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THE OLD 'FOX AND LAMB' PUBLIC HOUSE, NEWCASTLE.
XXIII.—THE OLD FOX AND LAMB' PUBLIC HOUSE,
PILGRIM STREET, NEWCASTLE.
By W. H. KNOWLES, F.R.I.B.A.
[Read on the 20th December, 1893.] Of the building known as the · Fox and Lamb,' now removed to provide premises for the National Telephone Company, unfortunately we have no records or even mention in any of our local histories, whilst search in other channels has yielded but meagre results.
Who erected or who resided within the ancient building previous to its bearing the sign of the · Fox and Lamb,' or when this title was first used, we know not, excepting that in 17301 it is so called.
It would be difficult, and indeed unwise, to attempt to conjecture what the original structure was like, as the building just removed had at various times been much added to, altered, and mutilated.
In 1739 it is described as a messuage burgage or tenement and garden, including maltings, cornlofts, brewhouse, and mill to the same premises belonging, bounded on the north and south by other messuages, on the east by the king's highway called or known by the name of Pilgrim Street, and on the west by the Painters Heugh Dean, apparently the ravine through which the Lortburn ran, was at this point so called.
All that was really of an ancient character is shown in the accompanying drawings. Some portions were of the latter part of the fifteenth century, and were incorporated with those of the seventeenth century with which we are familiar. On the plan the parts attributed to the earlier date are shown coloured black, and comprise the gables on the north and south, walls in continuation thereof carried westward in the direction of Dean street (site of the Lortburn), and the lower portions of the front and passage walls. A pointed arch chamfered on both sides existed at the point A ; and another arch, possibly of later date, much flatter chamfered on the outside and rebated within, at the point B. In the room over the barber's shop (C), there existed an arched stone recess, bearing no
Arch. Ael. vol. iv. (N.S.) p. 248.
mouldings, but rebated on inside. The remainder of the old work
is was of the seventeenth century.
(See the elevation and the portions hatched on plan.)
The square projecting oriel (of which now one other example only remains in Newcastle, that of Cosyns' house on the Quayside) was supported by stout uprights and cross-beam, the oaken foor joists resting on the latter, extended from the west wall above the arch A. An old-fashioned fireplace of ample dimensions existed in the bar. The roofs were all covered with pantiles. All the windows were fitted with solid wooden frames and casement sashes. The walls towards Pilgrim street were covered with a rough coat of plaster. The arch (D) and the gable surmounting it were of brick (see sketch).
On the first floor over the point E were the remains of chamfered stone window heads, sills, and mullions. In a room on the first floor (above H), over a fireplace, were
two plaster panels, one of which Troules,
bore the date 1651, with a rose and
crown between two fleurs-de-lis, whilst on the other panel a winged monster was represented.?
The staircase was of the simplest description, and with one slight exception, and that of very poor character, there existed no panelling of wood or plaster.
? It is the intention of the National Telephone Company to place these panels in the new building. They are depicted at page 132 of Vestiges of Old Newcastle and Gateshead.