It is recorded that the inn dates from 1795 when it opened as an ale house under the name of ‘The Three Horse Shoes’.
Although there is no definitive evidence, an interesting tale from the late 1700s tells that an old sea captain and his crew were shipwrecked on Whitley Beach and travelled inland to Monkseaton, where they discovered a band of smugglers living in Rose Cottage. The captain is said to have ousted the smugglers and made his home in the cottage, where he started to brew ale which he sold to locals and passing travellers. As a result, the captain then opened up the house as an inn shortly afterwards and named it ‘The Three Horse Shoes’.
However, it is interesting to note that in 1799 the innkeeper of the Three Horse Shoes is recorded as a Robert Mills, who was an old Greenland whaler, so the likelihood is that the tale was simply a fanciful exaggeration of the truth.
On April 24th 1799, the Tynemouth Association for the Prosecution of Felons offered a reward of two guineas to anyone who could offer any information leading to the conviction of thieves who had stolen poultry from Robert Mills at the Three Horse Shoes Inn.
In 1827, the proprietor of the inn was still recorded as Robert Mills, while in 1841 it had changed to a John Lowery, and in 1845 to a Margaret or ‘Peggy’ Lowery. It would appear that a Robert Davison took ownership around 1862, as he was responsible for a partial rebuild of the premises.
It is unclear when the inn actually closed but afterwards it became a shop, a Post Office and latterly a private residence.
The property underwent an extensive rebuild in the early 1930s to become a private detached residence, and in later years was locally referred to with the nickname of ‘Garnicks Cottage’, so named after Alec Garnick, a local building contractor who was the last resident.
The house, which stood on the corner of Chapel Lane next to the back lane of Front Street, fell into a state of disrepair and was demolished in 1998 to be replaced by a new detached building, which is now used as a small residential centre for people with learning disabilities.
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.