The inn was originally a two-storey stone structure, which was remodelled some years later to include a third floor; as a result the building almost dominated this part of Front Street.
For many years during its life it was regularly used as a public meeting place, the earliest example of which was indicated in the Newcastle Courant dated 1798 in an article which read: “At Gawen Watson’s sign of the Black Horse, a meeting of the creditors of Timothy Duxfield will be held on the Twenty Fourth day of September 1798.”
An old document dated 1815 describes the premises as being in the possession of a Peregrine Henzell, an innkeeper of Newcastle, and Reay Johnson Archbold, late of Morpeth. The building was described as: “A messuage or dwelling house, used as a Public House, with a yard and a garden behind the same.” (The word messuage is derived from Anglo-French and means a dwelling-house with outbuildings and adjoining lands.)
In 1827 and 1828 the proprietor is recorded as a Thomas Yellowley, followed in 1834 and 1841 by a John Duxfield, and in 1845 by a Henry Whitfield.
Records indicate that by 1855 the Black Horse had been closed as a Public House, though it still retained a licence to sell ales and spirits. It was occupied at this time by a George Davidson, a local blacksmith and cartwright, and was used as a venue for winter assemblies which sometimes involved dancing until the early hours.
In 1869, the premises were sold to a John Elliott, and by 1887 they were being run by a Joseph Bell. In 1897, the landlord is recorded as a William Hills, who died in 1908 – but strangely enough, he was still recorded as the licensee in 1910.
The inn thereafter came under the ownership of Robinson and Anderson, a company who applied to the Whitley and Monkseaton Urban District Council to demolish and then rebuild the premises to a new design on the same site.
This application was approved in March 1936 and demolition work began almost immediately, including the removal of some of the adjacent cottages on Coronation Row. The Black Horse was immediately rebuilt on the same site to the design we are familiar with to this day.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.