Pubs of Manchester

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

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Swinging Sporran / Carlisle Club / Barbarella Club / Legends / Devonshire, Liverpool Road

Swinging Sporran, Liverpool Road, Eccles, 1979. (c) TBC at SalfordOnline.

This Eccles club and pub on Liverpool Road has gone through many names over the years, first opening as the Carlisle Club in 1963. The functional flat roof building had actually been built after the First World War when wood salvaged from an army building was used to build the frontage [1].
Barbarella Club, Liverpool Road, 1972. (c) TBC at SalfordOnline.

After a fire in 1966, the club reopened as the Barbarella Club, which itself also burnt down in 1971, leading to claims the site was cursed. Following acquisition by McKewan's Brewery, the rebuilt building, still at No.46 Liverpool Road, became a pub - the Swinging Sporran [1]. 

Former Swinging Sporran, Liverpool Road. (c) Google 2017. View Larger Map.

Opening in May 1976, the Swinging Sporran was described unfavourably as "a licensed amusement arcade" popular with youngsters, and with a pool table vault named the Q Room. The main room had a Scottish theme with tartan kilts and claymores on display [2]. In more recent years the pub was renamed Legends and the Devonshire, before closing and becoming a restaurant.

2. A History of the Pubs of Eccles, Tony Flynn (1983). 

Sunday 2 July 2017

Caxton Inn / XX Inn, River Street

Caxton Inn, River Street, Hulme, 1921. (c) Bob Potts [1].

The Caxton Inn was a Carlton Brewery house that stood on the corner of River Street and Welcomb Street, just off City Road, in Hulme. The Caxton Inn was at No.80 River Street and lasted from 1859 to 1922 [2], and was originally called the rather unusual XX Inn. The pub was eventually demolished in the mid 1930s [1].

1. The Old Pubs of Hulme Manchester (2) Reminisces, Bob Potts (1983).
2. The Old Pubs of Hulme Manchester (1) 1770-1930, Bob Potts (1983).

Sunday 25 June 2017

Roebuck, Lower Moss Lane

Roebuck, Lower Moss Lane, Hulme, 1957. (c) Bob Potts [1].

The Roebuck was a Groves & Whitnall house on Lower Moss Lane in Hulme, pictured about in 1957. It was at No.138 and lasted from 1867-1963 [1]. The Roebuck was on the corner of the lost Cedar Street and Lower Moss Lane, about midway between City Road and Stretford Road. So the former location of the old Roebuck is roughly where Ribston Street is today. Only a short northern stretch of Lower Moss Lane off Chester Road, and a southern stretch of Upper Moss Lane (which is confusingly south of Lower Moss Lane) off Stretford Road, remain today.

1. The Old Pubs of Hulme Manchester (2) Reminisces, Bob Potts (1983).

Saturday 14 January 2017

Three Crowns / Buskers, King Street / Garden Lane

Three Crowns, Garden Lane (former King Street), Salford, 1983. By Stanley Horrocks, with kind permission and (c) Rose Horrocks.

The Three Crowns stood on King Street on the corner with Queen Street, opposite the Black Friar in old Salford. The pub dates back to 1798 but it was in the 1860s that it took its place in Trade Union history. The first meeting of the Manchester and Salford Trades Council, forerunner of the Trades Union Council, took place at the Three Crowns in 1866 [1].

Three Crowns, Garden Lane. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

The Three Crowns was a Whitbread pub in the 1970s, now with a Garden Lane address due to street realignment (for full details, see Neil Richardson's book [2]). The pub had apparently seen better days, with its former green, brown and cream interior tiling sprayed over in battleship grey. The games room had pinball and table football with players decked out in City and United colours [2].

Buskers, Garden Lane / King Street. (c) deltrems at flickr.

In 1984 Whitbread made the dubious decision to turn the Three Crowns into a Chesters Brewery theme pub called Buskers. What an odd theme, but the pub was actually decked out inside as a street scene with lamp posts and pillar boxes, so maybe they had busking musicians playing too?

