A Virtual Stroll Around the Walls of Chester
The Vanished Pubs of Chester Gallery
New material added here 20th February 2017
|The Bull & Stirrup Hotel, 8 Upper Northgate Street (splendidly illustrated above in a pencil drawing by Jay Hurst) closed at the end of August 2014. The building has been acquired by the Wetherspoon's chain and will be undergoing a radical refurbishment to create a hotel above and bars below and in a new extension behind, but retaining, we're told, the historic features of the old building. It was originally said to be re-opening sometime in 2015 but a two year delay occured before work finally started in the autumn of 2016. The new opening date now to be February 28th 2017.
It is one of many examples of a much older Chester inn being rebuilt in grand style during the nineteenth century. Designed by W M Boden, the impressive hotel was built in Ruabon brick and opened in 1889. The name Bull & Stirrup was inspired by the nearby cattle market which used to be based at nearby Gorse Stacks. Other neighbouring inns were also named for this: for example, the Brown Cow once stood opposite, on the corner of Canal Street and the still-thriving Pied Bull (the oldest pub in Chester still serving a pint) is just along the street.
On August 31, 1972, the pub famously hosted a strike committee, involving one Ricky Tomlinson – real name Eric Tomlinson – who helped organise the first ever national building workers’ strike. Ricky was among the 24-strong ‘Shrewsbury Pickets’ later prosecuted under the 1875 Conspiracy Act and he served 16 months in jail. He has been asked to re-open the pub.
Just one example of the pub's superb stained glass
The Bull & Stirrup's garden. The vast 'super surgery' complex is seen under construction behind
Excellent ceramic tiles in the George Street entrance illustrating a famous event in Chester's history
The earlier Bull & Stirrup on a Chester map of 1871. Note the Brown Cow Inn standing opposite
A 19th century illustration from The Builder showing the pub newly rebuilt
An advertisment from 1882
A dinner at the Bull & Stirrup given for Chester Cycling Club members lately returned from the Boer War, 1901
The Bull & Stirrup's business card
A sneaky peek through the Bull & Stirrup's windows a week before its re-opening..
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