While Bollington is well known for its many pubs, it is not
so well known that there used to be a lot more! Unbelievable
but true! Mind you, they weren't all open at the same time!
Quoting from Bollington in Old Picture Postcards by George Longden & the Bollington Civic Society History Group (see Books page) -
"... in 1755 Bollington had as many as eight inns, but ... in 1822, after almost forty years of industrial growth, there were only six. After 1830, however, many beerhouses were established, often in single terraced cottages. By 1900, Bollington had twenty-seven licensed premises: one for every 194 inhabitants."
One hundred years later, in 2000, there were about twenty-four licences including the two hotels but not including the restaurants.
Since then we have lost several and there are fears that more could go the same way. Support your local publican - pay them a visit at least once a week! Once a disused pub is returned to domestic use it is very unlikely ever to become a pub again.
The Civic Society has pictures of many old pubs in its historic picture collection. A couple are included below and they can all be seen at the Discovery Centre at Clarence Mill.
Barley Mow - the beautiful house that is today Barley Grange at Bollington Cross. The licence is thought to have been given up in the late 1860s.
Blazing Rag - see the Post Office Inn and the Steam Engine Inn below. It is possible that the name relates to the means by which a locomotive fireman got his boiler fire going in the morning - he would thrust a piece of burning oil soaked rag into the firebox to get the sticks and coal going.
Britannia - Lost in the local authority's reduction
of licences in 1909, the Britannia was at 14 & 14a Queen
Street, sometimes known as Britannia Cottage.
Cock - listed in Piggot's Commercial Directory 1834 but may be a reference to what is now the Cock & Pheasant.
Dagger Club - This was in Store Street, the
building presently occupied by Bob Rigby's photographic shop.
One informant suggested that it was at one time the Liberal party
Farmers Arms - Someone told me there was once a pub of this name; also mentioned by Broster - any ideas? Where was it? Please email me if you know anything about this pub.
Flash Inn - see Orange Tree.
Flying Horse - Lost in the local authority's
reduction of licences in 1909. Anthony Holland tells me that
it was at Nos.3 and 3a Oldham Street. In the 1934 book by Rev
R. Norton Betts (see Books page) it
is reported to have been in Simister's Row, a small ally about
50m along from the Waggon & Horses. However, the weight of
opinion from older residents suggests that the reverend got it
wrong - and what would he know about pubs anyway! - and that
it was indeed in Oldham Street. But does this mean there was
another pub in Simister's Row?
Grapes - Lost in the local authority's reduction of licences in 1909. This pub was at 10 Church Street (left), between the New Con Club (Turners Arms) and the Church House. The house there now once had an archway through it which was possibly an access to the yard behind the Grapes. However, it is not visible in the picture. The Grapes' brew house was opposite the pub.
Horse Shoe - a beerhouse whose landlord in
1837 was one William Holland. He appears in trade directories
of the time as a blacksmith - the two go together well! But where
was the Horse Shoe inn?
Ivy Tavern - Mark Lovatt writes "The Ivy Tavern was (is) the last house in Bollington Cross on the
left hand side when heading towards Macclesfield, 116 Bollington
Road, ... facing 'The Rookery'. [This is] marked on
the 1881-1882 Ordnance Survey [map]."
Lord Nelson - a beer house next door to Water
Street Centre, known today as Nelson Cottage. In 1891 the
Lord Nelson Inn was managed by one Robert Thompson.
Lowther Arms - actually at Pott Shrigley. We know very little about this pub other than it is thought to have been "closed down in the 1920's by Lady Lowther, supposedly after she smelt alcohol on the breath of her groom!" (thanks Jim McIntosh).
Sharp has very kindly emailed "A distant ancestor, Edward
Unwin b.1797, appears in various censuses as a publican, living
in Pott Village in 1841, as an innkeeper in Pott (near Unwin
Pool?) in 1851, and as a retired publican in/on Gibhill (near
Birchencliff cottages?) in 1861. He died in 1866. ... Alas, no
pub is mentioned next to the census entries for Edward Unwin.
Might he have been the landlord? Any light you can shed on this
would be very gratefully received." If you know more
please let me know. The 1912 map (right) shows the
three places mentioned in Robert's note.
Navigation - is now Aqueduct Cottage beside the canal on Hurst Lane. It is said to have lost its licence in about 1905 (or maybe the 1909 cull) after the wives of mill workers objected to their men folk going in there after they were paid on a Thursday and spending all the housekeeping before going home! In those days it was very often the wives who managed the family finances - though 10/6 (pronounced 'ten and six', that is 10 shillings and 6D [D used to mean pence!] or 52½p in today's decimal money) could hardly be regarded as finance, but the family had to live on it for a week! The canal horses were lodged overnight in stables beneath the house for a few pennies.
