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The Old Wellington Inn

A timber-framed building, three floors high with a gabled roof. There are tables and chairs outside
The Old Wellington Inn in 2003

The Old Wellington Inn is a half-timbered public house in Manchester city centre, England. It is part of Shambles Square, which was created in 1999, and is in close proximity to Manchester Cathedral. It is a Grade II listed building.[1]


The oldest building of its kind in Manchester, it was built in 1552 next to the market square on what is now Market Street, in what was known as the Shambles.[2] In 1554 part of it became a draper's shop, owned by the Byrom family,[3] and the writer John Byrom was born there in 1692.[4] The building had a third storey added to it in the 17th century.[5] In 1830 the building became a licensed public house, known as the Vintners Arms, and later the Kenyon Vaults. By 1865 the ground floor of the building was known as the Wellington Inn, while the upper floors were used by makers of mathematical and optical instruments. Later, in 1897, the upper floors were used as a fishing tackle shop, known as "Ye Olde Fyshing Tackle Shoppe".[2]

In the 1970s the height of the building was raised by 1.4 metres (55 in), and the whole structure was relocated into the Shambles to make space for development of the Arndale Centre;[5] the Inn was reopened in 1981.[2] It was damaged in the 1996 Manchester bombing, and was reopened in February 1997, with costs of £500,000 paid to repair the damage.[6] However, in preparation for the city's development in the bomb's aftermath, it was decided that the building, alongside its neighbour Sinclair's Oyster Bar, should be dismantled and rebuilt 300 metres (980 ft) towards the cathedral to form Shambles Square.[7] The move was completed by November 1999, when the pub reopened.[5]


  1. ^ "Listed buildings in Manchester by street (S)".  
  2. ^ a b c "The great survivors". Manchester Online (GMG Regional Digital). 13 April 2004. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  3. ^ Worthington, p.9
  4. ^ Worthington, p.10
  5. ^ a b c "Wellington Inn". Greater Manchester County Record Office. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  6. ^ Williams, p.218
  7. ^ Williams, p.219


  • Williams, Gwyndaf (2003). The enterprising city centre: Manchester's development challenge. Taylor & Francis.  
  • Worthington, Barry (2002). Discovering Manchester. Sigma Leisure.  

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