In 1783 it appears that the present-day road systems radiating from Nelson Place were established. In the same year the Newcastle Council granted fifteen leases to develop parts of this area. And it is here that the wonderful story of The Borough Arms Hotel really begins, with a rather unlikely partnership…
Mr James Bulkeley (a professional soldier) of Huntley Hall, Cheadle, Staffordshire, and Mr William Bent (a part-time surgeon) of Newcastle purchased one of the first council leases. They had a dream – to manufacture pottery. They erected what is now the old part of The Borough Arms Hotel, fronting Water Street, and started their quest.
Unfortunately there is only one example of the firm’s wares known to be in existence, which comprises a rather well potted stoneware jug with sprigged hunting scenes applied around its belly. It was not a successful venture, and Bulkeley fades out of the scenario. However, Bent – quite undeterred by the failure of his first venture – went onto make a very astute move: he converted his now defunct potworks into, of all things – a brewery! He utilised the existing plant and converted his pottery oven into a malt kiln. His new partners were James Caldwell, who was a potter in his own right, and James Barrow, a local financier.
This second phase of the Hotel’s life was much more successful and culminated in the creation of a brewing empire worth over a quarter of a million pounds during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. At its height, the name ‘Bent’ was a household word and the products of the family breweries were known the world over.
Even so, the early days of the foundation of the brewery were not without their catastrophes. On the evening of September 15th, 1806, the brewery warehouse appears to have suffered serious damage in a devastating fire. One thousand and eighty bushels of malt were destroyed, or to be more exact, the equivalent of forty-four thousand pints.
However, as we now know, the firm survived and prospered until eventually the Bent family sold out their interests to a firm known as Rogers, Baker and Hindle. Eventually, in 1853, a licence was applied for to turn the premises into an Inn. This marked the birth of The Borough Arms Hotel as we now know it!
The Inn became very successful, for as well as drawing trade from the Newcastle Railway Station, opposite (no longer in existence), it also benefited from being on the main highway and attracted over 40 carriages a day. Passengers on longer journeys inevitably stayed the night and the Borough Arms flourished as a main focal point of the town.
Today, the hotel is privately-owned by the Sheikh family. A deeply personal project of love and determination, Mr Aleem Sheikh (Managing Director) can be found at the hotel most days, working with his dedicated team with one aim in mind: to provide warm, heartfelt hospitality to guests – whether they dine, stay, celebrate, or do business with us.
Lovingly managed by an experienced, friendly team, we have 38 ensuite bedrooms and 2 boutique-style suites, all offering great value accommodation in Staffordshire.
Recently refurbished, the Ostler Restaurant is perfect for celebrations, remarkable dining, romantic dinners… or simply just a wholesome lunch or an indulgent dinner after a long day!
Hopelessly romantic… We are a licensed wedding venue with 2 private suites to choose from. We can host weddings for up to 120 guests. We have all the perfect ingredients for your dream day.