There has been a long history of a pub at this location and before that there was a mill on the site.
The original building dates from around 1608 and was built as a corn mill fed by the Nicholas Burn that now runs through the pub’s beer garden. The mill was almost completely rebuilt in the late 1770s, the flag stone floors still survive (worn wafer thin) in the bar beneath the current floor.
The mill use latterly fell away as the use of steam engines increased and the pub use became predominant on the site.
Betty Forster is recorded as the first Landlady, with the pub referred to as the ‘Fox and Lamb’.
Betty was succeeded by her tenant, William Scott, but the Forsters appear to have retained ownership of the premises and continue to turn up in the Census returns as publicans at the Dipton Mill with a sideline job as lead miners until the 1870s.
By the 1890s the pub was owned by the Tucker family, long established brewers in Gateshead. They rebuilt part of the current pub from stone taken from the derelict farmhouse of Nicholas Hall further up the hill.
In the (almost) 200 years since Betty there have been just 17 other licensees of the pub. A level of continuity all the more impressive for the fact that two of these were brothers, and another three were members of the same family.
In that time the pub and the licensees have survived fires, floods and foot and mouth but with the support of our regular customers and many visitors the pub continues!
(Many thanks to Greg Finch for his research.)