Our history


The Pease family had built for themselves a mansion, Hummersknott, the house is still there, forming the core of Carmel College which has been built on the estate. The present allotments were the kitchen garden and orchard of Hummersknott Hall.


Sometime in the early twentieth century some allotments were let to townsfolk. The greenhouse and nearby buildings and cold frames were part of the gardens. Entrance to the gardens would have been from Nunnery Lane at the west end of the site. Another entrance still exists behind the present summerhouse. The shortest route from the town would have been along Milbank Road then to Nunnery Lane. Hillclose House and Wilton House date from this time and still exist.


On 22nd May 1917 a meeting of the Hummersknott Allotment Gardens appointed some tenants to meet Mr Hudson, agent to Mr Pease, to question the tenancy of the then allotment holders on and after May 1918. The land was tenanted by a Mr A Walker of Leeds until 1920. Following this, a meeting on June 12th 1917 decided that the best protection of the members’ interests would be to form an association. A further Special General Meeting was held on June 30th 1917 when the Association came into being, and was deemed to have commenced on the first day of May 1917. Rent for the land was £30 per annum from May 1918.


In February 1927 a proposal was made to purchase the land, comprising 4.420 acres for a sum of not more than £700 at a sale. On March 16 1927 it was agreed that the sum of £450 be borrowed from the Equitable Building Society at 5.5% interest pa over 30 years, also the balance to make up £650 be in by April 30th. Repayments of the money were by purchase of shares at 5/- by the members. It is not known when the name was changed.


Pavilion built.


Proposal to sell land rejected by one vote by the members.


The BBC Gardeners Question Time program was broadcast from the allotments.


Summerhouse built.


Water pipes replaced. By 2008 the water supply around the allotments was showing signs of age. The pipes were cast iron 4inches in diameter and starting to rust and leak. It was decided to replace them with modern plastic pipes. The sum of £2300 was raised from members as a start to the project. At the same time application was made to Grassroots at County Durham Foundation for a grant for the estimated cost of £4500.00. This was granted and we were able to complete all the work during the winter 2008/9, hiring a digger and the installation being done by members. Money from the members was used to resurface the paths where they had been dug up for pipe installation.


Kazubaloo toilet installed. A survey of the market of toilets which did not need a sewer connection was made and a Kazubaloo with wheelchair access chosen. An application was made to the Big Lottery fund for the costs of ££7296.00 for the purchase and installation of the toilet. This was granted and the toilet erected.

A raised bed was erected by members for the less physically able gardeners.


New gates were erected at the west entrance following a grant of £1,720.00 from the Big Lottery fund.


A second raised bed erected at a cost of £550.


A further two raised beds erected.


The wheelbarrow store was refurbished and re-roofed.

The members store was made weatherproof.

The old boiler cellar was made safe and a new man-hole cover was made for it.


We changed our name to "Hummersknott Allotments Association Limited".