Great Pubs of England: the Crown Posada, Newcastle
Keywords: Crown Posada, Pre-Raphaelite, Newcastle, William Lister Newcombe, William Wailes, Jarrow Brewery, Wylam Brewery
The Crown Posada is one of the most famous pubs in Newcastle and certainly the quirkiest. Known locally as the Coffin, the pub is a tiny building wedged into a narrow site on the Side, a street that runs steeply down to the River Tyne. The Crown Posada is the second oldest pub in the city and is a Grade II Listed Building thanks to its elaborate Victorian design and Pre-Raphaelite stained glass.
The Crown Posada was designed in 1880 by the Newcastle architect William Lister Newcombe. Standing upon a grey granite plinth, the building is executed in sandstone ashlar and capped by a graduated slate roof. The façade is divided into three storeys, plus an attic. The slightly projecting end bays contain panelled doors and the main entrance on the right features an elaborate wrought iron gate. The two central windows have Pre-Raphaelite style stained glass designed by the famous Newcastle craftsman William Wailes. The four bays are defined by fluted pilasters, and swaged panels appear above each window. Along the roofline, the entablature has a pulvinated (or ‘cushioned’) frieze and an egg-and-dart moulded cornice. Twin dormer windows rise above and a balustrade runs between them.
Inside there are three drinking areas with a servery on the left. The servery has a panelled counter with a deep cornice and dentil frieze. Mirrors with mahogany surrounds run throughout the length of the building. The ceiling has deeply recessed panels with frames containing guilloche and egg-and-dart ornament. There is more stained glass featured in the woodwork, and the walls display old photos of the Tyne. Overall, this is a supremely well-designed late 19th century pub that retains its plan and most of its fittings. The pub has a lively and laughter-filled atmosphere, despite its small size.
The Crown Posada is cask ale lover's paradise, featuring many locally produced ales from the Jarrow and Wylam breweries, among others. Available from time to time are Durham White Gold and Wylam Gold Tankard. For this reason, the pub regularly receives awards from CAMRA. The pub is on the National Inventory of History Pub interiors and is one of must visit pubs in Newcastle.
This article is part of an ongoing series. Please see my article on The Eagle and Child, Oxford, a legendary pub where J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis met to discuss The Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia:
See also my article on Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, reputed to be the oldest pub in England and one of only two I know of to be built in a cave:
Find information on John Lennon's favourite pub at: