Pubs of Manchester

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

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Star Inn / Red Fox, Church Street / Barton Lane

Star Inn, Church Street, Eccles. (c) Tony Flynn [1].

The Star Inn on in Eccles was a basic Groves & Whitnall boozer at No.87 Church Street where it meets Barton Lane - despite being officially on Barton Lane, the Star was always listed as Church Street.  It can be traced back to 1864 but it was 30 years until G&W, the Red Rose Ales brewery, bought the beerhouse. 

Star Inn, Church Street, Eccles. (c) Tony Flynn [1].

As well as the "commodious free and easy" on Saturday and Mondays, the Star had a billiards table upstairs.  The Star became a Greenall Whitley boozer in 1961 when they took over the Salford brewery, and it was known for its resident mynah bird who would parrot the drinkers and staff [1]. 

Red Fox, Barton Lane. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

Before its closure, the Star Inn was renamed the Red Fox by new owners, Vaux Brewery, at some point in the early 1990s.  Closure appears to have been in the late '90s or early 2000s and the old pub is now a dental surgery, with the old pub sign post reading "The Crown".

Former Star Inn / Red Fox, Barton Lane. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

1. A History of the Pubs of Eccles, Tony Flynn (1982).

Nags Head, Booth Street West

Nags Head, Booth Street West, Chorlton-on-Medlock. (c) Bob Potts [1].

The Nags Head stood on the corner of Higher Ormond Street Street and Booth Street West, just off Oxford Road.  It opened at No.22 Booth Street West in 1840 and lasted until 1975 when it closed as a Groves & Whitnall House [1].  The old Higher Ormond Street can still be made out running under the new university buildings, and the Nags Head would have stood on the left here.

Former location of Nags Head, Booth Street West. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

1. The Old Pubs of Chorlton-upon-Medlock, Bob Potts (1980).
2. The Old Pubs of Hulme & Chorlton -on-Medlock, Bob Potts (1997).

Grapes Inn, Rusholme Road

Grapes Inn, Rusholme Road, Chorlton-on-Medlock. (c) Bob Potts [1].

Pictured above in the 1950s, the Grapes Inn opened in 1864 at No.53 Rusholme Road, straddling Wood Street and Maskell Street [1,2].  This location was classed as Chorlton-on-Medlock but was only just off Downing Street and Ardwick Green South in Ardwick.  The Grapes closed in 1962, just two years short of its century, as a Wilsons house [1].  The former location of the Grapes in was roughly where Kale Street meets Wadeson Street today on the Brunswick Estate.

1. The Old Pubs of Chorlton-upon-Medlock, Bob Potts (1980).
2. The Old Pubs of Hulme & Chorlton -on-Medlock, Bob Potts (1997).

Friday, 30 May 2014

White Horse, Oak Street

White Horse, Oak Street, Pendlebury, Salford. (c) Neil Richardson & Roger Hall [1].

The White Horse was the smallest pub in Pendlebury, first recorded in 1836 on Oak Street, off Bolton Road.  It was actually nicknamed the Oak after its street, but was so small, and unsigned, that it appears to have escaped the surveyors between the years of 1839 and 1851 as it disappeared from the records.  In the later part of the century it was known as the Spinners Arms, but was the White Horse from 1888 onwards [1].

The White Horse had a vault to the left, a rear snug and a lounge to the right, although the bricked up door on the left suggests that the original beerhouse may have been just half this size.  Sadly the White Horse lost its license in January 1937 when it was a Worsley Brewery house - the brewery lost a number of pubs at this time.  Slum clearance of Oak Street, Back Oak Street and union Street saw the old boozer demolished in 1939 [1].

Former location of White Horse, Oak Street. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

The former location of the White Horse / Oak / Spinners Arms was opposite Sackville & Swallow's dyeworks, now known as Swinton Electroplating, at the top end of the remaining Oak Street.  This is just down the road from the still-serving Royal Oak, the oldest remaining pub in Pendlebury.

1. The Pubs of Swinton and Pendlebury, Neil Richardson & Roger Hall (1980).

Monday, 26 May 2014

Pineapple, Crowborough / Leaf Street

Pineapple, Crowborough Street, Greenheys, Chorlton-on-Medlock.

The Pineapple stood on Crowborough Street, formerly Leaf Street, in Greenheys, the southern part of Chorlton-on-Medlock.  The Pineapple opened at No.14 Leaf Street in 1858 and lasted until 1967, closing as as Taylor's Eagle Brewery house [1].  It was on the corner of Leaf Street and unusually-named Delhi Grove, off Pigott Street and parallel to Greenheys Lane [2].  This location of pretty much where Aquarius Street and Bronte Street meet today.

Former location of Pineapple, Greenheys. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

1. The Old Pubs of Chorlton-upon-Medlock, Bob Potts (1980).
2. The Old Pubs of Hulme & Chorlton -on-Medlock, Bob Potts (1997).