Three Crowns, Garden Lane, 1989. By Stanley Horrocks, with kind permission and (c) Rose Horrocks.

A bonus of this theme pub conversion was that at least the previously hidden exterior colour scheme was uncovered, and the pub looked quite smart. Sadly by 1994 Buskers had suffered a fire, as shown below in Stanley Horrocks' photo, and it never reopened.

Three Crowns, Garden Lane, 1994. By Stanley Horrocks, with kind permission and (c) Rose Horrocks.

The pub was pulled down a year later in 1995 [1], and is now the site of a small car park for business premises.

Former location of Three Crowns, Garden Lane. (c) Google 2017. View Larger Map.

1. Salford Pubs - Part One: The Old Town, including Chapel Street, Greengate and the Adelphi, Neil Richardson (2003).
2. The Manchester Pub Guide, Manchester & Salford City Centres (1975).

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Stowell Spire, Howard Street

Stowell Spire, Howard Street, Weaste, 1993. By Stanley Horrocks, with kind permission and (c) Rose Horrocks. 

The Stowell Spire was a modern estate pub that opened in 1988 after Banks's Brewery gave up the Druids Home estate pub on Silk Street (which itself was a replace for an original Druids Home), in return for this land on the corner of Eccles New Road and Howard Street [1]. 

Stowell Spire, Howard Street, 1993. By Stanley Horrocks, with kind permission and (c) Rose Horrocks. 

Though I was never lucky enough to have a pint in here, I did go in to use the gents toilet during a days' work logging car tax dodgers in the summer of 1998. It must have been early afternoon on a week day but I remember being glared at - can't remember if it was staff, customers or both.

Former location of Stowell Spire, Howard Street. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

The Stowell Spire only lasted 13 years before closing in 2001, but the following year a Pub Co reopened it and it lasted a while longer until its demolition. In 2012 the old Banks's sign was still poking through the trees. 

Stowell Spire, Howard Street, July 2012. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

Houses have gone up either side but the Banks's sign has been retained, a strange little reminder of a fleeting new estate pub, built to replace an older estate pub that had replaced an original...

Stowell Spire, Howard Street, 2016. (c) Google 2016

1. Salford Pubs Part Three: Including Cross Lane, Broad Street, Hanky Park, the Height, Brindleheath, Charlestown and Weaste, Neil Richardson (2003).

Saturday 6 August 2016

Nag's Head, Hyde Road

Nag's Head, Hyde Road, West Gorton, 1991. (c) Simon Hall 1963-2016 [1].

The Nag's Head on Hyde Road is yet another West Gorton boozer to bite the dust recently, like the Imperial Inn behind it (left, below). Only the Travellers Call (far left, above) remains open now of the trio of pubs that used to be on offer for users of the Sports City Travelodge.

Nag's Head, Hyde Road, 2010. (c) Gerald England at geograph under Creative Commons.

The largely derelict corridor of Hyde Road is a blight on inner city Manchester and has not recovered from the ill-fated plan to run the M67 all the way into the city centre that was abandoned many years ago.

Nag's Head, Hyde Road. (c) Right Move.

The Nag's Head stands on the corner of Birch Street and Hyde Road, seen at the archives in 1958 when the thoroughfare was built up and bustling (that's the Rock Inn in the background).

Nag's Head, Hyde Road, 2009. (c) Gene Hunt at flickr under Creative Commons.

In 1972 it had a corner entrance, here in 1973 it's shown from another angle revealing the neighbouring demolition, and in 1986 here's the Nag's Head as a Boddingtons house.  

Former Nag's Head, Hyde Road. (c) Google 2016. View Larger Map.

The Nag's Head closed for good in 2009 and was offered for sale for an ambitious £200k as a private house at one point. These days it's the Belle Vue Convenience Store.

Nag's Head. Hyde Road, 1991. (c) Simon Hall 1963-2016 [1].

The 1991 photos here are courtesy of Crystal Palace fan, Simon Hall [1], before his visit to Maine Road on 24th August 1991.