Orange Tree -
at the bottom end of Flash Lane and now buried beneath the Silk
Road. Thought to have been built in 1899 it is believed by some
to have lost its licence in 1909. However, Mark Lovatt says that "Hearsay
is that it was closed after a
daughter of the Brocklehurst family was involved in a fatal accident
outside it, early 1900's. It
is also on the 1882 Ordnance map so it must have been built earlier
than noted above. No other details known." Interesting,
because I (webmaster) heard from another source that it was open
for only 9 years! Clearly wrong. See the picture at the Discovery Centre.
Confusion could have arisen because on the 1874 map it is shown
as the Flash Inn. Though marked as an Inn on the 1896-1904 map
it is without a name.
Post Office Inn - Mentioned in Looking Back
at Bollington by George Longden & Molly Spink (see Books page). Mark Lovatt writes "The
Post Office Inn was located immediately south of the 'Waggon
and Horses'. I remember seeing a photograph of it and seem
to remember it being set back a little, behind what used to
be the butchers. The original 'Waggon' was also set back a
little off the road, before being replaced by the present building
by the railway company in 1907. The 'new' Waggon may also have
been referred to as the 'Railway' or the 'Blazing Rag'. [This
is] marked on the 1881-82 Ordnance Survey [map]." But
see immediately below regarding the Railway ...
Railway Inn - Mentioned in Looking Back at Bollington by George Longden & Molly Spink (see Books page). Daren Hooley writes to say that "... the 1881 Census shows that my great, great grandfather, John Hooley lived in the Railway Tavern on Princess Street." Please email me if you know more. Also see the Post Office Inn immediately above.
|The Rising Sun in Lord Street; house on the
left with the steps.
BCS collection, Discovery Centre.
Rising Sun - Noted by Betts (1934) (see Books page) as once a beer house in Lord Street. Thought to have been named after the rising sun embossed plate which was found affixed to the wall of Heaver's Brewery after the latter was burnt down in 1931. Personally I suggest that its elevated position facing east has more to do with it. The rising sun plate was probably an insurance mark to ensure the fire brigade attended.
Robin Hood Inn - we have a picture of it in the Civic Society collection (see Discovery Centre) but where was it located? They sold Stancliffes' Ales and offered 'Good Stabling' but I cannot recognise the setting. If you know more please email me.
Shoulder of Mutton - listed in Piggot's Commercial
Directory 1834. Do you know where it was? Please email me if you do.
Steam Engine Inn - Mark Lovatt writes "This
was in the terrace south of the Cock & Pheasant, at 35 Bollington Road, where a small front garden wall protrudes onto the pavement and is quite obvious when you see it. I don't know when it closed, but my grandmother (Annie Abbott, 1904-2001) remembered it. This is another contender for the
'Blazing Rag'. [This is] marked on the 1881-1882 Ordnance Survey [map]." If you know more please email me.
Waddling Duck - 10 & 12 Lord Street. The cellar was filled in some time after it ceased to be a pub. However, it was dug out again when the houses were re-furbished in the 1990s. The name probably arises from the fact that it was adjacent to a ford across the river before the bridge was built. There would have been plenty of ducks in the road.
We have lost some in the last few years:
The Barge Inn - only opened for a few years in the late 1980s and early 90s on the canalside at Adelphi Wharf. Lost about 1995 when the associated Adelphi Hotel went out of business.
Cheshire Hunt - converted to houses in 2001/2.
really a Rainow pub but always listed on this web site, it closed
in January 2010 and its future looks bleak.
Meridian - closed in August 2006 but re-developed in 2007 into The Plaice fish
restaurant and takeaway. Alan Wain, whose mother was an Oldfield,
tells me that his aunt Winifred and husband Ralph Clayton ran
the Meridian during WWII (early 1940s). The Meridian was noted
for its skittle alley which Alan remembers playing. It was along
one side of the bar, which was finished with black and white
checkered tiles! I, too, remember the black and white tiles,
so they were still there in the late 1970s.
Redway Tavern - closed 2003. Returned to cottages in 2004/5.
The Vale Inn -
closed for seven years then re-opened in September 2002 only
to close again in April 2004. However, it re-opened
again in March 2005 and is now one of the most successful
pubs in Bollington! One of only two Free Houses (the other is
the Poachers), which might have something to do with it! It also
has its own micro-brewery producing the most delicious beers!
That's a first in Bollington for about 80 years.