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Tyne and Wear HER(7510): Gateshead, High Street, No. 288, William IV Inn - Details

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Gateshead, High Street, No. 288, William IV Inn





Early Modern


Extant Building

This building is of great interest as one of the earliest surviving buildings in central Gateshead, and in particular a public house which survived the great rebuilding phase around the turn of the 20th century. It is also architecturally fine, with an ashlar frontage of large stones, stone window surrounds and a string course beneath a moulded cornice – obscuring both the shallow-pitched, hipped slate roof and the rainwater goods. The side is of less fine, but respectable coursed, dressed stonework, It is likely to date from about 1830, when William IV came to the throne, and the Beer Act was passed, allowing the licensing of Beer Houses in addition to fully licensed Public Houses. It is a large and very solidly built stone edifice, set back from the High Street on the historic building line, with a single storey pub frontage projecting to the present pavement. It is likely that this extension was originally made in 1865, when the owner applied for consent for alterations. This seems to have been somewhat of a local tradition, since as well as being visible on the opposing corner at Curley’s bar, it can also been seen at the Crown on the corner of Coatsworth Road (Union Lane) in Bensham. It is clear that it was not originally present, as the building boasts a curved corner – designed to allow for easy passage by carriages, which is obscured by the later addition. The present pub frontage dates from 1890 and was designed by the well-known local architect James Cackett – one half of the partnership Cackett and Burns Dick who were later to design many accomplished buildings in Newcastle (not least the Laing Art Gallery). Remarkably, it retains most of its original hornless 8 over 8 timber sash windows with elegantly slim glazing bars (visible on the 1890 plans and a picture of c1900), but unfortunately the late 19th century pub front has been significantly altered, losing a lot of its character, and the stonework has been obscured by covering in what appears to be render. The large, rectangular chimneys are of brick with a cornice course near the top – one probably original in thin, irregular russet bricks, the other a later replacement in regular, more orange-red bricks. The rear is unfortunately laced with pipework and some unhappy replacement windows, however it is extremely positive that the highly intrusive extraction flues visible elsewhere have been avoided. The roof, with its clay ridge tiles, is unaltered save for an early and compact rooflight. Altogether it is a rare and stately example of an early town house style building. MATERIALS Sandstone, slate, cast iron, timber, brick. ARCHITECT Unknown Frontage James T Cackett DATES c1830 Frontage 1890 (now altered) ADDITIONAL INFORMATION The inn was owned by Mrs Jane Grahamsley in 1865, whose family Grahamsley Street must have been named after. It is highly likely, therefore, that the family gave the land for the street, especially as they also owned a shop premises to the other corner onto High Street, which were also altered in 1865. Caithness stone flags were laid to the front, with a whin stone border (implying that the same were probably used to the front of the William) and the attractive timber shopfront had a corner doorway mirroring that of the pub. The ‘Plans as at Present’ depicted by James Cackett in 1890 show an attractive pub frontage with panelled stall riser, large windows separated by slender columns with leaded panes to the toplights and a deeply moulded cornice with egg and dart detail. However, they also show that at the time there were 2 separate frontages to High Street, as although the corner premises were used as a bar, half of the frontage was taken up with a barber’s shop. Upstairs was a club room and bedroom, but neither these nor the cellar were proposed for change. The ground floor was, however, remodelled, so that the barber’s shop was removed and the bar moved to the centre of this space, with the frontage also extended up the Grahamsley St




Gateshead Council Local List X20/LL/133; TWAS CB GA/BC/1/1 and CB GA/BC/1890/43

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