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Blyth, Northumberland

The Dun Cow Inn, Blyth

Last Updated:

2 Jun 2020

Blyth, Northumberland

This is a

Public House

Plessey Road, Blyth

Founded in 

18th Century

Current status is


Designer (if known):


Site is now Blyth Community Enterprise Centre

The Dun Cow, once on the banks of the River Blyth close by to the staithes and quays, was a popular drinking hole for workers and leisurers. The pub predates the Ordnance Survey which was first published in the 1850s. It was adjacent to the Dun Cow Quay (hence the name) which is may be why you are familiar with this term.

The only documentary evidence of the Dun Cow in the 19th century is from the book 'The History of Blyth' by John Wallace in 1869, where he references the inn as being adjacent to a building occupied by the Wesleyan church in 1804. Therefore we can determine this establishment is at least from the 18th century.

Also, interestingly, it is possible to see the accounts of societies that met at the pub in the 19th century. We see 'The Invincible Female Society' (which had 160 members), the 'Master Mariners Assurance Society' and 'Loyal James Fulbeck Lodge'. We're unsure of the last one, but they all seem a jolly bunch, and captivating to see a potential women's society at this time in Blyth. If anyone has more information on this society please contact us.

There isn't a great swathe of history relating to this building, but it must have been significant enough to feature on the first edition of the OS and to still have a quay named after it in Blyth.

Listing Description (if available)

In the first edition far above The Dun Cow Inn can be seen on the Quayside. The public house is situated right on the river accommodating the workers for a sneaky pint after a shift.

The two images are also a great snapshot into the development of Blyth as an industry town in the 30 years. The terraces for miners and dock workers are spreading across the town and the Railway Station is at its greatest expanse at the turn of the century. The staithes can be seen just above the site of the pub.

Above is the post war map of Blyth. The pub is still in operation but not labelled on the map.


Photograph of the Dun Cow, undated. The pub must have been renovated at this stage, and looks to be around the 70s. We are a big fan of the door, which doesn't catch the eye whatsoever.

Retrieved from


Photograph of the Dun Cow. The old staithes can be seen against the river which dominated the area.

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Photograph of the Dun Cow, 1974. According to Eddie Hindbaugh on Facebook, this is the first pub in Blyth to have a microwave in 1970!

Retrieved from 'Blyth Remembered' on Facebook

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