Pubs of Manchester

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

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Royal Exchange, Exchange Street

The Exchange, Exchange Street, 1849. (c) Alan Godfrey Maps [1].

Manchester has had four Royal Exchanges and some of them contained pubs within.  The first Exchange was built in 1792 in Market Place, the other side of Market Street to where its larger replacement was built between 1806 and 1809.  In 1804 "the inhabitants of Manchester and Salford" had decided that:

"The erection of a handsome building in the Market Place for the general purposes of a commercial coffee room and tavern is highly desirable, and would afford great accommodation to the merchants and manufacturers in this town and neighbourhood [2]."

Royal Exchange, 1877. (c) Revealing Histories.

The new Royal Exchange on the south side of Market Street with its traders tavern was a huge success with 5,520 members by the 1860s.  These two images from the 1800s show the enlarged Exchange which presumably also had bars for thirsty traders to sup in after work.  Although this replacement was larger, it only lasted until 1914 when it was further extended to the Royal Exchange we know today and which was then the largest trading room in the country.  

Royal Exchange, Exchange Street, 1885. (c) Francis Firth.

The 1849 map above and today's, below, show that a couple of old streets - Ducie Place and Crow Street - and Newall's Buildings have been lost due to the Exchange's expansion [1].  The Grade II listed building is no longer used for trading - it ceased in 1968 - but houses the Royal Exchange Theatre within who've occupied it since the 1970s.  The 1996 IRA bomb did its worst, exploding 50 yards away, but the vast stone building was largely unharmed apart from its dome moving, and the Royal Exchange is even credited for protecting St Ann's Church from damage.

The Exchange, Exchange Street. (c) Alan Godfrey Maps [1].

1. Manchester City Centre 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).
2. A History of Manchester, Stuart Hylton (2003).

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