Nine Sunderland pubs with curious pasts - including one taken brick-by-brick to America

Have you heard about the Sunderland pub which was moved brick-by-brick to America? Or how about the one which was named after a champion horse?

Monday, 10th August 2020, 11:54 am
The Brewery Tap in Dunning Street ran from 1842 to 2000. It was also previously known as Minerva and Neptune. And Ron told us that it was once a smallpox hospital in 1869.
The Brewery Tap in Dunning Street ran from 1842 to 2000. It was also previously known as Minerva and Neptune. And Ron told us that it was once a smallpox hospital in 1869.

Then there’s the pub with a bar which was so long, it stretched into the next street!

Or what about the one which had a cannon outside to deflect horse and carriages? There’s many a tale to be told about the pubs of Wearside and we have plenty for you.

Each photo and story comes to us courtesy of Ron Lawson, the former JP who is also part of the Sunderland Antiquarian Society and who has shared a part of his huge photo selection.

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The Half Moon Inn was a drinkers haven in High Street East from 1771 to 1937. But when it closed, an American visitor loved it so much he bought it and had it taken brick by brick to the USA where it was rebuilt. Photo: Ron Lawson, JP.

Take a look at Ron’s great reminders of times gone by.

To find out more about the society, visit its Facebook page or its website at http://www.sunderland-antiquarians.org/

If you’ve got pub memories please contact Chris Cordner on [email protected]

The Windsor Castle in Bishopwearmouth had a marine cannon outside it. It was used as a glancing stone and Ron explained that it was a merchant navy cannon which was used as a glancing stone because the carts at the time had steel hubs and this stopped them from damaging the brickwork of the pub.
The Nutwith Hotel, on Sans Street and Coronation Street, was a landmark from 1834 to 1962. Its owner followed horse racing and one of the horses he backed was called Nutwith which went on to win the St Leger in 1843. After winning a decent amount of money, he named his pub after the horse. Photo: Ron Lawson JP.
The Look Out Inn was named after one of the four hills in Monkwearmouth and, as Ron tells us, they were 'all ballast hills' caused by the ships which had to get rid of their ballast as they came in.
The Commercial Vaults was in Green Street and was open from 1873 to 1968. Ron said: "It had the longest bar in Sunderland at 139ft and it stretched from Green Street to the next street."
The Jack Crawford which was named after Sunderland's very own hero of Camperdown. The pub was on Whitburn Street and Charles Street from 1873 to 1943. Jack Crawford was haled a hero during the Battle of Camperdown in 1797 in which he recovered the colours from a damaged mast, climbed the mast and nailed them back on.
The Duke of Wellington was in South Railway Street and served the public from 1834 to 1999. Ron told us: "At one point, the name Wellington was dropped and they called it just The Duke."
The Alma was named after a Crimean War battle. The Hendon pub was open until 1960. Photo: Ron Lawson JP.
What are your best memories of Sunderland's pubs from decades gone by?