Historical Manchester Pubs

Manchester is rapidly becoming a haven for quirky bar and cocktail lovers alike, but where can one go to get a proper pint and packet of crisps? Like any city, Manchester has a long and rich history, brimming with culture and moments that changed the course of time. We've found a popular pick of pubs that tell stories of days gone by, and still retain some of their very old school charm. Check out our recommendations for the best historical pubs in Manchester.

Last updated on 10th July 2019




Steeped in history, The Briton's Protection dates back to 1806. On one of its walls hangs a mural of the Peterloo Massacre (1819), which took place only a stone's trow away from the site. Its warm, snug and quintessentially British interior hark back to the days when it first opened. It has been unspoilt, only seeing changes that are fitting with its old fashioned style. It's probably more famous for its whiskey collection, which boasts over 200 varieties. Pop down here to mix and mingle with musicians and theatre goers visiting The Bridgewater Hall.

Sinclair's Oyster Bar

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Whilst this particular plot isn't old in itself, it has been redeveloped and relocated twice since it originally became known as Sinclair's in the 18th Century. In 1552 the first premises that would later be extended to accommodate Sinclair's was built. In the 70's this was elevated to fit in with the newly developed Arndale shopping centre and later dismantled and moved 300m in 1999 during the second redevelopment of Shambles Square. As a drinking spot it receives rave reviews, offering cheap drinks and a great pub atmosphere in the heart of Manchester.

Get that feeling of an old, village local right in the cosmopolitan heart of Manchester. The City Arms was once a weaver's cottage and is over 200 years old; it has green leathers, quilted stools, that smell you hated as a kid but have grown to recognise as a true pub smell, and of course, a great selection of beer and ales. It's small, cozy and even offers books to read. It has all the comforts of home and all the sensual triggers that take you to that safe and secure place you feel in a good old fashioned pub.

The Marble Arch

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Associated with the Marble Brewery of Chorlton, a fantastic range of locally made beers and ales really enhance the feel of a traditional Manchester pub. Built in 1888, but suspected to be the plot of an even older pub, The Marble Arch has been keeping patrons happy for 125 years! Having celebrated its landmark birthday, it retains beautiful traditional features, but is bang up to date with offerings of quality food and cool drinks.

Built in 1815, the Mitre is one of Manchester's oldest hotels and is nestled beautifully at the foot of the Cathedral. A cute, stylish interior is a striking contrast to the historic building, but adds a pretty charm to this boutique pub, making it a lovely place to enjoy a drink in the city. Sit outside in summer or get cozy in one of their plush, comfy sofas or chairs. The bar is friendly and inviting, offering a wide range of drinks to tickle your fancy.

The Castle Hotel

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Records dictate that there has been activity stirring on this plot since the 1400s. The Castle Hotel was once the Crown and Sceptre, opened in 1776. A long history of ups and downs unfolded, and as it changed hands over the years, it became even richer in history and built close relationships with the Manchester music scene. It closed its doors for a while in 2008, but was lovingly restored and reopened in 2010. The Crown Hotel is now anybody's local, offering ales, pub snack and live music, bringing the folk of the city together.

The Shakespeare

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Whilst The Shakespeare isn't all that old (it was opened in the 1920s), some of it's quirky and unusual wooden features are rumoured to be 17th Century, taken from a demolished building in Chester and added to the framework here. Why? We can't be sure. What we can say is, like many of Manchester's classic pubs, The Shakespeare offers a cheap and cheerful place to eat and have a quick drink in the bustling city centre.