Stockport Market Place

Friday 17th March 2017

Another of our compact staggers, Stockport Market Hall and Parish Church never venturing much more than 150m from the historic Victorian Market Hall in Stockport. We will also be passing another notable attraction, a retrospective of Stockport's answer to Abby Lane, namely Strawberry Studios. Unfortunately it is only open until 5pm so if you want to arrive early and view the exhibition details can be found here: https://www.stockport.gov.uk/strawberry-studios-i-am-in-love.

Surprisingly for a trip around central Stockport, Robinson's pubs are thin on the ground!

We start in Calverts Court, a Wetherspoons house which does exactly what you would expect of a Wetherspoons. The architect who designed the Calverts Court may have been a native of Galyfrey because it is considerable bigger on the inside than the out. This is achieved by going back some considerable distance from the narrow frontage; it must be around five times deeper than it is broad. As the toilets are also placed right at the rear, if needing them, set of in plenty of time as reaching your objective will take some moments. As expected from many Wetherspoon's the house beers (Greene King IPA and Ruddles County) are complemented by four or so guests.

Petersgste Tap

We are now going to visit the new kid on the block, so on leaving the front doors turn to your left away from the Market Place. On the corner of the next block you will espy the Petersgate Tap, which was only opened on 29 October 2016. A conversion from a former betting shop, so what's betting there is something interesting on tonight. [Groan!] There is one regular (from Hawkshead) and four changing cask ales on offer, plus for the cider lovers, two or three bag in a boxes are kept in the fridge plus one from the cellar on hand pump.

Our next objective is but a cock-stride away physically, yet a million miles away in provision of real ale. Egerton Arms as was - Stockport Travel back towards the Market Place and across the road from the Wetherspooks 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, with currently there being no real ale.

Continue along St Petersgate and pass over Underbank/Hillgate onto a street known as Market Place. Pause as the near corner of the market hall and note the building on your right. Built originally as a bank for Bank of Stockport to a design of T. A. Allen in 1868. Bank of Stockport were taken over by Manchester and County Bank, who were then acquired by District Bank. National Provincial Bank took over District and then merged with Westminster Bank to become National Westminster. Finally they were merged into the Royal Bank of Scotland group. After all this banking activity it was converted into a branch of Yates Wine Lodge in the 90s I believe. There then followed a period as Bambooze then Bank Chambers Live before closing down.

Next to the bank and a down the side of the market hall on a road also called Market Place (as 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 seen. 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.

Bakers Vault - Stockport

Across the road (again Market Place) on our left we reach 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.

Boars Head in days gone by

Crossing the corner of the market square brings us to our 8:30pm meeting point, 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! 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.

Retracing our steps slightly, Demolition on the site of Remedy Bar Remedy Bar we pass across the front of the Market Hall and turn left into Market Place, passing the Red Bull to 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 as the final bits of paperwork are falling into place from HM Revenue and Customs.

Continuing along Market Place towards the Parish Church and we find the Cocked Hat on our right. Cocked Hat</b></span></a>, former Pack Horse - Stockport Pack Horse - Stockport Formerly known as the Pack Horse you may well ask "Where?". Reopened and re-named in September 2013 it now offers six cask ales, two permanent (Brimstage Sandpiper and Thwaities Wainwright) and four locals based on Chester, the headquarters of the owning company, Atwill Pubs. Unfortunately we will arrive after 6:30pm, the time at which a pint of cask ale goes up from £2.40 to full price (Monday to Friday). Never mind you can always return later on another afternoon and take advantage of this offer.

As you leave the Cocked Hat, why not indulge in a little film nostalgia and re-create a scene from 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 http://www.reelstreets.com/index.php/component/films/?task=view&id=991&film_ref=taste_of_honey&start=80 for the aforementioned scenes, and the 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 150ish yards to look longingly through the windows of the Thatched Cottage, sadly closed and up for sale. 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 15mins
 

Then

Boar's Head
2 Vernon Street/Market Place
SK1 1TY
Map
Stockport 15mins
 
Egerton Arms
2 St Petersgate
SK1 1HD
Map
Stockport 10mins
No real ale

8.30pm Mid point

Remedy Bar & Brew House
10-11 Market Place
SK1 1EW
Map
Stockport 15mins
 

Then

Cocked Hat
(former Pack Horse)
2 Market Place
SK1 1EW
Map
Stockport 15mins
Closed
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 6 February 2017