Stockport Market Place

Friday 20 September 2019

Another of our compact staggers, Stockport Market Hall and Parish Church never venturing much more than 200m from the historic Victorian Market Hall in Stockport. Surprisingly for a trip around central Stockport, Robinson's pubs are thin on the ground!

Starting in the Market Place, Bakers Vault - Stockport face away from the Victorian covered market and there is the Bakers Vault, which underwent an extensive refurbishment a few years back. We will be able to have our first pint of Robinsons of the evening here, along with up to three guest ales. Yes, you did read that correctly, a Robinson's house with guest ales. The running of the pub has been taken on by the same team that runs the Castle in central Manchester. We may also be treated to live music, as the Bakers had a reputation as an excellent venue for live music and I'm assured that they wish to continue with this endeavour. A new innovation is the food menu, based upon a variety of (very good so I am assured) hot dogs.

Crossing the corner of the market Boars Head in days gone by square brings us to the Boar's Head on, you've guessed it, Market Place. This is a Sam Smiths house so there will be no music, neither live nor recorded, as the tight fisted Yorkshire men who own the pub don't believe in Performing Rights licences! WARNING: don't get ejected from the premises for that dastardly unsociable activity of using any {modern?} modile/electronic devices — I wonder if that covers iWatches? Everything sold within the Boar's Head is a Sam Smiths product, from crisps, through spirits and probably down to toilet paper - what a great show of Yorkshire thrift. This has allowed Smiths to offer by far the cheapest pint in Stockport, but unfortunately only the one (variety that is, they are not policing your drinking). Smiths have an extensive range of bottled beers available but unfortunately none is available in cask conditioned form.

Produce Hall, Project 53 and Angel Inn

Crossing back across the Market Place we will be passing the newly upgraded and re-opened Produce Hall (right of photo, phone booths infront). Rather like the Altrincham Market Hall and Smithfield Market in Manchester there are a plethora of good (hipster?) food outlets, but the management have missed a trick. They not only DON'T sell any real ale at all, but also are pricing keg ales around £1 more than it is available next door. Captive market?

Next to the Produce Hall stands Angel Inn and Project 53 Project 53 which is owned by Cheshire brewer, Mobberley Brewhouse and is our 8:30pm meeting point. The unusual name is because both the bar, Mobberley Brewhouse itself and a sister outlet in Knutsford [also called Project 53] all lie just north of the 53rd line of latitude. Project 53 occupies the building with the round-topped facade in the photo above, circa 1975, compare this with the photo left where Rostrons was knocked down(?) to makeway for the current building! A rustic interior has been created with bare boards and reclaimed planking to adorn walls and form the bar. As mentioned key keg ales are available but there are three handpulls for cask prominently placed on the bar. Food is available but consists only of pizzas, although snacks, nuts etc are available from the bar.

Our shortest walk between pubs Angel Inn now ensues as the Angel Inn is next door! Re-opened in late 2018, some 67 year after being closed as a Bell's Brewery tied house. Now locally owned and run by local people who care about cask beer and the environment in which it is presented. Originally the Angel only occupied the left-hand portion of this building (see photos above and right - click on any photo for larger version), which explains why the pub's name is so offset on the façade outside. Inside 5 changing real ales are on offer. A sunken seating area with real fire and sofas adds an air of comfort and class to the current establishment and this was so even in 1911 according to this newspaper report, but we mustn't get too comfy as we need to venture forth and complete the stagger.

Egerton Arms as was - Stockport

Our next objective is but a cock-stride away physically, yet a million miles away in provision of real ale. Travel towards the St Petersgate and cross the bridge over Underbank and on the right is the Egerton Arms, or as some may remember it Porky Pigs. Availability of cask ale has been on and off here for a while, currently there being is no real ale BUT it is currently undergoing a renovation and real ale is promissed. W A T C H   T H I S   S P A C E !

Crossing the market place and down the right-hand side of the market hall on a road called. . .   Market Place (as also is the street on the other side of the market hall) stands the Bulls Head. The left-hand car in the photo top of page stands approximatly outside its doors. Built as a pub and owned for many years by Robinsons it used to be a big part of the Stockport music scene. Closed for a few years, but still on the books of Robinsons, who reputedly still wish to re-open the building. Again, one to watch.

