Bull's Head Hotel at Sale

Bulls Head Hotel, corner of School Road and Cross Street in Sale

Figure 1. Bull's Head Hotel, corner of School Road and Cross Street in Sale 1960. Trafford Local Studies Collection cat.ref. TL4289

The Bull's Head Hotel is located at the busy junction of School Road, Washway Road, and Cross Street in Sale ( Figure 1). In the early nineteenth-century, it was a low-terraced, single-storey building – very different to the imposing Victorian-style structure seen today ( Figure 2). The inn is thought to have been named after the Massey family, the first 'lords of the manor' of Sale, as a bull's head was part of the family crest.

Old Bulls Head Inn, corner of School Road and Cross Street, Sale .Trafford Local Studies collection, cat. ref. TL4286

Figure 2. Old Bull's Head Inn, corner of School Road and Cross Street, Sale in 1869. Trafford Local Studies Collection cat. ref TL4286

In 1809 the Bull's Head Inn was owned by John Royle and leased by William Whitelegg. Next to the inn stood a row of six cottages. These were owned by William Whitelegg and the occupants included his mother, Nancy.

When William died in 1824, his brother James took over the management of the Bull's Head. In the years that followed, the tenancy passed to George Brownhill and, in 1839, to Peter Tyrer, who also worked as a butcher. In addition, he was one of the Township Assessors of Assessed Taxes. Peter lived at the Bull's Head with his wife Elizabeth and their five children. 

When Peter died in 1855, he was succeeded by his son, Thomas, who, unfortunately died three years later at the age of 27. The tenancy was then given to Thomas' 75 year old grandmother, Martha Sutherland, who ran it until she died in 1864. 

Other licensees over the years included Samuel Whittle, William Robinson, Thomas Bumby and James Wilson.

The Public Health Acts of 1848 and 1875 ignited a nationwide movement to improve roads, drainage, and sewerage facilities. School Road – located to the right of the Bull's Head – was just a narrow lane in the 1800s. Keen to widen the thoroughfare, the Sale Local Board bought part of the Bull's Head property and then had it demolished to enable the widening of the road.

George Hardy – of Hardy's, the local brewery company – purchased the land in 1878 and rebuilt the Bull’s Head the following year, in a Victorian style, which in turn, was renovated in 1887.

Ashton Lane corner with Cross Street the small building at the back was the Old Bull's Head before it was demolished.

Ashton Lane corner with Cross Street. The small buiding in the background is the old Bull's Head before it was demolished and rebuilt in1879. Trafford Local Studies Collection cat. ref. TL3294

Junction of Cross Street,  Washway Road and School Road

Junction of Cross Street, Washway Road and School Road before the widening of School Road c1870s. The old Bull's Head Inn is on the left. Trafford Local Studies Collection cat. ref. TL2572

Junction of School Road and Washway Road, Sale

The main shopping throughfare in Sale at the turn of the twentieth century. On the left of the picture is the new Bull's Head Hotel. Trafford Local Studies Collection cat. ref. TL2571

The Bull's Head Hotel was used as an auction house for the selling of land, timber, dwellings, cattle, and carts (Figure 2).

Leaflet advertising a Sale by Auction at the Bull's Head on 25th July 1881

Figure 2. Leaflet advertising a Sale by Auction at the Bull's Head Hotel on 25th July 1881. Trafford Local Studies Collection cat.ref. TRA75/125

The distance from the Bull's Head to the Pelican Inn along the Washway Road was known as the ‘Pelican Mile’. On Sundays, the locals organised competitive races using trotting ponies. This proved to be a very popular spectacle, and a great deal of money changed hands. 

Advertisement for the Bull's Head Hotel, Cross Street, Sale that appeared in the Sale Guardian Year Book 1907

Figure 3. Advertisement for the Bull's Head Hotel, Cross Street, Sale that appeared in the Sale Guardian Year Book 1907

Tom Bumby served as proprietor of the Bull's Head Hotel throughout the 1890s and early 1900s (Figure 3). He was well known for providing free breakfasts to around fifty of the area’s poorer children, alongside fresh clothes and shoes. The scheme was financed through donations, not only from customers of the hotel, but outside benefactors as well. 

In the early twentieth-century, bread, cheese, and pickles were freely available on the counter, together with clay pipes and matches. Customers could also save half a penny on a pint of beer by taking their wives into the snug!

School Road with a view towards Cross Street with the Bulls Head Hotel on the right

School Road looking towards Cross Street with the Bull's Head Hotel on the right in 1950. Trafford Local Studies Collection cat. ref. TL0320

Sources

Vivien Hainsworth: Looking Back at Sale

Steven Dickens: Sale Through Time

Norman Swain: A History of Sale

Shearsmith, Cliff, Masterson & Southern: Sale and Sale Moor

John Newhill: Sale, Cheshire, in 1841: Its People and Their Lives

John Newhill: The Story of Sale from 1806 to 1876

Trafford Lifetimes

Bull's Head Hotel at Sale