Pubs of Manchester

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

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Millstone, Blackley New Road

Millstone, Blackley New Road, Blackley. (c) novaloca.

The Millstone, a basic two-roomed and now sadly-closed pub, at the junction of Mill Brow and Blackley New Road in Blackley near the old Avecia, Zenace and ICI Building, now known as the Hexagon Tower technology site.  The unusual topography of the location means there is ground floor access to the basement at the rear of the Millstone on Mill Brow.

Millstone, Blackley New Road. (c) eigroup.

The Millstone was one of Blackley's first beerhouses, dating back to at least 1832 when it was described as a cottage and shop with a license to sell beer.  Wheater & Swales brewery took over later in the 1880s and must have been responsible for its rebuild into what we see today.  Swales Brewery formed from this company, moving from Salford to Hulme where "Swales Swill" was brewed into the 1970s until it was swallowed up by Boddingtons [1], as seen in 1972.

Millstone, Blackley New Road. (c) Roger Hall [1].

This 1966 photo ("Mine's a Swales") is also shown at the archives with the old works clearly visible in the background.  The Millstone also had an official cellar entrance round the back too, as seen in 1958.  The Millstone closed for good a couple of years ago and was last seen tinned up and being hawked around for auction.

Millstone, Blackley New Road. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

1. The Pubs of Blackley, Roger Hall (1980).


  1. Interesting to see this was a Swales' pub - do you know if there's an official list anywhere of which pubs they owned? I know the similarIy defunct Southern Hotel was one of theirs.

  2. I remember being in there one lunchtime and one of the girls from ICI asked for a Martini and the genial landlord replied "It's a pub, not a bleeding cocktail bar".

  3. My Dad worked for ICI Dyestuffs from the 1920s to 1962, with a few years with ICI China, then back to Blackley. I never got to Blackley but interesting to see where he (and perhaps his father) worked and celebrated - and yes ICI gave him a gold watch. Thanks for the history. JH Sydney, Australia.

  4. There used to be a pub in the basement of the old ICI offices(not the newer Hexagon Tower). I think it was called "The Port & Pickle" and was for the staff who worked there. Can't believe it now but I used to go there when I visited on business. Imagine - a pub on a chemical works!

  5. am looking for a man that went in that pub in the early 80's his name is james an he met a lady called gill an she had a daughter to him all i know is his name is james an he had brown hair an was no more then 5ft 5 an was always in that pub. he did write letters to gill's mums but they have vanished since gill an june pasted away some time ago.