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Inns and Public Houses

The Red Lion, Ellenbrook

The Red Lion is, along with Ellenbrook chapel which it faces, one of the oldest establishments in the area; the date 1729 is marked on one of its drainpipes. A red lion rampant was the main blazon on the coat of arms of the Egerton family, which owned Worsley and much of Boothstown for several hundred years until 1923. Before being taken over by the breweries, most local inns were attached to farms, and the Red Lion was no exception.

In the early 1760s, land on the east side of Newearth Road was taken into cultivation and added to the demesne farm of Worsley Old Hall. Those fields are named on the estate map of 1764 as Near New Earth, Far New Earth, Mid New Earth and Long New Earth - so it is clear why the road got its name. John Gilbert, the Canal Duke's famous agent, and engineer of the underground canals, held the lease of this land, which became part of the Red Lion farm. When Gilbert died in 1795, his son had the lease until 1813. The Gilberts did not occupy the farm, and evidence suggests that the Newton family may have lived there. The younger Gilbert died in 1812, and in 1813 his executors gave up the lease in consideration of 8,000 paid to the 2nd Marquess of Stafford, heir to the Duke of Bridgewater; at this time it was described as a leasehold interest in the Public House and premises at Ellenbrook.

The first time the name Red Lion appears in documents specifically relating to the Ellenbrook inn is September 1823 when Mrs. Newton provided breakfast for the boundary walkers; a Richard Newton was known to have held extensive land and buildings at Ellenbrook in 1817. Newton appears to have added Gillibrand's farm, which lay to the south, to the New Earth fields, making 43 acres in all. The land behind the inn which is now a car park was formerly a bowling green, and must at one time have been the farmyard.

During the first half of the 19th century, the Red Lion pub and farm was kept by the Newton and Nicholls families. From 1842 until the end of the century the Red Lion was held by the Taylor family. 

The Taylor family took over the Red Lion in 1842. They were a Worsley family with a tradition of innkeeping: Oliver Taylor had kept the Cock Hotel (then known as the Mesne Lee) as early as 1639, followed by Mary Taylor, who was there in 1722. A James Taylor was keeper of the Stocks in Walkden (locally known as the Swan, though officially called the Swan With Two Necks). From 1691 to 1744 Roger Taylor kept the White Horse in Worsley Road, Swinton, where the Select Vestry of the Township of Worsley used to meet, as it also did at the Mesne Lee. In 1830 a James Taylor and his wife assaulted the constable whilst a warrant was being served; this may have been the James Taylor who became innkeeper of the Red Lion in 1842. From that year, Taylor, like his predecessors, was liable to serve as a juror. He was also a churchwarden at Eccles church, and an official of the Township of Worsley, the equivalent in its day of a town council.

The 1851 census recorded James Taylor (aged 62) as farmer of 50 acres. His household comprised Mary (57, farmer's wife), James (33, son, unmarried), Elizabeth (30, daughter), George (22, son, unmarried), Joseph (20, son, unmarried), and Thomas Mottershead (26, farm labourer).

By 1861, James Taylor (now aged 72, and a widower) was still the innkeeper and farmer, and was described as 'licensed victualler'. His household now consisted of James (42, son, unmarried, land agent), Elizabeth (40, daughter, unmarried, household duties), Sarah (36, daughter, unmarried), George (31, son, unmarried, agricultural labourer), Joseph (29, son, unmarried, agricultural labourer), Sarah Elizabeth (12, grand-daughter, scholar), and Mary (8, grand-daughter, scholar).

The younger James Taylor (now 53 and unmarried) was recorded as the licensed victualler in 1871. The household included George (42, brother, unmarried, farmer and licensed victualler), Joseph (40, brother, unmarried), Elizabeth (50, sister, unmarried), Sarah (22, niece, unmarried), and Mary (18, niece, unmarried).

In 1881, James Taylor (aged 63 and unmarried) was recorded as a publican and farmer of 34 acres. His household was Elizabeth (60, sister, unmarried), George (52, brother, publican and farmer of 34 acres), Joseph (50, brother, publican and farmer of 34 acres), and Mary (28, niece, unmarried).

In 1891 James Taylor (73) and his brothers George (62) and Joseph (60) were joint licensees, publicans and farmers.  Their sister, Elizabeth (70 and single) was the landlady. All three had been  born in Rusholme, Manchester.

Probably around the turn of the century the farm may have been incorporated in Worsley Old Hall Farm. The Red Lion pub was sold to Boddington's brewery around 1921. Subsequent Red Lion publicans included Thomas Wallwork, brother of Jesse, (1901), John Pope (1910), Thomas Henry Haden (1917), and Mrs Elizabeth Haden (1918-1921). Ernest William Griffiths was the publican between 1922 and 1927, and William Pendlebury was recorded as publican between 1928 and 1942.

For a contemporary reference to the Red Lion from 1871 see: Victorian Boothstown.

In 1901 the publican of the Red Lion was James Wallwork (aged 45). He lived at the Red Lion with his wife, their four daughters and an infant son.  