Church Inn, Everton Road

Church Inn, Everton Road, Chorlton-on-Medlock. (c) Bob Potts [1].

The Church Inn was a Chesters house on the corner of Churchill Street and Everton Road in Chorlton-on-Medlock near the Longsight border.  Standing at No.90 Everton Road, the Church opened in 1855 and lasted 115 years, closing in 1970 [1].  Everton Road is notable as being the birth place of John Maher, later Johnny Marr, guitarist in one of Manchester's most celebrated bands, The Smiths.

1. The Old Pubs of Chorlton-upon-Medlock, Bob Potts (1980).

Griffin / York Minster, York Street

Griffin, York Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock. (c) Bob Potts [1].

The Griffin Inn stood on the corner Boundary Street East and York Street, just off Grosvenor Street in Chorlton-on-Medock.  It opened in 1857 as the York Minster (listed as such in the 1871 census) and lasted until 1970 [1].  Pictured above as a Bass Brewery house, it was also previously under the ownership of Ratcliff & Gretton brewery [2].  Both this stretch of York Street and Boundary Street East are still in existence today, and the former location of the old Griffin / York Minster is opposite two more recently closed York Street pubs - Korumba and Scubar / Green McNally's / Old Steam Brewery.

Former location of the Griffin / York Minster (right), York Street. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

1. The Old Pubs of Chorlton-upon-Medlock, Bob Potts (1980).
2. The Old Pubs of Hulme & Chorlton -on-Medlock, Bob Potts (1997).

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Crown Inn, Halston Street

Crown Inn, Halston Street, Hulme. (c) Paul Nettleton with permission.

The Crown Inn was at No.62 Halston Street on the corner with Bath Street in the south of Hulme.  The licensing records show the beerhouse opening in 1867 [1] and, under Groves & Whitnall, closed in 1965 [2], just shy of its century.

This photo is kindly supplied by Paul Nettleton, whose great grandfather may the chap on the far left - like all the gents in the photo, wearing flowers in their buttonholes to commemorate something.  It shows the landlord as Hugh Ferns (licensed to sell beer and stout only) and may date from the 1920s.

Crown Inn, Halston Street. (c) Paul Nettleton with permission.

Halston Street and Bath Street were both lost to Hulme redevelopment in the '60s and '70s, but the former location of the Crown Inn can be worked out from today's map.  The corner of what is now Rook Street and Peregrine Street marks the site of the old beerhouse.

Former location of Crown Inn, Halston Street. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

1. The Old Pubs of Hulme Manchester (1) 1770-1930, Bob Potts (1983).
2. The Old Pubs of Hulme & Chorlton-on-Medlock, Bob Potts (1997).

Friday, 9 May 2014

Lion & Lamb / Wrecker / Mariner, Victoria Avenue

Lion & Lamb, Victoria Avenue, Blackley. (c) Alan Winfield with permission.

The original Lion & Lamb (previously the Old White Lion) was on the corner of Lion Street and Market Street in Blackley village, but it was knocked down in 1927 to make way for the new Lion & Lamb on Victoria Avenue to the north on the corner with Chain Road.  The license was transferred to the new pub and it opened the day after the original pub closed under the same landlady, Betsy Ann White [2].  For four decades the Lion & Lamb was a huge but typical suburban Wilsons house, seen here in three photos from the 1960s.

Lion & Lamb, Victoria Avenue. (c) Manchester Evening News [1].

However, in 1971 it was gutted and turned into a bizarre shipwreck theme pub and renamed the Wrecker.  This was after the maritime trick of luring ships to onto the rocks to loot, as the corner of Victoria Avenue and Chain Road with the pub was said to resemble a ship's hull.  Mike Morris remembers that the inside looked like a wrecked ship at an angle in a lagoon, with the ship mast in the middle of the bar area.  There were aged portholes and a video playing of palm trees in the distance.  This would occasionally switch to dark thunderstorms and real water would fall down from the ceiling.  If you looked down the big 'wrecked' hole in the floor you would see a real alligator in the 'lagoon'! [3].

Lion & Lamb, Victoria Avenue. (c) Roger Hall [2].

Unsurprisingly, this North Manchester theme pub, the Wrecker, didn't take off as planned, and the poor alligator would get pelted with empty bottles before animal rights types rescued it.  The Wrecker was renamed the more sedate Mariner for a couple of years, but then reverted back to the Lion & Lamb in 1979.  It was changed back to a normal, multi-roomed pub at great expense to Grand Metropolitan.  The Lion & Lamb closed in about 2003 as a Banks's house and was gutted by fire in 2005 [1].  It was demolished not long after and nothing stands on this corner today.

