I’M a great ‘looker-at’ of houses, because so many which are of any vintage have their own narrative.
Round here, it’s not uncommon to see some with little tower rooms which you just know were a device for giving a view of the sea and harbour.
How much has since got in the way of those views though?
I mention it because I came across a note from 1872 which helps us date the building of the Westoe Hotel in Shields because, at the time, it was being advertised to let, having been “newly erected.”
And it was a hotel in those days, with nine rooms, a bar, snug and “excellent catering.”
But what’s interesting is to see how the location was described, being directly opposite the Ingham Infirmary and 10 minutes walk from the town. It also commanded “...a fine view of the entrance of the harbour, pier, docks etc.”
I daresay the upper rooms of the pub still have a good view over the town today, but the harbour?
A lot of late Victorian house building possibly got in the way of that.
Out of interest, it was also described as being within easy reach of the “famous bathing place” of Frenchman’s Bay, and on the main road to the “far-famed” Marsden Rock.