Christ Church in Felling, Gateshead,
Christ Church in Felling, Gateshead, by Andrew Curtis, Geograph (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Felling Chemical Works School,
Felling Chemical Works School, East Gateshead Photo Website

Robert Robey Redmayne part owned the Felling Chemical Works. He is noted for being an initial subscriber, gifting £60 in 1871, and ongoing supporter of the Newcastle College of Physical Sciences. He is noted as being one of only a few people in the 1880s “who really believed the college would be of any particular use to the business and engineering community.” His financial contributions to the college were “regular and generous.”

In 1866 he founded, together with Hugh Lee Patterson II and his brother John Mariner Redmayne, Christ Church in Felling, Gateshead, completed in 1871. There is a memorial tablet on the south wall of the chancel acknowledging their gifts. Redmayne served as the House Governor to the Royal Infirmary.

He established the Felling Chemical Works School, again with Hugh Lee Pattinson II, which opened in 1845, to educate the children of his employees at the chemical works. Many of these were Irish immigrants driven to find employment in England due to the tragic circumstances of the potato famine in Ireland.

Redmayne, John Mariner

John Mariner Redmayne was a Gateshead chemical manufacturer. He was born in Kentish Town, London. He married Jane Anne Studdert in 1857. He lived at South Dene in County Durham. He had 4 sons, one of whom, Sir Richard Redmayne (1865 – 1955), began his career as an apprentice of William Armstrong.

He was Mayor of Gateshead in 1870 and a Justice of the Peace. He is the great-grandfather of the actor, Eddie Redmayne. He part owned the Felling Chemical Works that produced soda ash, refined alkali, soda crystals, bicarbonate of soda and bleaching powder. Like his brother, he was an original subscriber in 1871 to the Newcastle College of Physical Sciences with an initial gift of £100.


Bettenson, E, M. (1971). The University of Newcastle upon Tyne: A Historical Introduction, Newcastle: University of Newcastle upon Tyne. 

Heald, H. (2010). William Armstrong: Magician of the North, Carmarthen: McNidder & Grance.

Mayors of Gateshead. Available here (Accessed 12/08/2018).

Redmayne, Sir Richard. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Available here (Accessed 12/08/2018).

Whiting, C.E. (1932). The History of Durham University, 1832-1932. London: The Sheldon Press.