1. Simon Hall 1963-2016

Spread Eagle, Regent Road

Spread Eagle, Regent Road, Salford, 1984. (c) Simon Hall 1963-2016 [1].

The Spread Eagle started out as a beerhouse known as the Red, White and Blue on the corner of West Peel Street and Regent Road in Salford. Dating back to the 1840s, the beerhouse was taken over by Joseph Holt's Brewery in the 1860s, and was renamed the Regent Vaults [2].

Spread Eagle, Regent Road, Salford. (c) Salford Pubs of the 70s at flickr [3].

In 1904, Joseph Holt's, who owned the two shops next door, successfully applied to pulled the three houses down and build a new pub. Thanks to Holt's surrender of the licences of two other Salford beerhouses, they opened the Spread Eagle in 1905, a huge pub which towered over the area [2].  

Spread Eagle, Regent Road, 1970s. (c) Neil Richardson [3].

Regent Road was widened in the 1980s and instead of rebuilding the Spread Eagle in the estate pub style like Boddingtons did with the Wellington, they let the grand old pub be pulled down and transferred its licence to the Dukes Gate in Little Hulton [2].

Former location of Spread Eagle, Regent Road. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

The Spread Eagle closed in September 1986, its corner relief sign of a golden 'spread' eagle standing on a barrel of 'XX' Holt's ale could be seen until the pub was pulled down [2] (and can be made out on the photos). These days an empty industrial unit which sits next to Johnstone's Paints marks the spot of the old Spread Eagle.

Spread Eagle, Regent Road. (c) Simon Hall 1963-2016 [1].

The Spread Eagle is shown here in glorious mid-'80s technicolor thanks to Simon Hall [1], who visited the pub on 14th January 1984 before a Crystal Palace match at Maine Road.

1. Simon Hall 1963-2016
3. Salford Pubs Part Two: Including Islington, Ordsall Lane and Ordsall, Oldfield Road, Regent Road and Broughton, Neil Richardson (2003).

Friday 22 July 2016

Hot Pot, Moss Lane

Hot Pot, Moss Lane, Moss Side. (c) TBC.

The Hot Pot was a functionally grim Greenalls estate pub built in front of Moss Side Precinct and the blocks of flats on Moss Lane. Its back gates faced Moss Side leisure centre. After the precinct and flats were demolished the temporary Moss Side market was held in the old Hot Pot, as seen here in December 1993 [1]. The market was eventually relaunched at its current location in 2001 on the new Hulme High Street [2].

Hot Pot, Moss Side Precinct. (c) Les Grant at Manchester Archives flickr.

Apparently the Hot Pot occasionally featured live local bands, and one night one act overstepped the mark by throwing toilet roll around. The large, gay barman angrily chucked the lead singer off the stage ("were you born a cunt?") and also demanded the crowd finish up their Hydes Anvil ale and leave [2]. These days the huge ASDA and the indoor market straddle site of the old precinct and the Hot Pot.

Hot Pot, Moss Lane. (c) Manchester Local Image Collection. Click here to view full image [3].

Victoria, Hyde Road

Victoria, Hyde Road, Belle Vue, Gorton, 1991. (c) Simon Hall 1963-2016 [1].

The Victoria was an old Chesters and Whitbread house on the corner of Hyde Road and Fenton Street, directly opposite Belle Vue Speedway stadium. This stadium, Hyde Road, was home to Manchester City FC until 1923, and was also, of course, part of the grand old Belle Vue Gardens

Victoria, Hyde Road, Belle Vue. (c) D.N. at ManMates Facebook [2].

The Victoria is pictured in 1971 at the Manchester Local Image Archives, adjoined on both sides by houses which lost years in the intervening years. They probably fell victim to the ill-fated Hyde Road widening plans, which of course never materialised.  

Victoria, Hyde Road, Belle Vue, Gorton. (c) Simon Hall 1963-2016 [1].

The Victoria is shown here twice thanks to Simon Hall, and his pre-match pub crawl before the Manchester City vs Crystal Palace match in August 1991. The pub was still selling Chesters ale then, but was up for sale and I don't think it lasted much longer.

