Contributed by Diana Bevan
Recently a very old property in Lower Street, Newcastle was put up for sale.
It is a listed building but sadly has lain empty and unloved for several years. It will be remembered latterly as Maxim’s, the night club.
The main house has an attractive frontage and at the rear are many adjoining buildings.
Before construction of the dual carriageway the property was at the heart of the cosmopolitan Lower Street community and it has played a fascinating part in the history of our Borough.
Here are some milestones:-
1655 – According to Thomas Pape, the historian, the property was sold by Elizabeth Bagnall for £34
1724 – Bought by Samuel Bell for £156. He set up a potworks and in 1729 took out a patent for ‘Agate Ware’. He died in 1744.
1744 – Let to William Steers, a potter. It is said that he made the first porcelain in this country but was unsuccessful in his application for a patent.
1748 – Let to Joseph Wilson, potter.
1752 – Ralph Gallimore, bellowsmaker bought the ‘messuage’. (A dwelling house with outbuildings and land).
1754 – From this date on many alterations took place and different parts were bought and sold, including the garden. Various tradesmen occupied the site including a currier and tanner.
1851 – Census: Alfred Brown, currier.
1867 – Directory: William Abbott, beer seller and rope maker.
1872 – Directory: William Abbott (The Roper’s Arms) beer retailer and twine and rope maker.
1881 – Census: Benjamin Copeland, publican.
1885 – Rear of public house ; John Gallimore’s steam joinery works (Builder of Municipal Hall).
1890 – Became the ‘Old Pomona’ public house instead of Roper’s Arms.
1891 – Census: William Owen, innkeeper, Old Pomona public house.
1898 – Pottery kiln base unearthed on site. (Now in Borough Museum).
1901 – Census: Benjamin Copeland, licensee.
1904 – Directory:- Charles Bennett, beer retailer
1912 – Directory: Charles Bennett, Old Pomona Inn.