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The Black Horse Inn
West Boldon

 
 
 
Sunday  Lunches
12 noon till 2.30 p.m.
 
Restaurant and Bar Meals
Monday to Saturday
12 noon till 2p.m. and 7 p.m. till 9.30 p.m
 
Tel. Joe and Margaret Briggs 0191 536 1814
 
The Black Horse Inn
The Black Horse Inn was built during the 17th century and is known to have been providing accommodation and refreshment for travellers and their horses during the 18th century.  The inn lays claim not only to one ghost but two.  The Landlord and his staff have seen a man dressed in typical 17th century attire sitting at the bar who looked at them then just disappeared.  The ghost of a girl aged about nine years, has been seen in the gents' toilet.  The apparition is thought to be the ghost of a girl who fell over the quarry cliff from the playground of the nearby school during the 19th century.  Perhaps you may make contact if you call in for Sunday lunch.
 
For details see "Ales and Spirits" by Michael J. Hallowell or talk to Joe Briggs the manager.
 
Message from a reader
Getting to the Black Horse at West Boldon is easy.  Four services, the 534, 537, 30, and 34 all travel through West Boldon.  Simply ask the driver to drop you off at the Bank Top Garage and then relax.
When you reach the Bank Top, cross the road and you will find yourself standing outside to the village post office.  Turn to your left and then first right.  You are now standing in Rectory Bank, a pleasant little street which, despote being small, can boast two fine public houses.  On your left stands the Wheatsheaf, directly ahead of you stands the Black horse which is one of South Tyneside's oldest watering holes.  This welcoming pub has lost little of its old-world charm and like all alehouses of character, it is also reputed to be haunted.
One morning I popped into the Black Horse for a lunch-time pint with my father.  I asked Joe Briggs, the manage, if he could tell me a little more about the spectres which reputedly still make their presence felt.
The landlord confessed that he had been sceptic concerning the paranoral until he had moved to the Black Horse.  "I believe in what I can see." he told me.
But all that changed when one Sunday morning "I was standing behind the bar when I happened to glance up.  There, sitting next to the window by the door, was a man dressed in dark, old-fashioned clothes.  He wore tall boots, a cloak, leggings and a wide-brimmed hat.  I also noticed that his skin was rather sallow looking.  I said "Excuse me, can I help you?" He turned and looked at me for a second, then he turned away again and just ....disappeared"
Joe admitted that the hairs on the back of his neck stoodup and that he left the bar in something of a hurry.  Not wanting to alarm the staff, he kept his strange experience to himself.  However, two other members of staff who worked between the bar and the restaurant, also saw our mysterious Cavalier.  They both thought there was something odd about the man who was sitting on a stool at the bar, dressed in typical 17th century clothing.  Their suspicions were confirmed when he disappeared in the twoinkling of an eye.
The two ladies in question were somewhat relieved to find out that they were not the only ones to have clapped eyes upon the spectral visitor. 
 
The living quarters above the Black Horse are also rumoured to be haunted.  Joe has heard the sound of a young child's voice in one of the bedrooms, only to find on entering that there was no one there.
Strangely , the ghost of a girl aged around nine years has also been seen in the Gents' toilet.  Her identity is not so difficult to establish.
In the 19th century a school stood adhacent to the Black Horse and the payground apparently looked out over a quarried area of the steep bank which is now called the Leap.  The young girl in question, who in her spectral appearances wears a white dress and sports long blond hair, allegedly toppled over the playground wall and died instantly.  Perhaps it is her apparition which haunts the inn today, who knows? But there is another mystery attached to the Black horse.  There are rumours that an immense underground tunnel runs all the way from the inn to Cleadon Tower or the Britannia Inn, Joe has located the entrance to the tunnel, although whether one could amble through it all the way to Cleadon Village is another qurstion.  Sadly the entrance is blocked up so we may never inow unless excavations are carried out at some future time. 
When on visits Black Horse today , one is struck immediately by the warm, friendly atmosphere. The inn has a reputation for serving excellent food and visitors are make extremely welcome.
Next time you visit West Boldon you could do worse that pop in to this fascinating little pub for some refreshment.  If you are having trouble telling the difference between the regular drinkers and those from a bygone age, the floppy hats and ruffled collars are usually a dead give-away!
 
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