The tradition of Walking the Bounds of the manor was carried on throughout the centuries. Before 1856, when Worsley Court House was built, the Court Leet and Court Baron of the manor were held in the Grapes Hotel in Worsley village, but on rare occasions at the Red Lion at Ellenbrook. It was the custom of the jurors of the court, once in every generation, to arrange for the boys (usually the apprentices of the estate) to be taught the boundary of the manor by walking its length, an undertaking which took two days. On those occasions a meeting of the court was held at the Red Lion, from where the walk began after breakfast. On 30th September 1802 there is an entry in the records: Order that the bounds be walked starting at the public house at Ellenbrook chapel. In September 1823: the bounds of the manor to be walked to meet at Mrs. Newton's at the Red Lion, Ellenbrook. The walk left the Red Lion in 1856, and the Swinton Journal of 12th May 1877 reported: In accordance with the decision of the Court Leet at Worsley, the jury and officials walked the boundaries of the manor on Wednesday and Thursday last. A number of apprentices of the Bridgewater Trustees accompanied the party after partaking of breakfast at the Red Lion at Ellenbrook.

Inquests were also held in the Red Lion on sudden deaths in the neighbourhood. In 1869, for example, an inquest was held on two men killed in Mosley Common pit: James Evans, aged 28, who had two children and lived at Abbot's Fold, and Joseph Wolstenholme, aged 55, who had six children, and lived near Ellenbrook chapel.

It was probably around the turn of the century that the Red Lion Farm ceased to be indpendent, and may have been incorporated in Worsley Old Hall Farm. Subsequent Red Lion publicans included Thomas Wallwork, brother of Jesse, (1901), John Pope (1910), Thomas Henry Haden (1917), and Mrs Elizabeth Haden (1918-1921). Ernest William Griffiths was the publican between 1922 and 1927, and William Pendlebury was recorded as publican between 1928 and 1942. The Red Lion pub has recently been refurbished and extended.

Royal Oak

In 1891 the publical of the Roal Oak was John Marsh (55). He lived with his wife, Jane, and family, including their son John (17) who was a 'musical student', but who would run the Greyhound pub ten years later. In 1901 the publican of the Royal Oak was James Peers, aged 35. The picture below left shows the Royal Oak pub alongside Yates's Mill, which was closed in 1968. The picture below right shows the Royal Oak today.


Around the modern Greyhound pub was the former Greyhound Farm. It was run by the Crompton family: by John Crompton (aged 61) in 1851 who was a publican and farmer of 6 acres, and by Robert and Fanny Crompton in 1861, when Fanny was recorded as the publican and farmer of 14 acres. It is likely that Fanny was the widow of John, and that Robert was their son. There is record of a farm at 44 Chaddock Road (now Leigh Road, Boothstown) in 1881, when a Mr. Andrews (aged 37) was recorded as farmer and innkeeper. It almost certain that this is the same as the Greyhound Farm because on the 1891 census Mary Andrew (a widow aged 46) was the publican of the Greyhound Inn at 44 Chaddock Road. 

In 1901 the licensed victualler at the 'Greyhound Hotel' was John Marsh (aged 27) - the young man who had been a music student ten years earlier. His family (including his father, also John Marsh, aged 65 - the former publican of the Royal Oak) lived at the Greyhound with him. 

The picture below shows the Greyhound pub in about 1910. The sign on the wall says that the pub has a bowling green and good stabling. 

A plan to demolish and rebuild the Greyhound and Royal Oak was postponed because of the second world war, and never implemented. The Greyhound was refurbished in 2001, and the whitewash removed from its exterior walls (below).

(For a contemporary reference to the Greyhound from 1871 see: Victorian Boothstown.)

Queen's Arms

This has long been the site of an inn on the turnpike road, and is now a landmark on the East Lancashire Road which cuts across Chaddock Lane. It was called the Queen's Head by Baines in 1825, when Richard Smith was its tenant; he also farmed Oliver Fold. Standing close to the Queen Anne pit, the pub was known as the Queen Anne in 1838, when its rateable value was 152; it was owned by Lord Francis Egerton and had a brewhouse.

Later landlords included James Harrison (1847), Thomas Cockshout (present at the time of the 1861 and 1871 censuses - in 1861 he was aged 37, a publican and farmer of 90 acres), Charles Frow (aged 62 in 1911), and William Weedall (1918 and 1924).

Today, the pub sign shows Queen Victoria, rather than Queen Anne (picture, left). (For a contemporary reference to the Queen Anne from 1871 see: Victorian Boothstown.)

The Moorings

The Moorings pub (pictured left) was opened alongside the new marina at Boothstown Basin in the late 1990s..


The Woodside (right) is another relatively new pub, on the corner of the East Lancashire Road and Ellenbrook Road. The building was formerly a residence for colliery managers, and became a private school during the second world war. Between 1966 and 1968 the land was let as a mink farm, and it is believed that some animals may have escaped to Malkin's Wood. The building reverted to a private house before becoming a restaurant and pub.

Boothstown Royal British Legion

Boothstown Royal British Legion building is pictured, right.

Boothstown Conservative Club

Boothstown Conservative Club is pictured, right.


Historical details on the Red Lion were provided by C. Elsie Mullineux. Other historical material on this page was derived mainly from Boothstown: A Chronological History by local historian Carol Woodward, published by City of Salford Libraries and Information Service, Arts and Leisure Department, 1994. The booklet includes a bibliography of historical sources.

Colour photographs copyright (c) TS. Black and white photographs were kindly supplied by Walkden Library. All other contents of this page copyright (c) Boothstown Web Site.

This page last updated: 14 January 2010.

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