Northern Echo’s Pub of the Month: Baydale Beck

The historic inn was originally built using river cobbles from the River Tees.

It is believed to have been used regularly by the notorious highwayman Dick Turpin in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Fast forward to the present and the inn has become a pillar of the Darlington community.

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Joanne Chambers, manager of the pub, said: “I’ve been here for 21 years.

The Northern Echo: Baydale Beck Pub

“We pride ourselves on preparing fresh, home-cooked food.

“We’re trying to build a reputation as a pub that offers good food, rather than a restaurant.”

“Dick Turpin should have stayed here.

“We have a really good Sunday dinner, as you can see. It’s a very busy day for us.”

The Northern Echo: Baydale Beck Pub

Entering the warm pub on Sunday afternoon, the friendly atmosphere was immediately relaxing.

The staff was very friendly and happy to give a tour of the different nooks and crannies of the building.

The Northern Echo: Baydale Beck Pub

They summarize their vision for the pub on their website.

It says: “We have a ‘simple dream’: to create a warm, welcoming village inn that consistently serves delicious home-cooked food, hand-tapped beers, great wines and an amazing selection of gins.”

“Our charming, cozy bar rooms with log fires and flagstone floors create a warm, friendly atmosphere, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind.

“Are you looking for a private dining room for a special family occasion or just a gathering with friends? Then our newly renovated winter garden is the perfect place.”

A wall of the pub illustrates the history of the inn, including links to highwaymen and its purchase by the Theakston family.

The Northern Echo: Baydale Beck Pub

It describes how Dick Turpin’s room was regularly shown to visitors, highlighting the fact that it had an unusual number of doors.

It had a total of five doors, just in case he wanted to get away quickly.

The inn is also believed to have been the headquarters of the robber Sir John Brown, who was hanged at Westgate in Newcastle in 1743.

The Northern Echo: Baydale Beck Pub

John Theakston, a butcher, purchased the property in 1871.

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According to Longstaff’s History of Darlington, it was a popular spot for the area’s “young branches”.

When John Theakston died in 1880 he left the inn to his family, but it fell into disrepair.

Mr Thomas Clayhill bought the property 30 years later in 1911 and quickly restored the pub to its former glory.

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