Manchester Historic Pub Walk

Discover 6 Grade II listed pubs in Manchester with our circular walking route around the Princess Street/Portland Street area.

Historic England is not endorsing these venues but merely providing information on the building and its architecture, which the reader (and drinker) might find interesting.

The Waterhouse

Our first stop is 65 to 71 Princess Street, a row of 4 late-18th-century Grade II listed town houses on the corner of Princess Street and Cooper Street.

Today, 67 to 71 Princess Street have been transformed into a pub: The Waterhouse, named after Alfred Waterhouse, the architect of the Town Hall that stands across the street. Number 65 is a job recruitment office.

Circus Tavern

Said to be the smallest public house in Manchester and one of the smallest in the country, the Circus Tavern at 86 Portland Street is a small gem. A painted sign by the door says: "The smallest bar in Europe, the biggest welcome in the world!"

It's also one of the oldest in Manchester, dating back to 1790. However, the building was initially a town house; it wasn't until 1842 that it became the Circus Tavern public house when a brewery took over.

The Circus Tavern was given Grade II listed status in 1994.

The Grey Horse

Our next stop, and another contender for the smallest pub in Manchester, is nearby at 80 Portland Street.

Like its neighbour, the Grey Horse Inn is a traditional alehouse, and another Grade II listed former town house from around the late 18th century. The upper storeys retain their garret windows, suggesting the top floor once housed weavers' workshops.

The Bank

Originally built in 1803 to house the Portico Library and said to be Manchester's earliest Greek Revival building, The Bank is Grade II* listed and sits on the corner of Charlotte Street and Mosley Street.

The Portico Library is still in evidence on the upstairs floor. The public house occupies the ground floor, which was the newsroom, with the open-plan interior retaining many original features.

The City Arms

Our penultimate stop takes us to The City Arms public house at 48 Kennedy Street, which is back to the Cooper Street end of Kennedy Street, near our first stop at The Waterhouse.

This Grade II listed pub occupies a former 18th-century town house that was altered around 1900. The ground floor has wooden pilasters framing the main entrance.

Vine Inn

Our final stop is the Grade II listed Vine Inn.

The exterior has an impressive frontage of green glazed tiles and stained glass windows, while the inside is split over 3 levels. Originally at 46 Kennedy Street, the pub has since expanded into the adjacent building.