Pubs of Manchester

All pubs within the city centre and beyond.
A history of Manchester's hundreds of lost pubs.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Vernon Arms, Vernon Street


Vernon Arms, Vernon Street, Stockport. (c) Jim Phelan with permission.


The Vernon Arms stood on the corner of Vernon Street and Warren Street in Portwood, Stockport. It has long been lost to the new ASDA development at the start of the Merseyway shopping precinct, but this lost Robinson's pub is fondly remembered. Jim Phelan, grandson of a former landlord of the Vernon Arms, James Sheehan, takes up the story.


James Edward Sheehan, born 1878, was landlord of the Vernon Arms before, during and after World War I. He was previously a pawnbroker and insurance agent before taking on the tenancy around 1912. In 1915 he enlisted in the Irish Guards for war service despite being 37 years old at the time. James fought at Passchendaele and was wounded in his knee and left hand. The photo of James standing in the doorway of the Vernon Arms was taken in 1913. The vehicle in the picture is a 1910 Napier 15HP Landaulette Taxi, registered in Sheffield.

Vernon Arms, Vernon Street. (c) Jim Phelan with permission. 

When his wife, Lavinia, died during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, James returned to look after his two young children. In the early 1920s, there was a post-war depression and supplies being hard to obtain, the business gradually declined. Rather than accept bankruptcy, James walked away from the Vernon Arms leaving all his possessions behind, and with his children, went to live with his elderly mother in nearby Edgeley.

Vernon Arms, Vernon Street. (c) Jim Phelan with permission. 


The wedding photograph was taken in the yard of the Vernon Arms circa 1918. James is standing in the back row, his daughter (Jim's mother), Kathleen (born 1912), is the little girl front right, and her brother Jim (1914) is the little boy on the left. Behind Jim is a Mrs Slattery who was the cleaner, childminder, barmaid and general dogsbody at the pub.


Vernon Arms, Vernon Street. (c) Jim Phelan with permission.

The black and white photograph shows the Vernon Arms in relation to the electricity cooling towers with the courthouse on the right and probably dates from the 1960s. Confusingly, this area is known as Portwood, Brinksway and Underbank, the street on the right, Vernon Street, leads up to the market. The pub was demolished in the 1980s to make way for the ASDA supermarket.


Vernon Arms, Vernon Street. (c) Google 2015. View Larger Map.

An odd looking new-build has replaced the corner on which the Vernon Arms stood, which is today occupied by a loans company. However, the old courthouse building opposite on Vernon Street remains and houses a coffee shop. Wonder what James Sheehan would have made of today's Stockport town centre?


Vernon Arms, Vernon Street. (c) Jim Phelan with permission.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Grey Mare / Mare & Foal, Back Lane

Mare & Foal, Back Lane, Failsworth. (c) Rob Magee [1].

Back Lane was an old name for Ashton Road West which runs off Oldham Road in Failsworth. On the first bend of the road close to where the current Mare & Foal stands today, used to be a farmhouse, part of which was the original Mare & Fold beerhouse. The farmhouse, which stood where a lane, Bardsley Fold (now Clive Road) ran off Back Lane, was owned by Ralph Ogden who opened what was originally the Grey Mare in 1833 [1].

Former location of Gray Mare, Back Lane. (c) Alexander P Kapp at geograph under Creative Commons.

By 1887 both beerhouse and lane had changed name, to the Mare & Foal, Ashton Road West. Rothwells Brewery took over the beerhouse in the 1920s when it had a lobby, pubic bar, serving bar and bar parlour, so was a fairly big boozer. In 1935-36 Rothwells rebuilt the Mare & Foal and the new pub was fully licensed by 1949. Marstons took over in 1961 and still own the building, which sits almost exactly on the same spot as the original [1].

1. Failsworth Pubs 1731-1995 and their licensees, Rob Magee (1995).

Monday, 9 March 2015

Unicorn, Liverpool Road

Unicorn, Liverpool Road, Eccles. (c) Tony Flynn [1].

