In the early 1800s Brandling Village was built for the employees of the Jesmond coal mines. The village consisted of two rows of terraced cottages either side of a now forgotten road called the High Street. A few years later, more substantial homes for the gentry were built on Brandling Park to the west and south.
The Collingwood Arms was added to the east end of the High Street terraced cottages and opened its doors for the first time in 1836. The cottages are long gone but the 'High Street' is the road running from the gap through the Brandling Park houses at the west end of the village through to The Collingwood.
Robert Hewlitt, the first landlord, had a great interest in naval history and so named the pub after the locally born Lord Collingwood (1750 – 1810) who was Commander in Chief of the British fleet in the Mediterranean and Nelson's second in command at the battle of Trafalgar. There is a story that the pub was actually built in the shape of a ship's helm to play on this naval connection and when you look at the balcony to the east end of the building it's not hard to see why this rumour still persists.
Robert Hewlitt, left The Collingwood Arms in 1850 and the bar went into the doldrums until 1878 when a Daniel Martin took up the helm and steered the pub into the 20th Century.
In this map from 1910 you can see The Collingwood to the east end of the High Street and the original Brandling Arms to the west.
The terraced miners' cottages and the original Brandling Arms, which stood in the middle of the terrace, were demolished in the 1930s but The Collingwood Arms remained. The Brandling Arms was then rebuilt on the same site as its predecessor and the land between the two pubs has been a car park ever since.
Despite a few changes in landlords in the early 1900s The Collingwood went from strength to strength and was taken over just after the Second World War by the local brewers W B Reid & Co of Leazes. The pub became very popular with equestrians who visited the pub on their way from Gosforth Racecourse.
In 1956 W B Reid & Co were taken over by Scottish Brewers who then went on to merge with Newcastle Breweries in 1960 and so The Collingwood Arms became a Scottish & Newcastle managed house.
The Collingwood in 1966 prior to the extension. At this time there was doors and windows on both sides of the pub.
© Newcastle City Library
Thanks to Newcastle City Library for permission to use their images.