Gateshead Pubs

Welcome to the Gateshead Pubs page which brings you the pubs in Central Gateshead way back in time when a pint might set you back a could get legless for a shilling which is 5 pence nowadays

During the nineteenth century, Durham and Northumberland were at the top of drunkenness leagues, well, quelle surprise! Temperance halls were set up but in 1846 there were reported to be 73 adult teetotallers in Gateshead along with 49 juveniles, and only 4 ministers!

Of course, the rest of the population was not alcoholic, but they were not members of the temperance movement. Drunkenness increased, but so did the population. In 1851 one in every 168 people of Gateshead was convicted of drunkenness.. tho, it is said, Gateshead folk were canny as drunks go.

Immigrants, especially the Irish and Scots, may have contributed to the drunkeness. According to George Lucas, a temperance supporter, there were 170 public houses in the 1860s. The population of Gateshead was only 35,000 at this time. 170 pubs for 35,000 people (205 people per pub) and now in the extended borough of Gateshead, comprising some 200,000 people there are less than 200 pubs (1000 people per pub)

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The Goat Inn was on Bottle Bank and still should be, if you ask me. In 1616, it was called "The Bell of the Hoop"; in 1627, "The Spread Eagle" and by 1672, the "Goat Inn".

The Brandling Arms, formerly a rectory, stood on the spot that the western edge of the Sage now stands

The Barge Inn in Hillgate. so called because nobody ever just sedately opened the door and strolled in. No but seriously, notice the maritime theme for the pubs near the river

The Anchor in 1900. This was built to cater to the keelmen and others working around the Dunston Staithes. It is now called the Tudor Rose... a perfectly good old pub ruined with false tudor timber. Left click on the image to see it
And where is the historic significance? Somebody should be imprisoned for vandalism.

The Wherry Inn 1900 in Swalwell. A wherry is a large light barge

And talking of this a vessel passing thro' the Swing Bridge, causing a traffic snarl-up on Bottle Bank?

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A very busy Church Street, perhaps the Swing Bridge is open again...we know of the two Half Moon pubs at the top of the bank but who knew there was a Full Moon pub?

The Queen's Head Inn deserves special mention as it was obviously the posh hotel of Gateshead and being near the bottom of Bottle Bank it was very close to Newcastle and was often used as the place of celebratory banquets. I went through the news events for the period 1830s-1870s and The Queen's Head cropped up frequently. Here's an example
1849 August 6. Sir Robert Peel, bart., accompanied by his family,
arrived in Newcastle, on his way to the Highlands, and stayed
for the night at the Queen's Head Inn. In the course of the
evening the right honourable baronet took a walk through the
town, taking particular notice of Mr. Grainger's erections, the
High Level Bridge, &c. He was loudly cheered by a large crowd
at the railway station on his departure.

Gateshead High Street Pubs

The most oft repeated, but not entirely correct, comment about central Gateshead is that it wasn't possible to complete a pub crawl of all the pubs on the High Street, even just having a gill (half pint) at each pub. At its peak there were 25 pubs on the High Street, 30 if you include Bottle Bank and 32 if you include Brunswick Street which, for all the World, was merely a continuation of the High Street.

Well excuse me but that's only 16 pints and I've come across many blokes who can easily down 16 pints in a session
If you include all the pubs within staggering distance of the High Street, now you're slurring, for the number doubles, and 32 pints is beyond even the legendary swallying power of Bucket Heed (a Mackem I once knew with a prodigious thirst)

Here are those 32 pubs starting at the southern end on the right hand side (rhs) looking north

Left click the link to see a photo, where available

Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Street (rhs)

Argyle, Brunswick Street (rhs)

Blue Bell (rhs)

British Lion (lhs)

Peareth Arms (rhs)

Golden Fleece (rhs)

Rector House (rhs)

William IV (lhs)

Ye Olde Fleece (rhs)

Butcher's Arms (rhs)

Phoenix (Curley's) (ihs)

Park House Hotel (rhs)

Metropole Hotel (lhs)

Atlas Hotel (lhs)

Waggon Inn (lhs)

Grey Nag's Head (rhs)

British Queen (lhs)

Ellison Arms (lhs)

Albion (lhs)

Ship Inn (rhs)

Crown (rhs)

Lord Raglan (rhs)

Grey Horse (rhs)

Coach and Horses (lhs)

Dun Cow (rhs)

Turk's Head (lhs)

Old Nag's Head (rhs)

Half Moon Hotel (lhs)

Queen's Head (lhs)

William IV (lhs)

Wheatsheaf (rhs)

Black Bull Hotel (rhs)

Pubs in Central Gateshead just off the High Street and beyond

Albert, Albert Street

Prince Alfred, Prince Consort Road

Alma Inn, Hopper Street

Barley Mow, Crawshay Inn, both on East Street

Beaconsfield Hotel, Askew Road

Black Swan Inn, Park Lane

Castle, Bensham Road

Crystal Palace, Oakwellgate

Elephant Inn, Swalwell/Whickham

Flying Horse, Oakwellgate

Gardeners Arms, Bensham Road

Northumberland Arms, Coatsworth Road

Princess of Wales, Ellison Street West

Richard Cobden Inn, Chandless Street

Shipcote Hotel, Sunderland Road

Wylam Hotel, Hector Street

How Is It Now?

Conscious as I am that this is t'internet, and some of you could be looking in from as far away as Darlington, I though it apropos to tell, nay show you, nay both, how it is now

Well, there's not 32 pubs on the High Street but 10 and 3 of those are closed as I write this

Left click to enlarge

Bluebell, The Grove, O'Keefe's and Moon and Sixpence

William IV  (5)
The William IV Inn dates back to at least the early 19th century, possibly even the late 18th century. In 1865 it was owned by Jane Grahamsley who was probably related to her namesake after whom the street was named. Prior to this it is likely that it was owned by John Eden who is listed as a publican in an appropriate location on the1841 census. By 1900 it had become one of the many inns run by local importers Swinburne & Co.

Ye Olde Fleece  (6)

Curley's (7)

Metropole (8)

Grey Nags Head (9)

The only other drinking establishment is the bar called Window on the Tyne in The Hilton Hotel where you get a magnificent view but you need a mortgage to buy a pint

Here's the very window I looked out while suppin my four quid pint and d'yer know I thought this magnicent late November view was worth it.... what say the exiles among you?

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So I dug deep and had another pint looking out of this window

Many Gateshead pubs had nicknames. Click the link to see them or if you know more tell me about in the Guestbook