Borough Arms Hotel
Borough Arms hotel

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Borough Arms hotel
Borough Arms Our History
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Borough arms hotel

In 1783 it appears that the present day road systems radiating from Nelson Place were established. In the same year the Newcastle Council granted fifteen leases to develop parts of this area.

At this point the story of The Borough Arms Hotel really begins, for it was as a result of purchasing one of the first council leases to be offered that an unlikely partnership began between a Mr James Bulkeley (a professional soldier) of Huntley Hall, Cheadle, Staffordshire, and Mr William Bent (a part-time surgeon) of Newcastle. They erected what is now the old part of The Borough Arms Hotel, fronting Water Street, in order to commence the manufacture of pottery.

There is only one example of the firm's wares known to be in existence, which comprises a rather well potted stoneware jug with sprigged hunting scenes applied around its belly. 

From this point on, Bulkeley fades out of the scenario but Bent, quite undeterred by the failure of his first venture, made a very astute move in converting his now defunct potworks into, of all things - a brewery. He utilised the existing plant and converted his pottery oven into a malt kiln. His new partners were James Caldwell, who was a potter in his own right, and James Barrow, a local financier.

This second phase of the Hotel's life was much more successful and culminated in the creation of a brewing empire worth over a quarter of a million pounds during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. At its height, the name of Bent was a household word and the products of the family breweries were known the world over.

Even so, the early days of the foundation of the brewery were not without their catastrophes. On the evening of September 15th 1806, the brewery warehouse appears to have suffered serious damage in a devastating fire. One thousand and eighty bushels of malt were destroyed, or to be more exact, the equivalent of forty-four thousand pints.

However, as we now know, the firm survived and prospered until eventually the Bent family sold out their interests to a firm known as Rogers, Baker and Hindle. Eventually, in 1853, a licence was applied for to turn the premises into an Inn and marked the birth of The Borough Arms Hotel as we now know it. The Inn became very successful, for as well as drawing trade from the Newcastle Railway Station, opposite (no longer in existence), it also benefited from being on the main highway and attracted over 40 carriages a day. Passengers on longer journeys inevitably stayed the night and The Borough Arms flourished as a main focal point of the town.

Borough Arms Hotel
Borough Arms Hotel
Borough Arms Hotel