top of page


Hanover Square Brewery

Last Updated:

27 May 2024


This is a


54.967341, -1.613224

Founded in 


Current status is


Designer (if known):


Now a casino

I've referenced this place a few times while talking about pubs. This is Hanover Square Brewery, one of the largest in the city over the course of the 19th century.

There had been a brewery here since 1728, building on the gardens of a local townhouse and mission school. Its recognised history starts in the 19th century though, when we know a Joseph Armstrong took over and provided dinner for 16 people inside one of the new mash tuns.

John Buchanan later took over the site. He'd originally brewed at South Street a little further north from 1879, but once he bought this he thrusted its expansion and created a modern premises covering 2000 sq ft. Pure ales and stouts were Buchanan's speciality. It was by this time they owned a number of pubs in the region. The Fat Ox in Whitley Bay, the Cookson's Arms on Hanover Street, the Crown & Anchor at Walker.

By 1931 the Northern Clubs Fed. Brewery took over the lease. They'd been established since 1919, but this site meant a great commercial presence to serve working mens clubs across the north. Clearly business was adequare, as they sruvived the 1926 General Strike, depression and managed to expand in 1933 with their own bottling department here. It ended up being seen as one of the most modern brew houses in Europe, capable of producing 7500 barrels a week and 50000 dozen bottles by 1957.

You can still see a lot of signs featuring their logo a bit like the blue star. They were here until 1980, though later bought out by Scottish & Newcastle.

Listing Description (if available)

SITELINES - "The Hanover Square Brewery occupied ground between the southern part of Hanover Square (South) and the city walls. Bennison (2000) says it originated in 1728. It was built on land that had previously been used for gardens between the former Cookson’s House (later St Nicholas’s Mission School) and Hanover Street. In 1836 the owner Joseph Armstrong gave a dinner party for 16 people inside his new mash tun! {Bennison 1995}. Robert Fletcher owned the brewery from 1850 until 1881. John Buchanan took over the brewery in 1883. He created a modern tower brewery covering 2000 square feet. The Northern Clubs Federation Brewery Ltd. took over the lease for the premises in 1931 and extensive redevelopment of the site ensued. By 1939 they had opened a new four storey block and a storage cellar. A new brewhouse was built in 1957. In 1965 new bottling halls, wine and spirits stores and an office block were built in Orchard Street and Forth Street. The Federation Brewery moved to their new brewery at Dunston in 1980."

The Ordnance Survey maps shown illustrate the Hanover Square Brewery and its environs between the 1890s and 1910s. The earlier, more detailed map shows the F shaped building with a central courtyard for deliveries adjacent to a school, pub and mission hall which must have made quite the Friday morning. The brewery utilised part of the town wall as its own structure, though the White Friar Tower was clearly lifted at least in part to construct this.

The scene is very similar on the 1910s map, with little modernisation seen over those decades. The Cookson Arms was operating through these decades.

If we navigate back in time to the 1850s view, we can see the layout of the buildings is pretty much still exact. It does not appear St James' Mission Hall was constructed, and Central Station was still in its original layout before it was extended into the carriage sidings.


Site of Hanover Square Brewery in 2024


The brewery from the south in 1939. Source: © Historic England. Aerofilms Collection Historic England Photograph: EPW060867 flown 28/04/1939 (28 April 1939)


The front tower of the brewery in the mid 20th century after expansion. Source: breweryhistory

bottom of page