The Coach & Horses
10 Nov 2023
This is a
Current status is
Designer (if known):
Watson (for WB Reed & Co)
Listed Grade II
One of the uh, saddest sights in Wallsend is the Coach & Horses - listed, but forlorn with the name being one of the most historic in the town.
The inn first opened in 1836, with the landlord being a Mr John Anderson. It was only 2 years after when the bodies of those who perished in the Wallsend Church Pit disaster were held here for inquest. It was determined death was “accidental” giving inconclusive evidence, but this was certainly to deny accountability by the pit owners.
Further inquests and investigations were held at the inn before there were any widespread mortuaries. In 1896. A married man living at 15 Glovers Row in Wallsend had drowned in Willington Gut, and his body was returned here to be investigated by South Northumberland deputy coroner Mr Rutherford.
The current pub dates from 1907, with the rebuild designed by brewery W B Reed & Co. It was a hotbed of local political meetings - both of the socialist and conservative association. The local branch of the Trade Unionist Tariff Reform Association held its first meeting here in 1908, with speeches made by Mr Rocks of the Durham Miners Association and Mr Rigby of the Steam Engine Makers Association. In 1933, it became the men's branch of the Wallsend Division Conservative Association. Other such events and meetings here include vegetable shows, bowling club dinners and rotary club meetings.
The pub has been like this as long as I remember. Sadly, it’s one avenue a listed building can go down if it has an owner who doesn’t love it as much as others do. Hopefully we’ll see someone move in in the future - bags of potential.
Listing Description (if available)
The two maps above illustrate the Coach & Horses area from the mid 19th century to the 1890s. The first iteration is shown in both, and helpfully highlights the growth of Wallsend thanks to the shipyards and collieries which flank the high street. The pub was an isolated building along the high street between "Carville" and Church Bank. It likely provided refreshment and rest for those travelling on the beaten road from Newcastle to North Shields and was built just before the railway came to fruition.
The 1890s map finds the public house finds itself published as the terraces were being constructed, filling the gap between the railway and The Green a few hundred metres north. Wallsend, Carville and Point Pleasant all unified to become a single town, giving rationale to a new town hall and administrative functions.
The 1916 survey shows Wallsend still going through sweeping transformation, but much more recognisable to us today with the Town Hall and terraces. Given it was on the eastern periphery of the town, it was a much more vacant area to provide large amenities such as schools, police stations, public baths and drill halls. They were also ideally situated since workers drifted north from the river towards the terraces.
The Coach & Horses in 2023, looking fairly forlorn and unloved.
The original Coach and Horses pre-rebuild. Unknown source.
The Coach and Horses appearing brand new after opening. Unknown source.