Over the past 200 years, Tynemouth has been home to a total of around 26 Inns, Taverns, Hotels and Public Houses. If we limit the count to the old established or purpose-built licensed houses within the central core of the village, i.e. those in the immediate vicinity of Front Street, then the number drops to around 15. A selection of these premises include the following:
The Bath Hotel (Bath Terrace / Front Street) dates from 1822 (Roundabout Tynemouth – October 2011) and first recorded the same year was the Bull & Dog (Front Street), later the Percy Arms. The Cumberland Arms (Front Street) was first recorded in 1855 and is still operating (Roundabout Tynemouth – September 2009) and The Gibraltar Rock (East Street) was first recorded in 1822 and although significantly altered, continues to operate to this day.
The Greenland Fishery (Back Street), The Newcastle Arms (Front Street) and The Queens Head (Front Street) were recorded only during the year 1834 but little is known of any of them. The Ordnance Arms (recorded only during 1855) stood within the grounds of Tynemouth Castle yard while the Priory Inn stood on the bank top at East Street and closed in 1924; however, in 1927 the building was converted to incorporate the present Gibraltar Rock.
The delightfully named Rose of Allendale was situated at 8 Percy Street and operated from 1855 to 1924, when it was converted to a dwelling house. Dating back to around 1790, The Salutation stands on the south side of Front Street (Roundabout Tynemouth – December 2011). The Seven Stars was once one of the largest Public Houses in Tynemouth. First recorded in 1822, it stood on the north side of Percy Street, opposite the end of Silver Street, before its closure in 1924 and subsequent conversion to a dwelling house.
The Shipwrights Arms was first recorded in 1822 and became The Prudhoe Hotel in 1875. It was on the North side of Back Street (a continuation of Percy Street). It closed in 1924 and was demolished in 1926 to allow for the extension of Hotspur Street to connect with Front Street. The Star and Garter was recorded between 1821 and 1865 and was a large double-fronted building on the section of Front Street that was later to become Manor Road. Strictly speaking this was a hotel rather than a Public House. It still exists as a private dwelling, now numbered as 7 Manor Road.
Still operating to this day is The Turks Head (Front Street), a fine three storey building which has stood since at least 1778. It is sometimes known locally as ‘The Stuffed Dog’ – because of its past connection with the folklore tale of ‘Wandering Willie’ (Roundabout Tynemouth – June 2009). Finally, The Union Tavern was the last of the four pubs standing on Percy Street, closing in 1924. The following extract from an early licensing register shows some interesting information about the distance from the Union Tavern to other licensed premises in the vicinity:
- To the Prudhoe Hotel: 31 yards.
- To the Seven Stars: 45 yards.
- To the Rose of Allendale: 92 yards.
- To the Priory Inn: 165 yards.
- To the Cumberland Arms: 152 yards.
- To the Percy Arms: 91 yards.
- To the Salutation: 167 yards.
by Charlie Steel © 2012
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.