Please note: The location displayed on the map is approximate.
Information on the plaque
This plaque pays tribute to John Dagnia, who built the Grade II Listed Cleadon House in Cleadon Village, in 1738. He was also instrumental in helping to put the Tyneside area at the forefront of glass manufacturing in the 18th Century, producing a large proportion of the country's output.
The blue plaque stands at the entrance to Cleadon House.
John Dagnia and his family established a highly successful glass business at West Panns in South Shields where they also leased a number of salt pans. The company produced all grades of glass but they were famous for the introduction of flint glass or lead crystal, the quality and brilliance of which was unparalleled in Britain at the time.
Cleadon House was once set in 15 acres of ground that stretched out to the front of the property overlooking a lake, grotto, ornamental canal and a range of rare plants and trees. Coulthard Park is all that remains of the pleasure gardens today.
After John's death in 1743, Cleadon House was passed on to his son James who subsequently sold it on to John Cookson.
It was later the home of Ralph Grey, cousin of Charles Grey, who became Prime Minister in 1830 and introduced the Great Reform Bill in 1832. A monument to Grey was erected in Newcastle. Popular tea brand Earl Grey tea was especially brewed for the Prime Minister.
Cleadon House was later occupied by the Abbs family. It is thought that author Charles Dickens stayed at the house as a guest of his friend George Cooper Abbs in the late 1850s while working on his novel Great Expectations.