The building once housed the famous ‘Bath Hotel’ which took its name from the nearby 19th Century baths, which were situated below the Priory at Priors Haven.
The hotel was originally an 18th century coaching inn, where many of the Newcastle and London Mail coaches began or ended their journey.
In 1820, the proprietor was a Mrs Hannah Spurrier, who monopolised most of the bathing machines at Tynemouth. Shows and plays were performed at the hotel from 1821 to 1826.
In 1860, the Arcade was covered in, and in 1869, the Bath Assembly Rooms were built on the opposite side, with a reading room and racquet court adjoining to the east.
By 1887, the Bath Hotel contained a small bar and snug room, along with a large dining room, coffee room, and guest rooms, and traditionally catered for much of Tynemouth’s tourist trade.
During the late 1890s, one of the best known managers was a Mr Thomas Tickle who also ran the nearby Grand Hotel. He was a highly respected manager, and always very popular with his customers.
During 1910, the assembly rooms were detached from the hotel, and continued in use until the 1960s as banqueting rooms.
After the Second World War, Newcastle Breweries took over the premises and, in 1967, part of the premises were converted to become ‘The Royal Sovereign’ (named after Admiral Lord Collingwood’s ship at the Battle of Trafalgar).
Alteration work over the years to both the hotel and assembly rooms has seen a change of use with shops, bars, tearooms and restaurants using the building.
by Charlie Steel © 2011
Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, local historian Charlie Steel has lived almost all of his life in Monkseaton. His books “Monkseaton and Hillheads” and “Inns and Taverns of North Shields” are published by Tempus and are available in all good book shops.
All Charlie’s articles which are featured in Roundabout Monkseaton can also be found on his website www.monkseaton.info. Charlie also writes articles for Roundabout Tynemouth.
If you have any old pictures or photographs of Monkseaton that you would like to share then please e-mail Charlie at email@example.com.