Pubs of Manchester

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

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Kings Arms, Lower Chatham Street

Clarendon Street, along with many others, has been lost beneath the Manchester Metropolitan University, as shown in red on the map below, just south and parallel to Chester Street.  The 1844 map shows that Lower Chatham Street extended further south than it does today as shown.  On the corner of Clarendon Street and Lower Chatham Street was the Kings Arms as shown in blue below.  This area is now covered by a nondescript low rise university building.

Location of Kings Arms, Lower Chatham Street. (c) googlemaps.

The 1844 and 1894 maps [2] both show the Kings Arms.  Firstly, the 1844 map shows the Kings Arms (centre) on the same block as the Chorlton Union Oakam Works (a small yard to its rear).  Oakum was tarred rope used in maritime industries, and was often made from "picked oakum" coming from prisons and workhouses where inmates had to pick oakum as punishment.  There were five back-to-back properties backing onto the pub.  Two doors down from the Kings Arms, over Back Billington Street, was Clarendon Street School (Welsh C....... Methodist Sunday School, upper storey).  This block and the one next to it were composed of only back-to-back dwellings.

Kings Arms, Lower Chatham Street. (c) Alan Godfrey Maps [1].

The 1894 map shows a slight improvement to the surroundings of the Kings Arms.  The Oakum Works had gone but so had the school, while the dreaded back-to-backs remained.  The Chatham Mills can be seen at the top of the shot, their closeness to the Kings Arms suggesting that workers from there would have used the pub, as it was the closest one to the mill.  The mills were for processing cotton waste and there was also a small foundry next to it (left of shot) - sounds like thirsty work.

Kings Arms, Lower Chatham Street. (c) Alan Godfrey Maps [1].

The Kings Arms opened some time in the 1830s around the same time as the George VI (still known today as the Lass O'Gowrie) when Chorlton-on-Medlock was then known as Chorlton Row [3].  The pub was kept by John Dohery from Roscommon in 1911.  John's daughter was Alicia, whose maternal granddaughter, Mary, supplied this information.  The Kings Arms, No.10 Lower Chatham Street, closed in 1961 as a Manchester Brewery and then Wilsons house [3], when the University expanded.

1. Hulme 1844, Alan Godfrey Maps (2007).
2. Manchester (SW) 1894, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).
3. The Old Pubs of Hulme & Chorlon-on-Medlock, Bob Potts (1997).


  1. Hi

    My great grandfather, John Doherty from Roscommon, was the publican of The Kings Arms (corner of Lower Chatham St and Clarendon St)in 1911. I'd be really interested to see a photo of the pub or hear anything about it. John's daughter, Alicia, was my maternal grandmother.


  2. Hi Mary,

    The Kings Arms, Lower Chatham Street, is only mentioned very briefly in still-available 'The Old Pubs of Hulme & Chorlton-on-Medlock,' Bob Potts (1997).

    p36, when Chorlton-on-Medlock was known as Chorlton Row: "By about 1830 there were more: George IV (later Lass O'Gowrie) on Charles Street, Kings Arms on (Lower) Chatham Street..."

    p52: "No.10 Lower Chatham Street, the Kings Arms closed in 1961, as a Manchester Brewery and Wilsons house."

    The best I can do is include snaps of the maps from 1844 and 1894 (both also available for a couple of pounds from Alan Godfrey Maps) which show the pub and its immediate surroundings.