Located on Sandhill, just off the Quayside and near the north tower of the Tyne Bridge, stands an elegant Jacobean mansion.
Bessie Surtees House with its 16th & 17th century half timbered frontage conceals a much older building. This was the house of a rich merchant, one Aubone Surtees whose daughter Bessie fell in love with a local man John Scott. John was considered to be Bessie’s social inferior by Aubone and as such she was forbidden to see him.
Big mistake! The couple decided to elope and to this day you can see the window through which 17 year old Bessie climbed out of the house. The couple eloped to Scotland where they married. John became an MP and eventually Lord Chancellor of England!
The house is now used as offices but three sumptuously decorated rooms with fine panelling and fireplaces are open to the public.