History of the Black Bull Middleham
The Black Bull Middleham is a Grade II listed pub offering locally sourced food and ales as well as quality accommodation. It is situated near the Market Towns of Leyburn, Masham and Bedale at the Gateway to the Yorkshire dales and Hawes, Reeth and beyond. According to the deeds, the building existed as a Public House at least back to 1878, but it is likely that the building was a pub long before that, and other buildings in the town date from the late 17th Century, including Castle Cottage, which has a lintel dated 1671 and the hairdressers, formerly The Stable Door Café, has a stone marked 1682. It is said that there were at least 9 pubs in Middleham at one time.
The Black Bull has gone through significant change in its time as a Middleham institution. In 1942 a Churchill Tank came loose and rolled down the Marketplace before demolishing the North-East corner of the pub. The repair bill, for just over £80 is on the wall of the pub and can be seen here. At some point in the next few decades, the front door was also moved from East Witton Road to The Marketplace, possibly to make it slightly harder to stumble out of the pub and straight into traffic. A picture of the pub in the 1960s, with its entrance still on East Witton Road can be seen here.
Once part of John Smiths Brewery pub empire, the pub has gone through various ownership, being sold to Scottish and Newcastle as part of their acquisition of John Smiths, before Scottish and Newcastle themselves were acquired by Courage Brewery. The pub passed into Private ownership for a number of years before again becoming part of a Pubco, when, in 1999, it was sold to the North East based New Century Inns, who owned just under 50 Public Houses across Northern England at the time of their own acquisition by Greene King in 2007. The pub was briefly part of the Green King pub group before again entering private ownership where it remains as a family business.