PATRICK FREEMANII (1816-1894) & PATRICK FREEMAN III (1845-1888)
The Freeman family were tenant farmers and corn millers in the High Heaton area of Newcastle for several decades before land development forced them away in the 1860s. However, their name is remembered locally in such names as Freeman Hospital, Freeman Road and Paddy Freeman Park – a privilege usually reserved for landowners and politicians. Their farmhouse stood near the main entrance to Paddy Freeman’s Park, on a site now occupied by Anscomb Gardens. The corn mill they operated, with a history said to date back at least to the 13th Century, is now a ruin and stands close to Lord Armstrong’s artificially created waterfall in Jesmond Dene.
The first Patrick Freeman left the Windmill Hills area of Gateshead for High Heaton to farm and mill as a tenant of Sir Matthew White Ridley of Heaton Hall. He died in 1840 and was buried at Westgate Hill Cemetery where his wife had been interred some years before.
Patrick II carried on the business as farmer, working an area of 270 acres with six labourers, and as a miller initially at the Jesmond Dene site, and then after about 1851, two miles downstream at Ouseburn Bridge. A few years later, after Lord Armstrong acquired most of the land on either side of the valley, Patrick left the area for Cambois Farm near Blyth on land also owned by the Ridleys.
Patrick III died six years before his father and at his death was managing the Look Out Farm at Seaton Delaval, opposite Delaval Hall. The ‘broken column’ gravestone represents a life cut short.