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The Nursery Inn, Stockport

Description: The Nursery Inn

Grade: II
Date Listed: 22 December 2011
English Heritage Building ID: 1401250

OS Grid Reference: SJ8833890920
OS Grid Coordinates: 388338, 390918
Latitude/Longitude: 53.4149, -2.1769

Locality: Stockport
County: Stockport
Country: England
Postcode: SK4 2LU

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Listing Text


Public house built in 1939 for Hydes Brewery as a replacement of an earlier public house.

Reason for Listing

The Nursery Inn is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Interior: for its remarkably complete and little altered interior featuring a wide range of good quality features such as panelling, fitted seating, stained glass, signage and light fittings, along with the more unusual screen printed silk decoration above the bar counters
* Layout: for the survival of a little altered layout of rooms complete with an off-sales counter
* Social History: as a good example of an inter-war "reformed" public house complete with a sundeck overlooking a bowling green


The Nursery Inn was built in 1939 for Hydes Brewery, replacing a C19 public house on roughly the same site. Its name is thought to have been derived from a plant nursery that occupied the land to the rear in the C19. The bowling club to the rear was established in 1917 and the public house also acted as the first headquarters of Stockport County Association Football Club.

The interwar period saw the construction of very few new public houses because of the difficulties in obtaining licences. Those that were built were generally less architecturally flamboyant than those of the Edwardian period, often designed as "improved" or "reformed" public houses: intended to attract responsible drinkers with the offer of a range of facilities beyond the simple sale of alcohol. The Nursery Inn is an example of this type with its respectable lounges, and the attractions of a sundeck and bowling green. English Heritage's national survey of public houses in the late 1990s identified less than six examples dated to the 1930s which still retained an original plan form, the best in terms of quality and completeness probably being the Grade II* listed Margaret Catchpole in Ipswich (Brandwood, 2002).


Public House, 1939 for Hydes Brewery. Brick, first floor rendered, Italian tile roof, brick stacks.

PLAN: the main entrance (east elevation) leads to a drinking lobby giving access to front and rear lounges either side of a central bar, as well as through to the bowling green at the rear of the building. A staircase from the lobby leads to an upstairs lobby giving access to a function room, sundeck and the manager's domestic quarters. A secondary entrance (south elevation) opens to the vault (public bar) and an off-sales counter, both served by the central bar.

EXTERIOR: suburban in character and architecturally restrained with a rendered first floor above a brick ground floor, the building is almost square, being double fronted and double depth, with 5 first floor windows to the front and 6 openings to the side. The windows are metal framed casements with divided lights. The roof is hipped with overhanging eaves and tall brick stacks. The central part of the rear of the building is single storey, forming a first floor sundeck, with the ground floor extended slightly as a broad, bow fronted window overlooking the bowling green. The three public entrances (front, rear and side) all have simple, 1930s style canopies with curved corners. The larger canopy to the rear and the metal fire escape to the side are recent additions which are not of special interest.

Central Bar: streamlined bar with counters to all rooms and the drinking lobby. Sliding hatch to the off sales area. Above each of the counters there is a continuous decorative frieze of glazed panels featuring a 1930s stylised depiction of a bar counter complete with hand pumps and glasses. This decoration is reported to be screen printed silk.

Drinking Lobby: terrazzo to floor and walls to picture rail height, including the picture rail and door cases (and also a now blocked doorway to the current kitchen). At the time of inspection much of this terrazzo was covered by carpet and later panelling that is not of special interest. Other original features in this area include: 1930s styled staircase, globe ceiling light fittings, signage to toilets, and the inner swing doors to the rear featuring stained glass. The ceiling (along with that of all of the public rooms) is deeply coved. The inner entrance doors to the front are modern additions.

Front Lounge : light oak panelling to picture rail height to all walls, fitted bench seating with bell pushes, part-glazed baffle screens on both sides of the doorway. 1930s moulded brick fireplace. The windows include a scattering of stained glass panels depicting gardening tools or plants. Ceiling light fittings with glass shades hung on chains.

Rear Lounge: fitted bench seating complete with bell pushes above the seat backs. Part glazed oak baffle screen next to the doorway. Windows include further horticulturally themed stained glass. Ceiling light fittings probably original, but of a different pattern to those of the front lounge and drinking lobby. The cast iron and tiled fireplace is reported to be a later replacement, although this is in keeping with the original style of the interior and is set in an original timber surround with mirrored over mantle.

Vault (public bar): panelling to dado behind fitted bench seating with a short part glazed screen next to the entrance. Tiled fireplace. One of the ceiling lights is similar to those in the drinking lobby. Between the bar counter and the entrance (with its original part glazed door) there is a part glazed timber partition continuing the line of the bar to enclose the off sales counter which is accessed via a door off the small entrance lobby to the vault.

Toilets: apart from the ladies’ downstairs which have been modernised, all the toilets have terrazzo tiled floors, original tiling to a high level, and in the case of the gents’, two original urinals for the public bar (vault), three for the lounge, and one big urinal upstairs.

First Floor: the function room appears largely refitted, however the rest of the first floor retains original joinery and signage. The manager's domestic accommodation was not inspected.

Source: English Heritage

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