tower Block, Deck Access Block, Maisonette, Council Flats
Evidence : Extant Building, Demolished Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 26 SE 442
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1497981
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER BLOCK DATABASE PILOT PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31