Front St
Newcastle upon Tyne
Previous Names: NA
Area: Benton
Pub Number: 1


  • Bentons oldest pub, appeared on maps dating from 1755
  • The Black Bull was a coaching inn with stables and accommodation
  • The current building was constructed in 1938
  • The pub had adjoining buildings until the 1950s, which were demolished to provide the pub with a larger carpark

A large pub on Front Street in Benton, with a central bar and lots of hidey holes, which was good because the Black Bull was the first licensed premises I ever drank in – Which I’ll admit seems a little odd considering I’m from Belfast. How the hell did I end up breaking the law in Newcastle upon Tyne?

On the 10th of July 1992, I was on my way to Keilder as a volunteer and stopped over in Newcastle. My contact, Sandra, met me at the bus station and took me to stay at her uncle’s stopping off at The Black Bull for a pint, being away from the I thought ‘fuck it’ I’ll have a drink – my parents will never find out so had a Newcastle Brown Ale, which I drank while hiding around the corner on the left of the main doors.

After finally moving to the North East in 1996, I wracked my brain trying to work out where this pub was and what it was called (I had convinced myself it was the Bridle Path in Whickham). But on my first night out with the civil service in 2003, I walked into the Black Bull and was instantly transported back to 1992.

Over the next number of years, I was in there frequently because being a civil servant was awful and drink was the only thing that got me through it.

The Black Bull is alright; It has an ‘edge’ that is missing from its two neighboring pubs,( The Ship and The Benton Ale House). It is a Greene King chain pub, with ample parking, a sun trap beer garden at the front, a pool table, and a raised seating area to the rear. The food on offer is fine, and the limited beer selection is perfectly drinkable.

Would I go out of my way to visit it? No.

Do I end up in there for Civil Service retirement dos? All too frequently.