The original Unicorn on Liverpool Road dated back to the early 1800s and in the early days was nicknamed "Pretty Margarets" after landlady, Margaret Greaves. An intriguing find was made behind the pub in 1875 when a 3-foot wide pathway lined with boulders was found 5 feet below the surface along with a set of stag's antlers [1]. 

In 1878 Robert Harrison bought the Unicorn for £4,105 and the street behind where the pub stood is still named Harrison Street today. In the same year the Unicorn became a John Twigg Manor Brewery house, who themselves merged with the Rochdale & Oldham Brewery Company in 1895 who then rebuilt the Unicorn as the pub which stands today [1].


Unicorn, Liverpool Road. (c) Sale Supporters.

1. A History of the Pubs of Eccles, Tony Flynn (1980).

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Pikefold / Pike Fold, Plant Hill Lane

Pikefold, Plant Hill Lane, Blackley. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

The Pike Fold (or Pikefold as it was called later) was a late 1960s estate-style boozer [2] at the bottom off Plant Hill Lane, just off Chapel Lane near Plant Hill Police Station, in Blackley. 


Pikefold, Plant Hill Lane. (c) Manchester Local Image Collection. Click here to view full image [1].

Shown in 1968 as a Charrington house, by 1985 under Bass its named had been truncated slightly, even though the area is "Pike Fold". The Pikefold closed some time in the last decade or so and today is in use as a nursery.

Pikefold, Plant Hill Lane, Blackley. (c) Google 2015. View Larger Map.


The Pikefold has clearly had some significant external alterations, with the old entrance extended over and two roof extensions added to the nursery. At least this old estate pub is still of some use the community.

Former Pikefold, Plant Hill Lane. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map (2015).

1. http://images.manchester.gov.uk.
2. http://manchester-estate-pubs.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/pikefold-plant-hill-road.html.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Woodman, Oldham Road

Woodman, Oldham Road, Newton Heath. (c) Manchester Local Image Collection. Click here to view full image [1].

The Woodman was a Wilsons house on Oldham Road in Newton Heath standing at No.752 [2].  It may have been near the junction with Dulverton Street, as the pub is labelled as being on the street in the 1970s image at the archives.  The Woodman is notable for being the house of former Manchester City, Manchester United and England player, Herbert Burgess.  He played for many local sides - St Francis FC, Gorton FC, Openshaw Utd FC, Moss Side FC and Glossop FC, before joining City in 1903.  He made 85 appearances for City, and narrowly escaped joining Everton, before signing for United 1906, making 49 appearances before retirement.  Burgess, who made 4 appearances for England whilst at City, remained living at the Woodman with his parents, the landlords [2], as a blacksmith [3].

Herbert Burgess. (c) England Football Online [3].

Britannia Hotel, Drury Lane

Britannia Hotel, Drury Lane, Hollinwood. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

The Britannia Hotel was a Wilsons house on Drury Lane in Hollinwood.  Pictured above is Charlie Wayman the drayman (!) with his Wilsons Brewery steam  wagon outside the Brittania, courtesy of the late Neil Richardson and his History of Wilsons Brewery 1834-1984 [1].

1. A History of Wilsons Brewery 1845-1984 To Commemorate 150 Years of Brewing at Newton Heath, Neil Wilson (1983).

Albion Inn, Under Lane

Albion Inn, Under Lane, Hollinwood. (c) rightmove.

The Albion Inn closed in November 2011 and has recently been converted into offices of, somewhat ironically, a demolition company [1].  This nondescript little pub stood at junction of Under Lane and Drury Lane in Hollinwood and was a Lees pub on closure.

Albion Inn, Under Lane. (c) CAMRA What Pub [1].

The Albion Inn opened in 1867 and was named after the mill whose workers supplied a lots of its trade.  Albion Mill shut in 1938 and housing the area was replaced by light industry [2], just one factor which led to its demise.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Drum / Bass Drum, Chester Road

Drum, Chester Road, Stretford. (c)Chris Gleave at Manchester Evening News [1].

