by Charie Steel
It has often been said that the best way to learn history is to study castles and churches; however it cannot be denied that the best way to learn about the history of North Shields, is to study the pubs.
As a relatively small town in the 1800s, North Shields has probably had the highest number of inns, taverns, ale houses and beer sellers to be found anywhere in the country. The Low Town in particular had an extremely high concentration of pubs, with some inns actually adjoining the next one, with others just being a matter of feet away from the next. From 1822 to the present day, almost 500 public houses have been recorded in North Shields. In 1853 alone, it was estimated there were 217 inns, taverns and ale houses in the former Borough of Tynemouth, the highest concentration of which were situated in North Shields itself.
This book is an illustrated gazetteer and directory, which provides a fascinating insight into the many licensed premises that have existed in North Shields over the past two centuries.