Former location of Lion & Lamb, Victoria Avenue. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

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

Monday, 5 May 2014

Crown & Volunteer, Church Street

Crown & Volunteer, Church Street, Eccles, 1990. (c) deltrems at flickr [1].

The Crown & Volunteer was a Joseph Holt's house that was rebuilt in 1938 to replace the original pub which had been demolished a year earlier.  The pub dates back to 1869 and in the 1880s was headquarters of the exciting-sounding Eccles Linnean Botanical Society, and Eccles Harriers would start their 6-mile opening run of the season at the Crown & Volunteer.

Crown & Volunteer, Church Street, 1978. (c) Tony Flynn [2].

The Crown & Volunteer was described as a small and lively house in the 1980s, with a smart lounge and basic bar.  Sadly the Crown & Volunteer closed in the mid-late 2000s and has been converted to a business premises, which itself were last seen up for sale.

Former Crown & Volunteer, Church Street. (c) WT Gunson.

The inside of the old Crown & Volunteer remains remarkably pub-like, despite the IAS Services office layout, with its old wooden and etched glass doors and bar areas retained.

Inside the former Crown & Volunteer, Church Street. (c) WT Gunson.

1. A History of the Pubs of Eccles, Tony Flynn (1982).

Irwell Castle, Whit Lane

Irwell Castle, Whit Lane, salford. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

The Irwell Castle stood on the corner of Franklin Street and Whit Lane in Salford, first appearing in the records in 1861.  By the start of the twentieth century the beerhouse belonged to the Worsley Brewery Company of Swinton, passing to Walkers Brewery of Warrington in the 1920s.  Before the Irwell Castle closed in the early 1970s it had passed to Tetley's [1], as shown here [1,2].  The former location of the Irwell Castle was roughly where Whit Lane used to run, to the west of where Britannia Street is marked on today's map.

Irwell Castle, Whit Lane, . (c) Neil Richardson, Tony Flynn, Alan Gall [2].

1. Salford Pubs Part Three: Including Cross Lane, Broad Street, Hanky Park, the Height, Brindleheath, Charlestown and Weaste, Neil Richardson (2003).
2. Salford's Pubs 4, Neil Richardson, Tony Flynn, Alan Gall (1980).

Saturday, 3 May 2014

White Gates - CAMRA's Manchester outpost

BrewBritannia: the strange rebirth of British beer, Boak & Bailey. Click to Look Inside. 

Those with a keen interest in beer, pubs and history thereof, may be aware of the eagerly-awaited book from beer bloggers Boak & Bailey, BrewBritannia: the strange rebirth of British beer.  It's out on 19th June, but it will be available from them at the Port Street Beer House on Sunday 18th May from 2pm.

Manchester's role in the rebirth of British beer is not to be understated, so to start with here's a piece from Boak & Bailey on the White Gates Inn.  This little Sam Smiths boozer on Manchester Road, Hyde, is named after the entrance gates to Hyde Hall, and back in the mid-'70s became the first official CAMRA pub in the north (after the Old Fox in Bristol).

White Gates, Manchester Road, Hyde. (c) Dave Lambert at flickr with permission [1].

About the authors

Boak & Bailey write a beer blog at Their book, BrewBritannia: the strange rebirth of British beer, is due out in June 2014.

* * * * * 

In 1974, CAMRA's chief 'thinker' Christopher Hutt, author of the polemical paperback The Death of the English Pub, set up a member-funded pub chain known as CAMRAIL - CAMRA Real Ale Investments Limited. It caused conflict within the Campaign but, nonetheless, for a few years, pubs demonstrating the CAMRA ideal operated across England, including in Manchester.

White Gates, Manchester Road, 1976. (c) Alan Moores at flickr with permission [2].

CAMRAIL purchased The White Gates in Hyde for £16,000 (they were the only bidder) and it became the second in the small chain, its opening being announced in What's Brewing in March 1975. CAMRA's appointed managers, Frank and Joyce Eastwood, took on a solidly Victorian pub that had been run for years by one Samuel Oldham. They inherited his choice of draught beers - Tetley's Mild, and bitters from Younger and Boddington. Neil Kellett of CAMRA said at the time:

"We plan to preserve the traditional atmosphere and enhance it with a wide range of real draught beer and straightforward but tasty food. Our first priority will be to attend to a number of urgent structural repairs to the building."

White Gatesm Manchester Road. (c) CAMRA 1979 Good Beer Guide.

Before long, the White Gates became the best place to try beer from the region's own contribution to the slowly growing number of new 'real ale' breweries, Pollard's of Stockport.

CAMRAIL, in general, seems to have been a balancing act between, on the one hand, preservation of buildings and pub traditions, and, on the other, appealing to relatively well-off CAMRA members with an interest in novelty.