The Drum on Chester Road in Stretford was a familiar site to Mancunians, and Old Trafford visitors alike, as they approached town from the south along the A56.  Originally the Bass Drum, the almost unique (for Manchester anyway) looking building was sadly lost last year to make way for something far more popular than a pub.

Bass Drum, Chester Road, 1975. (c) Trafford Council. Click here to view full image [2].

The Bass Drum, seen here in 1975, was built to replace the original Angel Hotel in the early 1970s and its sister pub over in Pendleton, Salford, was similarly designed and named the Kettle Drum.  Both pubs operated from the first floor while accommodation was found on the lower floor.

Bass Drum, Chester Road, 1975. (c) Trafford Council. Click here to view full image [3].

In its final years, the trade in the Drum fell away as local tastes changed, and even healthy match day trade couldn't stop its eventual closure in 2012.  Money-laundering by a conman hadn't helped its cause [1], so the Pub Company sold the Drum, and Trafford Council approved its demolition and replacement.

Drum, Chester Road, Stretford. (c) Manchester Evening News [1].

A McDonald's "restaurant" and drive-through opened on the site of the old Drum in late 2014, to much local fanfare - the McDonald's in the Precinct had notably failed, or at least been closed by choice, a decade or so ago.  This modern eyesore complements the new-build giant Tesco store up the road at the north end of Stretford.

Former Drum, Chester Road. (c) Manchester Evening News [2].


The Drum, Chester Road, Stretford. (c) Gene Hunt at flickr.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

White Swan, Manchester Road


White Swan, Manchester Road, Hollinwood. (c) deltrems at flickr [1].


The White Swan stood on the west side of Manchester Road in Hollinwood, across the road from the Old Post Office.  Nicknamed the Mucky Duck, the pub was on the way to the Roxy Cinema if you were travelling up Manchester Road.  Like the Old Post and the Hat & Feathers, the White Swan must have been lost before the M60 cut a swathe through Hollinwood.



White Swan, Manchester Road. (c) Britain from Above [1].

1. www.flickr.com/photos/deltrems/2862203937.
2. www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/epw016778.

Hat & Feathers, Manchester Road

Hat & Feathers, Manchester Road, Hollinwood. (c) deltrems at flickr [1].

The Hat & Feathers is pictured above in 1991 at No.407 Manchester Road in Hollinwood.  This Marston's house - ran by a Rita and Bernard (see below) - used to stand pretty much where the M60 ring road passes beneath Manchester Road today.

Hat & Feathers, Hollinwood. (c) bertgee at EBay.

A 1926 aerial map of Hollinwood shows the Hat & Feathers on the east side of Manchester Road, near the junction with Hollins Road.  This stretch of the M60, which cuts vertically through the middle of this image, opened in 2000 so the Hat & Feathers must have been lost some time before that.

Hat & Feathers, Manchester Road. (c) Britain from Above [2].

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Old Post Office, Manchester Road

Old Post Office, Manchester Road, Hollinwood. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

The Old Post Office stood on the main Manchester Road in Hollinwood but it also had an entrance on Hollins Road.  The pub, known locally as The Old Post, was an Oldham Brewery house, despite being owned by Boddington's when Alan Winfield took the above photo in 1988.

Old Post Office, Manchester Road, 1991. (c) deltrems at flickr [1].

By 1991 the pub sign had gone but the shop strangely incorporated into the pub remained.  The below view of the junction of Manchester Road and Hollins Road show not a post office, but the District Bank.  The Old Post was lost when the layout of the junction was changed with the building of the M60.

Future Old Post Office, Manchester Road. (c) YesteryearOldhamThenNow Facebook [2].

Robin Hood, Manchester Road


Robin Hood, Manchester Road, Clifton, Swinton. (c) Neil Richardson & Roger Hall [1].

The Robin Hood on Manchester Road above the M60 is a Flaming Grill food-led pub these days but this big 1930s-build dates back to about 1739.  Back then the Robin Hood farm featured the first alehouse in Clifton, but it wasn't until 1840 that the Robin Hood we see here opened - still part of a working farm but now with a brewhouse.  Local organisations such as the Clifton;s Bowling Club, Football Club and Fishing Club all used the Robin Hood as their HQ.  The pub was also famous for the snake it displayed in a glass cabinet.  When the Worsley Brewing Company bought the Robin Hood in 1920, this led to the eventual rebuilding of the pub nearby on the bowling green the following decade [1].

