Pubs of Manchester

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

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Royal Thorn, Altrincham Road

Royal Thorn, Altrincham Road. (c) With permission: Northenden Old & New [1].

One of the last of the original Wythenshawe inter-war estate pubs (only the Yew Tree building stands today), the Royal Thorn survived until 2001 before being demolished to make way for an ugly office block.  It stood on the south side of Altrincham Road opposite the bottom of Netherwood Road at the Princess Parkway roundabout at Sharston.

Royal Thorn, Altrincham Road, Sharston, 2001. (c) Trafford Lifetimes.

The Royal Thorn is pictured twice in 1959, close up in 1971 and in the distance with the Wythenshawe Adult Training Centre (now upgraded to an Open University site) in the foreground.  The pub was named after the Ryle Thorn inn which once stood here; itself named after the area which was known as Ruyul or Ryle Thorn in the 16th century.  In its final years, the Royal Thorn was renamed the Royals Hotel but is shown here being pulled apart in 2001.

Royal Thorn, Altrincham Road, Sharston, 2001. (c) Trafford Lifetimes.

Who says Manchester City Council don't respect the city's history? They at least paid lip service to the history of the old pub by naming the office block The Royals.  In the years I've been passing this building twice a day, it's never been fully occupied.  The same cannot be said of the Royal Thorn over the decades, once a busy boozer serving this corner of Manchester's "garden estate" of Wythenshawe.

Former Royal Thorn, Altrincham Road. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.



  1. We stayed at the Royals before an American holiday in 1998. It was really nice, great food in the restaurant and full of character. We had rooms on the 2nd floor with no lift - we were told that as it was a listed building they couldn't get permission for a lift - laughable then that 3 years later someone got permission to demolish it.


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  3. Spent millenium eve in there dj forgot to do the count down

  4. I worked on the Royals pub as it was to be known after renovations in August 1989.Me and my mate Dave Lord did all the interior painting and decorating at the time, it looked great on completion in Sept/Oct 89. Shame it's gone.

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  6. The Royal Thorn was the venue of a legendary (pre-arranged) fight and riot between United and Chelsea hooligans, circa 1974. There were serious injuries, a lot of damage and some subsequent arrests. The pub's reputation never recovered after that.