Throughout 1975, CAMRAIL used cash invested by CAMRA members to expand the building, at a cost of £40,000. With similar rebuilding and renovation going on at pubs in Bristol, Cambridge and Leeds, the company made a loss in its first full year of trading, causing investors to grumble.

In the 1978 Good Beer Guide, the description of the White Gates suggests that it had become the kind of 'real ale pub' we would recognise today, selling cult out of town favourites such as Theakston's:

White Gates, Manchester Road. (c) 1978 CAMRA Good Beer Guide entry.

The following year, Frank and Joyce Eastwood decided to retire, which gave Hutt the opportunity to assess the situation. Manchester was far from being a 'real ale desert' and so it was decided to sell the White Gates with a view to investing the proceeds in a new CAMRAIL pub in Watney's-dominated Northampton.


'Doors Open at White Gates', What's Brewing, March 1975.

'Pubs that Convert the Fizz Drinkers', What's Brewing, December 1976.

'Camrail open one pub - and close another', What's Brewing, July 1979.

Good Beer Guides 1975-1980.

History of Stockport Breweries, Mike Ogden, Neil Richardson, 1987

Interviews with Christopher Hutt, Terry Pattinson and others.

White Gates, Manchester Road. (c) Gerald England at geograph (Creative Commons).

White Gates, Manchester Road, 2011. (c) Ian S under Creative Commons [3].

White Gates & Wellington, 2009. (c) Gerald England at geograph (Creative Commons).

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Clifton Grange Hotel, Wellington Road

Phil Lynott & George Best, Clifton Grange Hotel, Wellington Road, Whalley Range. (c) Manchester Evening News [1].

The Clifton Grange Hotel was something of a Manchester institution, owned as it was, by Philomena Lynott, mother of Phil Lynott, the legendary but tragic singer of rock band Thin Lizzy.  Phil died in 1986, aged just 36, of heart failure and pneumonia linked to the rock 'n' roll lifestyle.  His most famous song, "The Boys Are Back In Town", is reputedly about Manchester's infamous Quality Street Gang being released from prison, and the "Clifton Grange Hotel" is immortalised in his song of the same name.  Despite most Thin Lizzy websites mentioning the hotel and that it was on Upper Chorlton Road in Whalley Range, it was actually on the corner of Alness Road and Wellington Road.

Former Clifton Grange Hotel, Wellington Road. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

The 1851 map shows an original house called Clifton Grange on Wellington Road [2], and the building has been extended from the house, along Alness Road where an entrance is today.  Phyllis took over at the Clifton Grange Hotel in 1966 when it was described as a showbiz refuge which had fallen on hard times.  Despite having no experience of running a hostelry of any type, she ended up buying the hotel and remained there until 1980.  "We ran the hotel to suit showbusiness people, not normal people.  Breakfast wasn't at 8am, it was at noon.  If you missed noon, then you just got in the kitchen and cooked yourself... It wasn't really a hotel, it was a showbiz digs [3]."

The old Clifton Grange, Wellington Road. (c) Old Maps [3].

The Clifton Grange soon became famous in the North West and was known as The Showbiz, The Biz or simply Phyllis's.  Walk through the door and you would be greeted by a grass-skirted Maori dancers, transvestite comedian or a female contortionist.  The bar was full of pop stars, magicians, ventriloquists, casino croupiers and other random entertainers.  A young Phil loved and would heavily be influenced this bizarre and unique atmosphere, travelling to Manchester with family members for long summers at the Clifton Grange [3].

Former Clifton Grange Hotel, Wellington Road. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

After Phil became famous as the front man of Thin Lizzy, whenever he came back to visit his mother and gig in Manchester, the homecomings would be huge parties.  All his friends would head to the Clifton Grange and their 'Aunt Phyllis' - christened the Fairy Godmother of the North West - would turn the hotel into a Thin Lizzy shrine - The Boys Were Back In Town.  Friends included sportsmen like Alex Higgins, George Best, Steve Coppell, and they'd head to The Showbiz after matches to meet up with United fan Phil for all night parties [3].

Former Clifton Grange Hotel, Wellington Road. (c) Google 2014. View Larger Map.

The Clifton Grange Hotel closed many years ago, but it is still in use as private housing, and its memory lives on in the legend of Phil Lynott (often called the first black Irishman), Philomena Lynott (who stayed in Manchester after Phil's death), and the songs.

"Clifton Grange Hotel" [4]

Pack up your bags
Leave family society
Oh come with me
Where they treat you well

At the door
Old Lou the jew
Will welcome you
In the corner lies the hotel

At this refuge of mercy
Head of the table
King of laughter

And if you speak too much
In company
You'll soon be heard
By that mynah bird and whiskey

At the top
You'll find another brother
Go ask my mother
She knows them all very well... hotel

3. Phil Lynott: The Rocker, Mark Putterford (2010).