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The Bleeding Wolf Public House, Odd Rode

Description: The Bleeding Wolf Public House

Grade: II
Date Listed: 21 November 2011
English Heritage Building ID: 1400540

OS Grid Reference: SJ8322156136
OS Grid Coordinates: 383221, 356136
Latitude/Longitude: 53.1022, -2.2520

Locality: Odd Rode
County: Cheshire East
Country: England
Postcode: ST7 3BQ

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Listing Text


Public House. Built in 1936 to designs by J H Walters for Robinson's Brewery of Stockport.

Reason for Listing

* Planning: a purpose-built inter-war 'improved' public house with a range of rooms for different functions and clientele;
* Design: Vernacular Revival style, aimed at creating a sense of historical permanence and hence respectability, situated in a large car park to expand the clientele base by attracting motorists on the newly upgraded A34;
* Interior: designed in a nostalgic 'publican's rustic' with plentiful use of adzed timberwork applied to walls, ceilings, seating, curved, lapped bar counter, and splat balusters of staircase;
* Intactness: externally the only one of three similar pubs designed by Walters for Robinsons to retain a thatched roof, with a largely unaltered interior including inglenook fireplace, stone fireplaces, more 'genteel' panelling to smoke room, original doors and fixed seating, coloured and painted glass depicting Robinson's bottles, a pint mug of beer, and the eponymous wolf, original tiling in the wcs, and leaded sliding sash counter screens.


The Bleeding Wolf Public House was built in 1936 for Robinson's Brewery of Stockport. It was an entirely new building replacing an earlier pub shown on the 1:2500 Ordnance survey map of 1884 and identified as the Bleeding Wolf Inn. The earlier pub had been acquired in 1935 during a period when the brewery was expanding into rural areas under the chairmanship of John Robinson in a policy aimed at developing a new family market. The new pub was designed by J H Walters as an 'improved' roadside public house with a large car park to its rear, and was one of four he designed for Robinsons. The Legs of Man, Arclid, Cheshire on the A50, and the Church House Inn, Buglawton near Congleton, Cheshire on the A54 were designed in a similar style. The Bleeding Wolf was built on the Congleton Road, which in 1934 was chosen to be upgraded in a scheme to extend the A34 northwards from Oxford all the way to Salford via Birmingham, Stoke upon Trent and Manchester.

Proposed architect's drawings for the pub indicate that it was envisaged initially with a tiled roof, but the treatment of timber detailing at the eaves indicate that it was built with a thatched roof, as were the Legs of Man and Church House Inn. The other two pubs have since had the thatch replaced by tiles. The present thatch at The Bleeding Wolf is thought to date back to the 1980s when it was replaced after a fire (the fire did not apparently damage the rest of the building).

In the late C20 a recessed two-bay loggia at the rear of the building was replaced by a conservatory, and in the C21 a small single-storey extension was added to the kitchen. Internally, in 2009 a wider opening was made in the wall between the dining room (identified on the proposed plan as the Assembly Room) and the corridor to the rear, replacing original double doors. A second opening was made in the side wall of the dining room adjacent to the side hatch of the servery counter. There have also been alterations to access through the three front elevation doorways. The left-hand doorway originally led into a lobby with the public bar doorway to the immediate left and out-sales to the rear; the left doorway has been blocked and the side walls of the out-sales removed to enable access to both the public bar and saloon bar which did not originally interconnect. The middle entrance doorway, which led into the saloon bar, has been blocked to allow more seating space, though the door is retained externally, and a disabled w.c. has been inserted into the former entrance lobby of the right-hand doorway, which led into the rear corridor, again with the door retained externally. On the first floor, the originally open, balustraded staircase has been boxed-in.

