Marsden Grotto owner ordered to clear up beach-front pub land
Council bosses have ordered a landlord to clean up a landmark seaside pub.
The Marsden Grotto in Coast Road, South Shields, closed its doors before Christmas.
A metal gate has been pulled across the pub’s lift shaft, which links the cliff cave pub to the car park and The Leas above.
There is no indication of when it is likely to reopen.
However, shelving units, electrical equipment, overflowing rubbish bins and general mess have been left on the pub’s patio, which overlooks Marsden Beach.
South Tyneside Council says it has been in contact with the pub’s owner over the state of the property.
The licensee of the pub is listed as Marsden Grott Limited.
A spokesman for the council said: “The rubbish is on the pub’s land and the pub is temporarily closed for the winter season.
“However, we have contacted the owner and asked them to remove the rubbish.”
The pub also hit the headlines back in August 2015 due to its ‘private beach’ signs.
Heritage bosses at the National Trust claimed they were frightening tourists away from the public beach, but owner Sharon Deehan said the wording referred to the small stretch of land directly in front of the Grotto.
However, the signs were later to be found in breach of South Tyneside Council’s planning rules and were removed.
No one from the Grotto was available for comment.
The Grotto is one of very few cave bars in Europe.
The pub is partly dug into the cliff face and fronted with a more conventional building that opens onto the beach.
It features a bar and restaurant, named Changing Tides.
The pub was first opened by lead miner Jack Bates in 1782.
Jack moved from Allendale with his wife Jessie to the area and allegedly set up home in a small cave at Marsden Rock, either after refusing to pay rent on his home in Allendale or because he had nowhere to live.
Using explosives from a local quarry, he blasted the small cave into a much larger one, earning the nickname Jack the Blaster.
The eccentric dwelling attracted many visitors, who Jack and Jessie would supply with refreshments at a cost.
It is suggested that he later became involved in smuggling activities.