Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The mystery of the pub with two names and what the archaeologists found on Great Ancoats Street

Now I have to say the stretch of Great Ancoats Street up from Port Street to Dean Street hasn’t had much going for it for years.

The Paganinie, 1851
For as long as I can remember this part of Great Ancoats Street has been a car park which recently was extended with the demolition of the last building in the block.

And now the plot is being redeveloped and will eventually become a mix of residential and commercial properties.

But the foundations of modern buildings go deep and in the process of digging the work uncovered the  site of the Astley Arms which in 1821 was home to Mr Thomas Evans who dispensed beer and cheer to all who fell into his pub.

Currently the site ia an archaeological dig and a fine set of objects have been recovered including a stoneware bottle from J Moorhouse & Co, Hulme; a crockery set bearing the name of the Astley Arms and its first landlord, Thomas Evans and a glass bottle with the logo of a workman's arm.

The full story appeared in the MEN recently and not wanting to steal their thunder I suggest you follow the link where there are details of the finds along with some pictures.*

And that just leave me to puzzle over the name of the pub which as the Astley Arms was selling beer throughout the 19th century and appears so in the street directories, but on the maps of 1849 and 1851 it is recorded as the Paganinie Tavern.

Now there may be a connection with the Italian violinist Nicola Paganini who died in 1840 but the only name for a landlord in the late 1840s and early 50s is a F Webster who to confuse matters doesn’t show up on the rates, still it will all be revealed.

* The forgotten 200-year-old pub discovered under a Northern Quarter building site, September 26, 2016, Katie Butler,

Location; Manchester

Picture; the Paganinie Tavern, 1851 from Adshead map of Manchester, courtesy of Digital Archives, Association,

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