Former location of Robin Hood, Manchester Road. (c) Google 2015. View Larger Map.

1. The Pubs of Swinton & Pendlebury (Including Clifton and Newtown), Neil Richardson & Roger Hall (1985).

Pineapple Inn, Liverpool Road

Pineapple Inn, Liverpool Road, Patricroft, Eccles. (c) Tony Flynn [1].

The Pineapple Inn was a tiny pub across the road from the Golden Cross, on Liverpool Road in Patricroft.  It dates back to at least 1869 as a beerhouse when it was owned by William Kay's Britannia Brewery, who became Kay & Whittaker's Brewery in 1900.  Wilson's of Newton Heath took over them in 1903, as seen above in 1906 when the Pineapple was adverting mild and bitter ales, plus stout and wines.  All this in a pub which had one room measuring 13 by 10 feet, and one toilet which was shared by the tenant and all customers.  The Pineapple closed over a century ago in 1910 and was turned into a grocer's shop, itself demolished in 1930 [1].

Former location of Pineapple Inn, Liverpool Road. (c) Google 2015. View Larger Map.

1. A History of the Pubs of Eccles, Tony Flynn (1980).

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Burns Cottage, Dean Lane


Burns Cottage, Dean Lane, Newton Heath. (c) Manchester Local Image Collection. Click here to view full image [1].

Burns Cottage was a well-known little pub on Dean Lane on the Newton Heath and Moston border. It stood at No.15 Dean Lane, which puts it on the west side of the road, just off Oldham Road. The 1968 image at the archives confirms this approximate location, and a 1970 photo also show the terraced Marston's house with its Pedigree Ale (still a reasonable pint these days) sign above the door - note the ladies toilets next door.  The etched glass windows also reveal that the pub was previously a Rothwell's Brewery house - W T Rothwell was a  brewer in Newton Heath and the brewery was taken over by Marston's. This corner of east Manchester is undergoing regeneration and the former location of Burns Cottage is now a new housing estate.

Former location of Burns Cottage, Dean Lane. (c) Google 2015. View Larger Map.

1. http://images.manchester.gov.uk.

Cloggers Arms, Oldham Road


Cloggers Arms, Oldham Road, Newton Heath. (c) Manchester Local Image Collection. Click here to view full image [1].

The Cloggers Arms stood at No. 288 Oldham Road, on the corner with Dulverton Street in Newton Heath.  It's seen at the Manchester Local Image Archives in 1958, and then in 1970 with its main door bricked up, but an expanded white-washed frontage.  In the 1970 photo you can see the huge building next door which still stands today, grandly spanning Dulverton Street and Old Church Street, operating as a kitchen and porn shop.  In its heyday this building was the locally-famous Co-Op department store with its grand clock tower, and later housed an amusement arcade.  On the other side of the street where the Cloggers Arms used to stand, there is nothing.


Former location of Cloggers Arms, Oldham Road. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

1. http://images.manchester.gov.uk.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Crown & Anchor, Bury Street


Crown & Anchor, Bury Street, Salford. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

The Crown & Anchor opened on Bury Street in the old town, Salford in 1804, eventually falling under the ownership of Boddington's Brewery about a century later.  In 1938 it was the only building that escaped the Bury Street slum clearance scheme [1].  It was a fully-licensed and fine-looking three-storey house with a grand six-foot high crown and anchor stone work sign.  By the time it closed in the late 1950s, the Crown & Anchor was one of only two buildings standing on Bury Street [1].  The pub was situated just one door in from Garden Lane, which used to run south of Bury Street here, putting its former location on the left, below.

Former location of Crown & Anchor, Bury Street. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

1. Salford Pubs Part One: The Old Town, including Chapel Street, Greengate and the Adelphi, Neil Richardson (2003).

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Grove House / Jacobs Well, Ellor Street

Grove House, Ellor Street, Hanky Park. (c) Paul Wilson with posthumous permission.

