Saturday, 20 May 2017

On Chapel Street with a pub question ................ another Salford pub story

Now I don’t do pub quizzes.

The Rovers Return, 2014
I get stumped at even the easiest of challenges like “what connects Chapel Street in Salford, with an English Admiral and a long running and much loved soap?"

The answer of course is the Rovers Return on Chapel Street, once known as the Lord Nelson and now named after that famous pub in Coronation Street.

And that is my point.

Unless you know the pub, or have an intimate knowledge of  all the drinking places in Salford combined with a love of that said soap, it’s a question best left to others.

Chapel Street in 1849
But once started I was off to dig deeper into the story behind the pub that Peter painted back in 2014.

It was offering up pints under its name of the Lord Nelson as early as 1824 and in time I will discover when it first opened and track something of the lives of those who ran it.

By the 1860s this was Mr James Mitchell and he was competing with twenty-nine other pubs and beer shops stretching from the start of Chapel Street at Greengate to the Whitecross bank.*

For those who want to give that figure some perspective, there were 131 properties on the same side as The Lord Nelson of which fourteen were drinking establishments while facing our pub there were another fifteen out of 111 buildings.

A bit more of Chapel Street again, 1849
And for anyone with a keen interest in pub names, Chapel Street in 1863 offered the lot, from those which fell back on animals to  a few wanting to cash in on royalty and  the odd one with a link to the industries of Salford.

As for the Lord Nelson our naval hero gave way to the Rover’s Return it is said in deference to that pub on that famous street.

And someone out three will have the date for that, which I suspect would flummox the quiz organiser.

And just after I posted the story P J Thompson who regularly  contributes to the blog added that "1988 was the name change year for the Lord Nelson. It was a Wilsons house, I liked the mild back then."  Thanks P J.

Location; Salford

Painting; the Rovers Return, Salford © 2014 Peter Topping 


Facebook: Paintings from Pictures

Map; Chapel Street, 1949 from the OS Manchester & Salford, 1849, courtesy of Digital Archives Association,

Where we began on Chapel Street in 2014
*1. The Red Lion,37. a beer shop, 47. The Printer’s Arms, 59. The Black Lion, 73. The Punch Bowl, 83, The Lord Nelson, 89. The Barley Sheaf, 125. The Wheatsheaf, 139. The Old Queen Ann, 153, The Dyer’s Arms, 159, Albert Vaults, 177.The Brown Bull, 195. The Griffin, 221. a beer shop, 223. The Red Lion

**2. The Canterbury Hall, 14. The Spread Eagle, 22. The Old King’s Head, 32. The Dog and Partridge, 38.the Rose & Crown, 66 The Unicorn, 76. The Royal Archer, 78. A beer shop, 88. The Dog, 94. The Custom House, 100. The Queen’s Arms, 110. The Moulder’s Arms, 116 The Coach & Horses, 138. The New Market, 142, The Salford Arms


  1. This pub was first licensed as the Admiral Nelson in 1799 by Isaac Stott, and he ran the pub until 1819 in 1988, one hundred years after Wilsons bought the pub for £2500, their successors, The Grand Metropolitan Group offered it for sale for around £50,000, New owners modernised the interior, restored the brickwork and changed the name to the Rovers Return. Alan J