A little about us:
Joanne and Tony Furphy would like to offer everyone a very warm welcome. Come and try one of the real ales we have on offer at any one time or try some of our traditional home cooked food in the lounge or conservatory. We are not a restaurant, we are a pub that does good food but you will walk away full and content. Dogs are welcome in the bar but must be kept on a lead at all times.
History of the Baydale Beck
Baydale Beck Inn, Darlington and its association with the Theakston Family
The original Inn shown on the drawing was built of river cobblestones from the Tees. It was part of the ancient manor of Coniscliffe built on the boundary of the Parish. It is reputed that during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it was frequented by celebrated gangs if thieves including Dick Turpin. His bedroom used to be pointed out to visitors and it is said that it curiously had five access doors– presumably for a quick getaway. It also is supposed to have been the headquarters of the notorious robber Sir John Brown, knight of the order of Saint Nicholas, who was hanged at Westgate in Newcastle in 1743 having been sentenced to death for returning from transportation.
The Theakston family’s connection with the Baydale Beck begins in 1871 when with seventeen acres, one rod and nine perches of old grass land with outbuildings was purchased at a King’s Head Hotel Auction by John Theakston (1823-1880), Master Butcher of Northgate, Darlington. In those days according to Longstaffs History of Darlington it was a popular eating place of the young sprigs of Darlington who enjoyed the Scotch oat cakes and whiskey served but the landlady, Mrs Anne Nisbitt around1879 Mrs I’anson took over at a rent of £12 p.a. but in 1891 she got into difficulties and moved away.
Mr Thomas Clayhills the Theakston family Solicitor then became the tenant at a rent of £18 p.a. and he sub-let the premises with a tie to his brewery The South Durham Brewery Company Limited (later to be renamed as the Haughton Road Brewery Limited). In 1880 John Theakston died and the Inn was left in trust for his family and became much neglected
In a 1910 report the Inn and the outbuildings were described as very old and dilapidated and the Town magistrates had given the trustees of John Theakston’s will an intimation that unless it was knocked down, set back from the road and rebuild, with suitable stabling outbuildings and proper sanitary arrangements, the public house licence would be taken away. It was sold in 1911 to Mr Thomas Clayhills and very quickly was rebuilt. However the surrounding 18 acres plus of land was kept and eventually passed through the family to two of Mr Theakston’s grandchildren who were the children of Frank Theakson (1852-1894), Butcher, Cattle Judge and Brewer of Darlington. One of those grandchildren a Mr Alfred Francis Theakston (b. 1888) left the town but came back in 1937.
The Northern Despatch wrote an article on him where Alfred a said he had returned to the town in a effort to sell 4 fields near the Baydale Beck, He explained that he got a certain amount of rent every quarter from the land but he had been out of work for sometime and he needed to sell it. In fact finances were so low that the only way he could get back to Darlington was by walking and he had set out of London on Boxing Day and travelled in eight stages by way of Oxford, Coventry, Leicester and Derby. He recounted that one young fellow who gave him a lift near Ripon had asked if he was a professional tramp he replied. “ I certainly am a tramp but feels it is a rather disconcerting question to ask a landowner” he said with a smile. We presume he sold the Baydale land and invested the proceeds wisely.