Stockport Historic Pub Walk

Discover historic pubs in the centre of Stockport (4x Grade II, and 2 that are unlisted).

The Alexandra, 195 Northgate Road, Edgeley, SK3 9NJ (junction of Chatham Street)

Listed Grade II

A red brick building of 1911, which retains a suite of five rooms (Tap Room, Smoke Room, Bar Parlour, Commercial Room, and a separate Billiard Room), as well as an Off-sales department, although this is no longer in use.

It has a fine mosaic floor in the outer lobby, and retains good quality tiles, woodwork and glass. Note the bell-pushes in the Bar Parlour for summoning service, and the numbers on the doors, once required by law to show which rooms were included in the ‘licensed’ part of the premises.

Although there has been some alteration (the bar-back was replaced in about 1980), it remains a fine example of a multiroomed pub of the early 20th century.

The Armoury, 31 Shaw Heath, SK3 8BD (corner of Greek Street)

Not listed.

A corner local, an excellent example of a restrained, respectable refurbishment scheme of the inter-war years. Three rooms with fitted bench seating.

The room names feature in the glazing of the internal doors, which also include the trademark of local brewer Bell’s, which was taken over by Robinson’s in 1949.

Queen's Head, 12 Little Underbank, SK1 1JT (by Underbank Bridge)

Listed Grade II

A small, narrow pub originally established in 1764 as ‘Turner’s Vaults’. The three room interior was remodelled in about 1930, and again in 1990, when a side passageway was incorporated into the main rooms, the bar counter altered and the bar back replaced.

The interior consists of the main bar, a tiny ‘horse-box’ bar, lit by a skylight, with seating for only six, and another small room to the rear with benches down both sides. The two sets of spirit cocks on the top of the bar counter, which until 1935 served spirits from the stores in the wine merchant’s premises above, are a very rare survival.

Tiny pubs like this were once common in towns across England; very few now survive.

Arden Arms, 23 Millgate, SK1 2LX (corner of Corporation Street)

Listed Grade II

Built in 1815, and owned by the Raffald family (the first landlord, George, was a nephew of Elizabeth Raffald, one of the first ‘domestic goddesses’, and publisher of the first Manchester directory), and sold to Robinson’s Brewery in about 1889.

It has a high-quality, multi-roomed interior, with quarry-tiled floors, original bench seating in the Vault, and much varnished woodwork and etched and engraved glass. The rooms have numbers on the doors, as once required by licensing law.

An exceptionally rare survival is a tiny snug called the ‘Select’, which can only be entered through the servery with the permission of the bar staff, and which would presumably once have been reserved for use by the landlord’s closest friends.

Other rare features are the tables in the Vault which incorporate bell- pushes to summon service, and the hand-pumps fixed to the bar-back fitting rather than to the counter.

Swan With Two Necks, 36 Princes Street, SK1 1RY (junction of Hatton Street)

Listed Grade II

A long, narrow pub rebuilt in 1926, soon after it was acquired by Robinson’s brewery. The interior is typical of many inter-war pubs, with much wood panelling, and Tudor-style fireplaces continuing the theme of the ‘half-timbered’ façade.

The tiled entrance lobby leads into a corridor which widens out in front of the servery to form a ‘drinking lobby’ – a feature of pubs in the Yorkshire and Lancashire Pennines, which catered for those who wanted to drink standing up. The servery itself has roller shutters which can be brought down to secure the bottles stored on the bar-back shelves.

The two main rooms – the vault at the front of the building, and a delightful smoke room to the rear, are both attractive spaces in which to sit and drink. A third room was brought into pub use in the 1960s.

Crown Inn, 154 Heaton Lane, SK4 1AR (under viaduct at junction with King Street West)

Not listed.

Converted from three terraced houses in about 1877, with the pub formed from two of the houses, and the third retained as accommodation for the licensee; its origins are still obvious despite the applied pub frontage.

The interior is rather later; the basic plan of four public rooms, entered off a corridor, can still be made out, despite the removal of short lengths of corridor wall to give a more ‘open’ feel. The corridor opens into a stand-up vault with servery on the right, a large lounge to the right rear, and two small snugs to the left.