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Ouseburn, St. Lawrence Road, Free Trade Inn





Early Modern


Extant Building

The former beerhouse probably opened shortly after the introduction of the 1830 Beer Act. Bought by Henry Davidson of the White Lion Brewery in 1888. Rebuilt in 1896 to designs by Oswald & Son. Their original design had two large decorative gables in Queen Anne revival style with ball finials and hooded canopy over the door. Inside the bar had a V-shaped counter to echo the shape of the building. There was a club room upstairs. Henry Davidson opted for a cheaper design which increased the size of the tenant's accomodation and replaced the proposed club room with bedrooms. The faƧade hardly had any decoration apart from facings round the windows and a parapet inscribed with the name Free Trade. In 1899 Matthew Wood, brewer from South Shields bought it. In 1911 there were structural alterations. The tenant's kitchen became a parlour, the bar counter was extended and the family room became part of the main bar. In 1919 the Free Trade became a Newcastle Breweries pub. In 1937 more internal partitions were removed. It almost closed in 1947 when Newcastle Breweries applied to transfer the licence to a new pub to be built in Sackville Road. The Free Trade was not granted a full publican's licence until 1963. It is still a free house. Little of the original interior survives apart from the basic form of the bar counter and part of the back bar fitting.




Brian Bennison, 1997, Heavy Nights - A History of Newcastle's Public Houses, Volume Two, The North and East, p 26-27; Lynn F Pearson, 1989, The Northumbrian Pub - an architectural history, p 35-36; Septimus Oswald & Son drawings 1895 and 1911, Tyne & Wear Archives T186/16526

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