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Tyne and Wear HER(7637): Birtley, Vigo Lane, Barley Mow Inn - Details

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Birtley, Vigo Lane, Barley Mow Inn





Early Modern


Extant Building

This site has long been the location of a public house, but when it was established it was part of a tiny settlement to the south of Birtley called Brown’s Buildings. The old pub had been called the Fox & Hounds, but changed its name to the Barley Mow during the 19th century. The dense settlement around the pub now did not appear until around the time the pub was rebuilt, and so in all probability the settlement took its name from the institution – making it of historical as well as architectural importance to the area. This new development must have stimulated the rebuilding, in order to give more space and better accommodation for the potential new clientele. It is a distinguished and stately building in red-brown brick, with a special and distinctive hipped roof of green clay roman tiles to complement, graced with a single, simple tall chimney. The (originally) metal fenestration has that horizontal emphasis, which characterises architecture of the period, with what had been traditionally, called ‘lying panes’ (i.e. panes laid horizontally rather than vertically), making for a streamlined appearance. Unfortunately, however, the original ground floor windows have been replaced with plastic ones. The grand single entranceway is robust with its double timber doors, and (what appears to be) artstone moulded surround. The most outstanding element of the design, however, is the corner turret, with curved bay windows stretching around at least a full semi-circle. It is a wonderful way to finish a corner, and makes a significant contribution to the impact of the establishment in the streetscene as a navigable landmark, as well as helping to create an attractive building. In 1925 Mark West was the landlord, however, this would have been before the pub was rebuilt. MATERIALS Red-brown brick, green clay roman tiles, artstone, metal DATES 1940s/50s LOCAL LIST




Gateshead Council Local List X20/LL/271;

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