Shared description

Minsteracres Monastery

Minsteracres was the former residence of the Silvertop family, built on a hilltop site approached from the north up a long avenue of Giant Redwood trees.

The Silvertops were devout Catholics, persecuted for their faith, who made their fortune from control of coal mines in the Ryton and Chopwell areas. The original L-shaped house dates from 1758. A second floor was added under the stewardship of John Silvertop (1748-1801) who inherited the estate in 1789. Subsequent large additions followed, including an extension designed by John Dobson.

On John Silvertop’s death the estate was inherited by his son George who travelled widely, bringing back exotic plants and trees for the grounds, and works of art for the house. On his death in 1849 the estate passed to his nephew Henry Charles Englefield, who took the surname, Silvertop. He build a private chapel adjacent to the mansion, which was to become the parish church for the local Catholic community, dedicated to St Elizabeth and opened in 1854.

His heirs all died young, several in the Great War. Minsteracres was used during the Second World War as a base for fire service training and shortly after, Charles Arthur Silvertop sold the house, church, stables and 60 acres of land for use as a Passionist Monastery. The remainder of the estate, including 15 farms, cottages and 5,000 acres of land was sold to Tyneside industrialist Charles Cookson.

Friar Colum Devine of the Passionist Order, with the help of local volunteers, transformed Minsteracres into a monastery, and the derelict stables and coach house into a retreat centre which opened in 1967.

Minsteracres: Peaceful retreat marks 250 years - Hexham Courant, Tuesday 17 February 2015: LinkExternal link
by Andrew Curtis

Created: Sat, 11 Apr 2015, Updated: Sat, 11 Apr 2015


5 images use this description:

NZ0255 : Giant Redwoods, Minsteracres by Andrew Curtis
NZ0255 : Minsteracres Monastery by Andrew Curtis
NZ0255 : St George's Well, Minsteracres by Andrew Curtis
NZ0256 : Giant Redwood drive, Woodcock Plantation, Minsteracres by Andrew Curtis
NZ0255 : Giant Redwoods, Minsteracres by Andrew Curtis


Shared descriptions

This shared description

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is © copyright 2015 Andrew Curtis.

Shared descriptions are specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse them on their own images, without restriction.

About shared descriptions

These Shared Descriptions are common to multiple images.

For example, you can create a generic description for an object shown in a photo, and reuse the description on all photos of the object. All descriptions are public and shared between contributors, i.e. you can reuse a description created by others, just as they can use yours.

Other shared descriptions

Search for other Shared Descriptions.


You are not logged in login | register