Jacobs Well was a beerhouse on the corner of Ellor Street (bottom end) and Elizabeth Street in Hanky Park, opening in the mid-1850s.  Groves & Whitnall bought Jacobs Well by 1896 and the brewery renamed the beerhouse after themselves, as Grove House.  A compulsory purchase order in 1959 - presumably an early part of the Hanky Park slum clearances - saw off the Grove House in 1960.  Then landlords, George and Tilly Banner, moved to the Park Inn on Tatton Street, Ordsall, which was later to become the Rovers Return [1].

1. Salford Pubs Part Three: Including Cross Lane, Broad Street, Hanky Park, the Height, Brindleheath, Charlestown and Weaste, Neil Richardson (2003).

Friday, 2 January 2015

Etwall House, Ellor Street

Etwall House, Ellor Street, Hanky Park, Salford. (c) Paul Wilson with posthumous permission [1].

The Etwall House opened on the corner of Ellor Street and Grafton Street in the 1860s, halfway along Ellor Street.  Wilsons Brewery took over at the start of the twentieth century but its days were numbered when the Ellor Street No.4 clearance area included it in 1960.  As such, the Etwall House closed in April 1963 on Black Sunday, and by this time all the houses surrounding the pub had been demolished - pubs were islands in a sea of rubble.  The landlady, Mrs Amorel Greatorex, told a Manchester Guardian (the forerunner to today's Guardian) reporter that the last winter in the pub was the worst, with "the cold coming in at every wall."  A few days before Black Sunday (the day Hanky Park's pubs finally closed), the reporter wrote that 10 pubs remained standing in the 86 acres of Ellor Street and Hankinson Street [1] (the street which gave the district its name).

1. Salford Pubs Part Three: Including Cross Lane, Broad Street, Hanky Park, the Height, Brindleheath, Charlestown and Weaste, Neil Richardson (2003).

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Pack Horse, Bolton Road

Pack Horse, Bolton Road, Irlams O'Th'Height. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

The Pack Horse was built in 1934 to replace a pub of the same name which was the oldest pub in Irlams O'Th'Height.  The original Pack Horse can be traced back to at least 1600, but that's another story.


Pack Horse, Bolton Road. (c) Paul Wilsons with posthumous permission.

Joseph Holt's rebuilt the Pack Horse in mock Tudor style, as seen top in 1949 and below in 1971, and it lasted until 14th September 1975.  The pub had to go to make way for the Height roundabout so was demolished later in 1975 [1].

Pack Horse, Bolton Road. (c) Paul Wilson with posthumous permission.

1. Salford Pubs Part Three: Including Cross Lane, Broad Street, Hanky Park, the Height, Brindleheath, Charlestown and Weaste, Neil Richardson (2003).

Church Inn, Hilton Street

Church Inn, Hilton Street, Broughton. (c) Paul Wilson with posthumous permission.

The Church Inn on Hilton Street North in Broughton has recently closed its doors as a pub for the last time.  Opening in the 1860s, the Church Inn became a Boddington's house in the 1890s, and was modernised by the brewery in 1980 [1].

Church Inn, Hilton Street North. (c) Pugh Auctions.

At some stage the address changed to No.146 Hilton Street North, but the Church survived redevelopment of the area.  Sadly it did not survive the modern pressures put upon inner city pubs of mod-cons, high prices, health scares, the smoking ban, etc.

Church Inn, Hilton Street North. (c) Pugh Auctions.

The Church Inn was up for sale recently and appears to have been taken over by some obscure church group (rather apt), called 'His Presence Assembly'. 

Former Church Inn, Hilton Street North. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

Note how its "FREE HOUSE" sign has been cheekily changed to "HIS HOUSE", although they've retained the old Boddingtons bitter sign.

Church Inn, Hilton Street North. (c) Pugh Auctions.

1. Salford Pubs - Part Two: Including Islington, Ordsall Lane and Ordsall, Oldfield Road, Regent Road and Broughton, Neil Richardson (2003).