Former location of Victoria, Hyde Road. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.

This corner still stands empty although a some new build units and a cash & carry (where we used to park up for the speedway) were built set back from the main road.

1. Simon Hall 1963-2016

Railway Hotel, Pottery Lane

Railway Hotel, Pottery Lane, Gorton. (c) Simon Hall 1963-2016 [1].

The Railway Hotel is pictured above on the corner of Pottery Lane and Jarmain Street in Gorton on the 24th August 1991. Crystal Palace supporter, Simon Hall, and his mates were their way to Maine Road for an early season match, and naturally decided to visit some local(ish) pubs and sample a few ales. When they came across pubs that were architecturally interesting, looked like they were on their last legs, or were already closed, Simon would take a photo.

Railway Hotel, Pottery Lane, West Gorton. (c) D.N. at ManMates Facebook [2].

The old Openshaw Brewery house certainly fell into the latter category of already being closed in 1991. Its classic white tile-cladding, and the grand lettering advertising their fine ales and stout, were somewhat spoiled by the boards up at the windows (Simon's day was also somewhat spoiled by the result; City went top of the league with a 3-2 win). In its last years the pub was a freehouse under Matthew Brown and Thwaites, both of Blackburn. The Railway is shown above, probably a few years previously, courtesy of ManMates, when it was still open.

Jarmain Street, West Gorton. (c) London Gazette [3]. 

The Railway is shown at the archive in 1971, after it had been taken over by Tetley's Brewery of Leeds. The Openshaw Brewery (known as the Victoria Brewery) was close by on the lost Aberavon Street. The Railway stood on the corner of Jarmain Street and Pottery Lane, the former which has also been lost, as the above 1977 extract details. The factory and the railway bridge which carries the line through Ashbury's station, have not changed much since the Railway was demolished without a trace.

Former location of Railway Hotel, Pottery Lane. (c) Google 2016. View Larger Map.

1. Simon Hall 1963-2016

Sunday 19 June 2016

British Queen, Bury Street

British Queen, Bury Street, Salford. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

The Britsh Queen beerhouse stood at no.119 Bury Street on the corner with Pearson Street. It was closed a year or two before the above 1908 Salford Weekly News advert. The British Queen's owners, the Rochdale & Manor Brewery received £1,400 compensation. It was the 1904 Compensation Act that finished off the beerhouse when its weekly sales of three barrels of beer a week was judged "not bad" but not enough to justify its continued existence [2]. Also mentioned in the advert is the Bee Hive Inn on Gold Street [1]. This beerhouse met the same fate, and its story will also be covered here soon.

Former location of British Queen, Bury Street, Salford. (c) Google 2016. View Larger Map.

The British Queen can be traced back to the 1840s, and the first link to the brewery was when Manor Brewery, of nearby St Stephen Street, owned the British Queen by the end of the 19th century [2]. Bury Street has been truncated due to the building of the St Stephen Street estate, and its former location is roughly where Nathan Drive is today, close to the still serving Mulvaney's estate pub (the old Bird In Hand).

1. November Skies, Neil Richardson (1980).
2. Salford Pubs - Part One: The Old Town, including Chapel Street Greengate and the Adelphi, Neil Richardson (2003).

Elephant & Castle, Hodson Street

Elephant & Castle, Hodson Street, Salford. (c) Neil Richardson (1980).

Until relatively recently, the Braziers Arms was a well-known public house on this street off Garden Lane in old Salford. Hodson Street's beerhouse, the Elephant & Castle, closed many years earlier. It was on the same side as the Braziers, about 50 yards from Garden Street. The Elephant & Castle can be dated back to 1836 and appears on the 1848 map (#64, above) alongside its larger neighbour (#65) [1]. The beerhouse had an eight-barrel brewery of its own and by the 1880s it had extended into the next door property. The Elephant & Castle closed in 1905 under Sam Norbury [2], and the Trinity Road ringroad now passes over its old location.

Former location of the Elephant & Castle, Hodson Street. (c) Google 2016. View Larger Map.