The pub's unusual name is said to derive from a legend where Adam de Lauton rescued either King John, or alternately the Earl of Chester, from attack by a wounded wolf and in gratitude was granted a thousand acres stretching from Sandbach to Congleton (the Parish of Lauton, later Church Lawton), or as much land as he could walk over in a week. The bleeding wolf was incorporated into the Lawton family coat of arms and the incident was said to have been commemorated at that time by the building of a pub named the 'Inn of the Bleeding Wolf' where the incident occurred.

The present building remains a public house and is still owned by Robinson's Brewery.


Vernacular Revival style.

MATERIALS: Rendered brick painted white, weather boarding, orange brick stacks with tall chimneyshafts, thatched roof.

PLAN: Double-depth plan, with public bar to front left with men's wcs to rear, separated by entrance/off-sales area from central saloon bar and servery, with semi-circular bay and separate entrance (no longer in use), dining room (formerly called assembly room) to front right, and to far right set-back entrance (no longer in use) and ladies' wcs, oak room (formerly to smoke room) to rear left, with adjacent men's wcs, lateral corridor with staircase, carvery (formerly annotated living room but also known to have been games room), and kitchen to rear right. First floor has a number of large rooms opening off a wide lateral corridor.

EXTERIOR: FRONT ELEVATION: two-storey with semi-circular bay window to left of centre and set-back right-hand end. Deep thatched roof half-hipped to left end and Mansard to right end, conical thatched roof to bay window, low eaves with eyebrow dormers to first floor, weatherboarding to apex of right return and set-back right bay. Horizontal wooden mullion windows glazed with leaded small panes, diagonally set orange brick sills and projecting, rendered lintels. Ground floor; three-light window, wide doorway, three three-light windows to bay, the central window with a painted and coloured glass depiction of the wolf, wide doorway, five-light window, three-light window to return, wide doorway to set-back right end. The three doorways have adzed and pegged timber surrounds, battened timber doors with iron studs, strap hinges, and bullesye porthole windows. First floor; four-light window, three three-light windows to bay, four-light window, three-light window to set-back right end. Tall orange brick stack to left side elevation, two ridge stacks to right of bay window, all with corbelled caps.
REAR ELEVATION: two-storey wing to left with half-hipped roof and shallow, single-storey outshot with hipped roof, recessed central area with modern conservatory, single-storey block at right-hand end under hipped roof oversailing from main range behind. Similarly detailed mullion windows and transom wc windows, all with leaded glazing. Tall brick eaves stack to right-hand end.

INTERIOR: many original features survive in the inter-war 'publicans' rustic' style. Public bar, saloon bar, and dining room have exposed adzed timbering and adzed joists and beams, those to the latter two rooms encased with corbels to imitate sturdy timbers. Public bar has stone fireplace and hearth framed by cruck-like timbers, serving hatch with wavy, adzed and pegged surround and wainscotting to counter, and adjacent fixed benching with adzed woodwork and bell-push panel. Inner lobby door to former off-sales has Tudor arched leaded glazing to upper half incorporating coloured glass mug of beer, with coloured and painted bottles of Robinson's beer to the leaded side lights. The out-sales hatch retains its leaded sliding sash screen. Saloon bar has segmental-shaped bar counter with adzed, lapped boarding and original bar back to servery, side hatch with leaded sliding sash screen opens into the rear corridor, inglenook fireplace with adzed timber lintel, fixed seating and brick hood over fire, balustrading with splat balusters to bay. Double doors with portholes to more 'genteel' oak room; one painted with wolf, panelled walls with plate shelf at picture rail level, linenfold panelling over stone fireplace, bell pushes, moulded cornice. Carvery room has moulded cornice, brick fireplace, modern panelling to walls. Staircase has adzed splat balusters. Original features of note include tiling, some depicting stylised animals or fish, to all original wcs, urinals, doors with Tudor-arched insert of battening and iron thumb latches, decorative iron window latches, a number of original chandelier and lantern light fittings. On the first floor features include original tiling to bathroom, similarly detailed doors, two with numbers suggesting rooms may originally have been let out, Art-Deco fireplaces to a number of rooms.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.