Angel Inn at Stretford

The old Angel Inn, Chester Road, Streford

Figure 1. Angel Inn, Chester Road, Stretford c1870s. Trafford Local Studies Collection cat. ref. TL0449

Constructed in 1760 on Stretford’s busy Chester Road, the Angel Inn (Figure 1) was one of the most popular places of rest for both stagecoaches carrying passengers to and from the city of Manchester, and packhorses carrying the region’s mail.

Sir Bosdin Leech described the Angel Inn as:

Comfortable for all travellers, old fashioned, with small panes of glass in the windows, but it was very cosy and the catering always good. The house was always well white - washed, and it was famous for its bowling green, then the only good one in the village.

The first licensee of the Angel Inn was William Moss, who lived there with his wife, Elizabeth and their children. Ale was brewed on the premises and there was a large brew house attached. Water was drawn from a nearby tall, long-handled pump, remembered as quite a local feature.

Later licensees included Septimus Lambert, Mr Ackers, Samuel Watson, George Stevens, Mr Mann, Alice Faulkner, and John Seddon. Important property sales were held at the Angel Inn and proceedings were run by ‘supreme auctioneer’ Daniel Bradshaw - described by Leech as a man of "quick wit, humour and repartee".

The old Parochial Chapel at Stretford

Figure 2. The old Parochial Chapel, Stretford, c1840s. Trafford Local Studies Collection cat. ref. TL1747  

The Angel Inn stood across the road from Stretford’s Old Chapel (Figure 2). Built in 1718, at a cost of £470, it replaced a more ancient chapel, dated to the reign of Henry IV. John Collier, minister of Stretford for a number of years, was also the father of the well-known satirical poet and humorist of the same name, who wrote under the pseudonym ‘Tim Bobbin’.

In 1841, the parishioners proceeded to build a new church at a cost of £3,200, on land given by Thomas de Trafford ( Figure 3). The site was a field called ‘The Wagstaff’, which had been previously used for bull baiting. On 30 September 1841, Lady de Trafford laid the foundation stone of the new parochial church, to be dedicated to St Matthew. The church was built by William Hayley of Manchester, and each of the subscribers to the building fund had pews allotted to them.

St Matthew's Church, Chester Road, Stretford.

Figure 3. St. Matthew's Church in Stretford was consecrated on 10 October 1842. Trafford Local Studies Collection, cat. ref. TL0476.

Also opposite the Angel Inn was a beerhouse kept by Isaac Hulme, a favourite haunt of pig slaughterers. The town of Stretford was famous for its pig trade, hence the nicknames, ‘Porkhampton’ and ‘black pudding junction’. Pigs were transported from Ireland to Liverpool by sea, and then by road, or canal to Stretford, where they were housed in cotes (sheds), kept by the landlords of local inns. By the 1830s, between 800 and 1,000 pigs were being slaughtered each week for the Manchester food market.

Sunday School tea parties were held on the Angel's bowling green and a room at the Inn was regularly used by the Reverend Robinson Elsdale – to the extent that it became known as ‘Parson’s Parlour’. A resident of Manchester, Reverend Elsdale was given free passage to Stretford each Sunday by the trustees of the Bridgewater Canal. This generous gesture perhaps had an unintended effect on the length and quality of his sermons: accounts describe them as being delivered whilst distractedly monitoring the time on his watch or concluded very abruptly – both in an anxious attempt to catch the narrowboat home.

In 1874, a new Angel Hotel was built on the site of the old Inn (Figure 4). Whilst the old white-washed house was not retained, the highly regarded bowling green was, and it attracted some of the best bowlers across north-west England. Stagecoaches – later electric trams, then buses – continued to pick up passengers at the Angel, thereby providing regular trade for the Hotel.

According to John Lane's Masonic records 1717 - 1894, the Angel Inn was a meeting place for Prince Leopold Lodge from 1876 onwards.

The new Angel Hotel, Chester Road, Stretford i

Figure 4. The new Angel Hotel, Chester Road, Stretford c1890. Trafford Local Studies Collection cat. ref. TL4811

Lewis's Coach, 1892.

Figure 5. Lewis's Coach 1892. Trafford Local Studies Collection cat. ref. TL2776

Lewis’s coach ran a scheduled route between Manchester and Liverpool, and stopped at the Angel Hotel (Figure 5). The coach had the name Lewis's printed on the tail and a long basketwork receptacle for umbrellas and walking sticks. This photograph was taken by an enterprising gentleman named Frank Hulme, who took photos in the early morning, and he had the prints ready to sell on the return trip in the evening.

Passengers alighting a tram outside the Angel Hotel

Private tram car outside the Angel Hotel, Chester Road, Stretford c1910s courtesy of Renee Shawcross. Trafford Local Studies Collection cat. ref. TL5597.

Ordnance Survey map Lancashire sheet CX.4 dated 1907 showing the location of the Angel Hotel.

Ordnance Survey map Lancashire sheet CX.4 dated 1907, showing the location of the Angel Hotel. Trafford Local Studies Collection cat. ref. TR 96275189

Glass bottle marked 'Angel Hotel'  Streford

Glass bottle marked 'Angel Hotel' c1900. Trafford Local Studies Collection cat. ref. TA1526

The nineteenth-century Angel Hotel was demolished with the road widening scheme in the 1970s, and The Bass Drum public house ( later called 'The Drum') was built on the vacant site (Figure 6). The Drum, in turn, was demolished in 2014.

The Bass Drum public house, Chester Road, Stretford seen from Streford House

Figure 6. The Bass Drum public house, Chester Road, seen from Stretford House in 1975. Trafford Local Studies Collection cat. ref. TL2647

Sources

Sir Bosdin Leech: Old Stretford. Reminiscences of the past half century

Stretford Local History Society: Stretford People and Places 1918 - 1945

Henry Thomas Crofton: History of the Ancient of Stretford

Samuel Massey: A History of Stretford

Cliff and Masterson: Stretford An Illustrated History

Steven Dickens: Stretford and Old Trafford Through Time

Trafford Lifetimes

Angel Inn at Stretford