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Wall, Northumberland

Wall, Smith's Arms

Last Updated:

20 Jun 2024

Wall, Northumberland

This is a


55.014403, -2.132854

Founded in 

Current status is


Designer (if known):


Now operating as Hjem

At Wall, along the main road from Hexham to Chollerford, is the old Smith's Arms. This was one of two public houses at the village providing refreshment and provision to those travelling north, and along the Military Road.

It was probably built just after the bypass was constructed allowing traffic to glide past the village itself. However, the earliest records I can find of this place is from 1848 when it was the venue for an auction of valuable lands owned by Mr Robert Proudlock around Chollerford and Brunton. It was under the ownership of the Clayton's Chesters Estate alongside 40 or so farms, the George Inn and 20000 other acres including the village of Wall itself. It came under the firesale of properties in 1929, when J M Clayton had to sell much of the inherited estate to cover his gambling debts. You can read a little more on the Clayton Collection here:

Its namesake is also thanks to the building next door, the former village smithy, which will have produced all sorts of goods for tradesmen and general domestic use. Think horseshoes, hammers etc.

Eventually it became a pub under the ownership of William Younger, a huge brewery which eventually merchanted into Scottish Brewers and eventually Scottish & Newcastle.

Nowadays though, it goes under the name Hjem - a Michelin star restaurant with a hotel upstairs.

Listing Description (if available)

These Ordnance Survey maps cover Wall through the latter half of the 19th century. You will see very little change, but the composition of the village is especially interesting. You can identify the bypass that curves around the village and has been in place since at least the 1840s instead of leading through the village green. A separate high street developed as the commercial centre here, while the green remained the residential centre.

The Smiths Arms was one of the first, or the last, properties built on the high street adjacent to the smithy. I wonder if the small boundary at the bottom of the village was a pinfold, where stray animals were pounded.

The 1925 Ordnance Survey again presents a similar picture. The Wesleyan Chapel was still in operation, and the village still retained its Post Office and its second village pub - the North Tyne Hotel.


The Smiths Arms under the guise of Hjem in 2024



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