Pubs of Manchester

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

Friday, 12 February 2010

Hanging Bridge Hotel, Cathedral Yard

Hanging Bridge Chambers. (c) Peter van Denmark 2005.

The Hanging Bridge Hotel lost its licence in 1904 after the discovery that it was a venue for the pursuits of drunkenness and prostitution [1].  It was apparently in the Hanging Bridge Chambers building, now a visitor's centre which states 1881 as its year of inception.  It was mentioned in a letter to the Manchester Guardian in 1900 that a tunnel from Ordsall Hall to the Cathedral Bridge Hotel was discovered when the old Hanging Bridge was unearthed 200 years after being buried: "I was shown a door in Hanging Bridge Hotel cellar where arches could be seen and a door made up.  It was the entrance to an underground passage under the Irwell, possibly to Ordsall Hall.  The owner had not traversed the passage himself, but the previous owner had, but had to turn back because of bad smells [2]."

Colleigate Church, Hanging Ditch & Hanging Bridge, 1892. (c) Manchester District Music Archive and wikipedia.
A small piece of Hanging Bridge, which originates from almost 600 years ago, can still be seen near the Cathedral and Britannic Buildings / Mynshull House.  Another section has been moved to the Cathedral visitor's centre and is on display in the basement.  A nice little video about Hanging Bridge is shown on the Visitor Centre site (note the derelict Hanging Bridge Chambers at 1:02).  The rescue and restoration of Hanging Bridge is an example of some of the brilliant work done to preserve Manchester's history, and while we're often critical of the council for destroying our old pubs, they deserve credit for some great work done elsewhere.
Hanging Bridge, 2006. (c) Neil101 at flickr and Manchester Cathedral Visitor Centre.

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