Passing the closed Bulls Head Demolition on the site of Remedy Bar Remedy Bar we reach Remedy Bar & Brew House. When Simon Wells and Sam McDonald took over two rather mundane shop units they decided to converted the premises into the place you see today. The picture left is not in fact their renovation efforts but harks back to when the shops were originally built — their effort is shown right. Inside the décor is described as steampunk-inspired, basically bare boards, exposed piping and trunking with mix-and-match furniture. The brewery itself lies behind glass panelling to the left of the bar, and may well be brewing by our visit. Production has been a little stop-start over the last few months due to changes in the brewery team.

Continuing along Market Cocked Hat</b></span></a>, former Pack Horse - Stockport Pack Horse - Stockport Place towards the Parish Church and we find the Cocked Hat on our right. Formerly known as the Pack Horse until reopened and re-named in September 2013. It now offers four real ales usually from micro-breweries. Inside the original multi-room layout is obvious, but the doorways have been opened out but not so much as to lose the segmented feel. It closed suddenly in August 2018 due to the previous owning company going int receivership, but reopened under a new management and still retaining the Cocked hat name.

As you leave the Cocked Hat, why not indulge in a little film nostalgia and re-create a scene from the 60s film A Taste of Honey. Several locations were used around Stockport but the shots where Brigit Forsyth sits on the steps of St Mary's, the Parish Church are the most easily identified by Stopfordians. Follow the link https://www.reelstreets.com/films/taste-of-honey-a/ and scroll down to Capture 87 for this scene, then scroll through other shots for more Stockport locations - see how many you can identify before reading the captions.

We now have a long walk ahead, all of 200ish yards to look longingly through the windows of the Thatched Cottage, sadly now closed. The rectory - Stockport This once thriving live music venue also had an eclectic range of real ales and cider available - unfortunately no more. Across the road and in to the Old Rectory, now the frontage for Central Stockport's Premier Inn. Though it majors on food, cask ale is available and drinkers are not shunned. The selection is a national brand as would be expected in a large chain hotel. The building has a pleasant conservatory attached on the town centre side, a very enjoyable place to sit and sip your drink. There is also an extensive lawn out the front should the mood (and weather) permit.

Retracing our steps to the Parish Church we drop steeply down Millgate to the Arden Arms. This pub has seen a varied history, including being used as the towns mortuary - the mortuary slabs are still there in the cellar. A number of rooms inside are available including the challenge to enter the snug situated behind the bar. Go on - I challenge you to find the way in. The inside seating has been complemented by an outside drinking area. You can sit in the sun (what at 10:30pm!) or under the cloister, for that is what the roofed area resembles. A stage, upon which live musicians perform regularly, completes the area.

The rectory - Stockport The rectory - Stockport

View down Millgate in the 70s with the cooling tower dominating the scene (best viewed if you follow the links) and seen in the background of the A Taste of Honey St Mary's scene. In the photo to the left notice the last building on the left side of the street, that with the solitary window and compare to the photo on the right. If not actually the same window, certainly the same building. A glimpse of Stockport's gasometer can also be seen on the right. What a change in view from the Arden Arms' front door - now it is ASDA's multi-storey car-park!

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Stockport Market Place

Timing

Pub Name

Address

Bus & Rail

Notes

7.30pm Start point:

Bakers Vault
Market Place
SK1 1ES
Map
Stockport 10mins
 

Then

Boar's Head
2 Vernon Street/Market Place
SK1 1TY
Map
Stockport 10mins
 

8.30pm Mid point

Project 53
22 Market Place
SK1 1EU
Map
Stockport 10mins
 

Then

Angel Inn
20 Market Place
SK1 1EY
Map
Stockport 10mins
 
Egerton Arms
2 St Petersgate
SK1 1HD
Map
Stockport 10mins
 
Bulls Head
Market Place
SK1 1EW
Map
Stockport 10mins
Closed
Remedy Bar & Brew House
10-11 Market Place
SK1 1EW
Map
Stockport 10mins
 
Cocked Hat
(former Pack Horse)
2 Market Place
SK1 1EW
Map
Stockport 15mins
 
Old Rectory
48 Churchgate
SK1 1YG
Map
Stockport 15mins
 

Finishing at

Arden Arms
23 Millgate
SK1 2LX
Map
Stockport 15mins
 

 

View Stockport Market Place stagger in a larger map

Updated 12 July 2019