1. November Skies, Neil Richardson (1980).
2. Salford Pubs - Part One: The Old Town, including Chapel Street Greengate and the Adelphi, Neil Richardson (2003).

Tuesday 17 May 2016

Church Inn, Alburn Street

Church Inn, Albion Street, Miles Platting. (c) Chris Crookes with kind permission. 

The Church Inn stood on the corner of Alburn Street and Thomas Street in Miles Platting. This fine looking Cornbrook Ales house was No.88 Alburn Street and it survived until 1970 or 1971 before it was demolished. Mr Joseph Crookes was born in the Church Inn and the photograph above comes from his grandson.

Of particular interest in this wonderful, historical photograph, are the various people included. There are three at the neighbouring shop doorway, five in the pub doorway (the landlord's family - including two kids, with possibly Joseph on the right), another slightly older child on the far right, plus a ghostly figure as a result of slight overexposure. 

The Cornbrook Ales signage is also notable for the "C Ales" and "Invalid Stout" (low-alcohol sweet stout) adverts. The Church Inn is shown at the archives in 1958 looking far less grand than it used to. This whole area was swept away for redevelopment of Miles Platting in the early 1970s. Alburn Street used to run south-east off Oldham Road around Hulme Hall Lane, putting it not far from where the Spanking Roger stood - indeed, there's an Alburn Court on the Sawley Road estate.

Monday 22 February 2016

St Ann's Tavern / Horts, St Ann's Square

St Ann's Tavern, St Ann's Square. (c) Tim Martin with kind permission.

St Ann's Tavern was a basement bar on the square, and was later known as the wine bar, Horts. It was one of Manchester's first proper continental beer bars, with Carlsberg Hof, Heineken Special Export and bottled Lowenbrau, Kronenbourg, Reschs and Castlemaine on offer, as well as the more usual Tetley and Guinness [1].

St Ann's Tavern, St Anns Square. (c) Tim Martin with kind permission.

There was an Italian bar billiard machine in the St Ann's Tavern, and next door was originally a Henekey Inn steak and schnitzel bar [1], later a Quality Inn, as seen in the above photos courtesy of Tim Martin. In the era of Horts, the larger upstairs bar was called Ronnies Cafe Bar.

Horts, St Ann's Square. (c) Alan Winfield with kind permission.

Sadly the old St Ann's Tavern, and its neighbour up above, are now a McDonald's 'restaurant' on this beautiful but pub-less Manchester square.

St Ann's Tavern, St Anns Square. (c) Aidan O'Rourke at

1. The Manchester Pub Guide, Manchester & Salford City Centres (1975).

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Royal Veteran, Stanley Street

Royal Veteran, Stanley Street, Salford. (c) From the Andy Robertson Collection.

On the corner of New Quay Street and Stanley Street (south of the Mark Addy), just over the Irwell into Salford, is this large old building known as the Ralli Buildings or Riverside House. The 1848 map of New Bailey and Ordsall shows that this was the site of the original Royal Veteran Tavern, as it was then, on the corner of Irwell Street and Stanley Street [1]. It was run by Daniel Hodson, who went on to run a Temperance Hotel in Bank Row, Chapel Street near the cathedral [2].

Royal Veteran, Stanley Street (c) Google 2016. View Larger Map.

The old Royal Veteran building standing today probably dates from around 1860s when the New Bailey Prison which loomed over it was demolished in 1868 [2], and the railway built. You can see the Royal Veteran Tavern on the Ordnance Survey map scan halfway down this page; bottom left. The Royal Veteran survived until before the Second World War and was a Swales Brewery pub when it closed (veteran drinkers of Manchester will recall "Swales swill").

Royal Veteran, Stanley Street (c) Google 2016. View Larger Map.

After closing the old pub appears to have spent time as a workshop and place for religious gathering. Although 5 years ago it looked derelict and destined for demolition as part of the Chapel Street regeneration scheme, it has since had a spruce up, so this fine building may have a future after all. As a pub, unlikely, but never say never.

1. New Bailey & Ordsall Lane 1848, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).
2. Don Erskine communication, 2015.