Pubs of Manchester

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

Monday, 26 April 2010

Kays Atlas Brewery, Grey Street, Ardwick

Location of Kays Atlas Brewery, Grey Street, Ardwick. (c) googlemaps.

Kays Atlas Brewery was a mile or two east of the city centre in Ardwick on Grey Street off Hyde Road. The brewery is seen in a sad state in these 1969 and two 1971 photos with its windows put through. In its heyday the brewery would have been within earshot of Hyde Road, Manchester City Football Club's first proper stadium, which stood on Bennett Street just north-west of Grey Street. Once holding 40,000, the stadium was a cramped affair and City had moved onto the 80,000-capacity Maine Road in Moss Side by 1923.

Location of old Kays Atlas Brewery, Grey Street, Ardwick. (c) googlemaps.

The Stockport and London-bound west railway line passes over Grey Street here, and under the bridge a few yards from where the old brewery stood is where the Manchester Martyrs attacked and killed a copper in the Fenian Ambush of 1867. A memorial for the three Fenians sits here, commemorating the last public hangings in Manchester.

Fenian Ambush. (c) wikipedia.

Only one former Kays Atlas house stands in town, the Castle on Oldham Street, and lost Kays Atlas houses include the Greengrocers Arms in Blossom Street and the Brown Bull, Malaga Street. This is the only old Kays Atlas house I can find for the moment, and sadly the pub is unidentified:

Unknown Kays Atlas pub, Manchester. (c) curlywurly at rootschat.

Kays Atlas was acquired by Robinson's of Stockport in 1929, but Kays can still be seen in the odd pub around Manchester today. For example the fine old tiled frontage at the Forresters Arms on Ashton Old Road in Gorton:

Forresters Arms, Gorton, 2005. (c) BreweryHistory.

On the old Bankfield Hotel on Mottram Road in Hyde, the "K" and the "Beast and Key" Kays family emblems are still seen:

Bankfield Hotel, Hyde, 2005. (c) BreweryHistory.

The most obvious example of Kays Atlas tiling can still be seen in the city centre - the classic brown frontage of the Castle on Oldham Street was installed by Kays Atlas about 100 years ago, and fittingly, it's now the only Robinson's tied house in town.

Castle, Oldham Street. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

Kays Atlas bottle. (c)


  1. The Castle Hotel on Oldham St. was my local when I worked at the GPO in Lever St.
    It was a great pub, the landlord was Robin, a Scot, his wife and daughter also worked there, he kept his beer in top condition.

    I just found your site today via a FB friends link, I will be back.

  2. Mike, the Castle has been reborn, still a fne little Robbies house, but with a fantastic back room. It's impeccably run and deservedly busy at all times - it's now regarded as one of Manchester's finest boozers... see Castle and Port Street Beer House posts.

  3. the forresters on the "old rd" is at higher op
    enshaw ,not gorton.
    mark molloy

  4. there was a pub next to atlas brewery that i've never heard spoke about or seen a photo of and thats tge Ardwick Empire Pub ......WHY

    1. Ardwick, Empire Inn (1969)

    2. Ardwick, Empire Inn (1969)