There’s a ‘picnic protest’ planned to save the oldest pub in Ancoats from demolition

A picnic is taking place on Sunday August 7 to protest at the proposed demolition of the  oldest pub in the Ancoats conservation area to make way for the construction of 199 apartments and commercial units.

The Smith’s Arms’ bold red brick design, chimneys and added architectural detail of curved stone framework above the windows and doors make it a visually striking, as well as a historically significant building.

Built in 1775 as a three storey residence, during the industrial boom of the 19th century it would have been penned in by factories and warehouses. It became a public house in 1827.

Known early in its life as The Blacksmiths Arms, the pub went on to be affectionately known as The Hammer after a local football team.

In the 18th century it became the Hammer in Hand when it was a Taylor’s Eagle house. It has also been a Tetley’s and a Burtonwood house before closing in the 1990s.

There has been an ongoing effort to get the Smith’s Arms on English Heritage’s List of Buildings of Special Architectural interest. Sunday’s protest could be the last public attempt to save it.

Manchester Shield, a civic conservation group, are inviting everyone to come along for drinks and a picnic protest to save the building on Sunday August 7 from 2pm at Second City, Blossom Street. A number of notable local figures are expected to attend including Smiths drummer Mike Joyce.

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