BREWER AND PROPERTY SPECULATOR
Situated in the Consecrated/West Section of Jesmond Old Cemetery.
Robert, with his three younger brothers, arrived in Newcastle from Forfarshire in the 1860s and from small beginnings as an innkeeper in Newgate Street (the Chancellor’s Head) prospered to such an extent that by 1900 he owned 40 licensed houses on Tyneside, a brewery at Duddingston (Edinburgh) employing about 300 people, and the Sandyford Stone Brewery on Sandyford Road.
The Sandyford Stone Brewery probably dates from the mid 18th century and was built of local stone from a quarry alongside Sandyford burn close to Lambert’s Leap. It was largely rebuilt around 1840. Several years after buying the brewery in 1892 Robert converted it into a bottling store, offices and a bonded warehouse.
For the last ten years of his life he lived at Shortridge Hall close to High Buston, near Warkworth, and after his death the business was continued by his eldest son, Farquhar and descendants, until bought by Newcastle Breweries in 1953.
Robert, no stranger to property speculation, bought South Jesmond House and its grounds (once the house of William Armstrong, father of Lord Armstrong) about 1902. He had the house demolished and the area laid out as building sites for terraced housing. The eventual streets were given names with family connections: Farquhar Street, Shortridge Terrace, Buston Terrace and, of course, Deuchar Street.