Attempt to demolish an historic Ancoats pub is unsuccessful. For now…

Developers have been unsuccessful in their application to demolish the former Cross Keys pub in the Ancoats conservation area and replace it with shops and offices.

The former Cross Keys pub at 95-97 Jersey Street in Ancoats Manchester

The one time pub is at 95-97 Jersey Street where it crosses with Radium Street. Here is the planning application.

I wrote about this building back in February 2008 when I noted how the redevelopment of Ancoats has failed to find a use for many of the historic older buildings, while ugly new apartment blocks have shot up all over the area.

Now, with an era of austerity ahead, several half-finished projects in the area (both new-build and old) lie mothballed and some that have been completed are half empty. Some old buildings have been made good externally but are nothing but an empty shell and others like the former pub continue to be on the edge of destruction.

It seems clear there will be limited demand for yet more apartments in the future. Questions must be asked about why the preservation of old buildings wasn’t prioritised. It was obvious the housing boom wouldn’t last forever.

Vandalised moulding from the door of the former Cross Keys pub in Ancoats

As you can see, when I visited the former pub last night I found one of the mouldings from a doorway lying on the pavement and, judging by the small pieces of debris around it, I would say this had happened in the last few days.

What a tragic co-incidence that this moulding, which had survived for more than a century (archive photos one and two) , should have been vandalised like this just two months after the planning application was rejected.

This page has some historical information about the pub and if you compare the recent photo there with mine taken last night you can see just how much damage has been done to the door mouldings and surrounds in recent months.


  • Mike says:

    my grandfacther was the lanlord of this pub before moving to the Punchbowl in Salford. It used to be a regular pub for the dockers.

  • Nick says:

    Hi, found your article really interested.

    I’ve been watching the progress or lack of it regarding the Cross Keys for quite a while along with the many pubs in the area.

    You may be interested to have a look at some of the pictures, comments etc on Facebook. There open to everyone, so you should be able to view them.

    I’ve actually got the archeology survey for the Smiths Arms, which I think you may be interested in and I am in the process of compiling a list and application to both the local MP’s and English Heritage as there won’t be much left soon, particularly considering Ancoats is suppose to be a conservation area.



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  • charlie holt says:

    please keep me posted on developments withe all the ancoats sites i am starting a new project based on the gangs of manchester…..

  • debbie says:

    do you know who owns this pub ?? intrested in maybe trying to do something with it.

  • Usman says:

    I am the landlord for this property. Please enquire for details.

  • Big Figure says:

    For anyone who is interested, The Cross Keys was featured – exterior and interior – in an episode of the detective series “Bulman”, starring Don Henderson. The episode is called “The Man who Wasn’t There”. Available on DVD

  • Karen smith says:

    What year did your grandfather have the pub my auntie and uncle had it 60s early 70s

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