William Wailes (1808–1881) by John Oliphant
Date painted: c.1845
Newcastle born Wailes set up a small kiln in the backyard of
his shop premises and made and fired small decorative enamels.
He studied stained glass design in Germany and in 1841 set up his own stained glass making business and ultimately had 76 employees
His son, William Thomas Wailes, joined him in the business,
as did his son-in-law,
Thomas Rankine Strang
Thomas Rankine Strang, glass painted portrait 1890
In 1860 Wailes bought the Saltwell Estate and set about improving it, building himself a decorative mansion and landscaping the grounds. He ran into debt and later sold the property to the Gateshead Corporation.
The estate became a public park, Saltwell Park, including Wailes' house, Saltwell Towers where Wailes continued to reside until his death in 1881. Son William Thomas Wailes continued to manufacture stained glass until 1910.
Wailes' House, Saltwell Towers
at the junction of Enfield Road/Durham Road he is immortalised in a street name