Pubs of Manchester

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

Monday, 12 April 2010

058. Smithfield, Swan Street

Smithfield, Swan Street. (c) Matthew Black at flickr.

In a pretty much forgotten part of town is the Smithfield named after the famous market which it used to back onto. The Smithfield Market House opened in 1823 in Coop Street, which is where the back of the pub faces onto now. The grocer's which occupied the Swan Street side was incorporated into the pub to create one long, thin vault. As with so many pubs back in the day, it brewed its own beer on site and kept ten 20-gallon casks behind the bar, and was known as the Smithfield Vaults as seen in 1966 and 1971.

Smithfield, Swan Street. (c) ajhammu0 at flickr.

Thankfully, although these days the brewery has gone, the pub remains an ale haven. The ale range is impressive for such a small pub - at least eight pumps on. Unsurprisingly, several regular real ale festivals are held here such as the Winter Ales Festival, Lancashire Beer Festival, Lancs & Yorks Beer Festival, etc. Inside it's a typical honest no-frills boozer, frequented by locals and the real ale boffins with their half-pints. Sports are shown on the big screen and a pool table plonked near the front, which you have to navigate past on the way in. The bizarre kitchen area which used to be open to the rest of the pub has recently been converted to seating areas, raising the capacity of this sound little alehouse. The Smithfield it was welcoming enough on a Sunday afternoon and was fairly busy. It is certainly worth venturing into the Smithfield (along with the Fringe and Crown & Kettle obviously) if you're in the area or visiting the nearby Band on the Wall.


  1. It's been closed for a few months now, sadly.

  2. It's being refurbed by mates of ours (from the Waldorf), re-opening soon

  3. Back in the 1840s the landlord was Christiana Middleton, a GGG Aunt. Her sister, my Grandmother, Martha Evans, passed away there. Was hoping to someday visit and say hello to granny.