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Good Beer Guide
Heritage Pub

Castle, Macclesfield

25-27 Church Street, Macclesfield, SK11 6LB (Directions)
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Re-opened September 2021 after a spectacular refurbishment that went on to jointly win the CAMRA Historic England Conservation Award.

An untouched, timeless and now rare example of an old-fashioned town pub and has been identified by CAMRA as having a nationally important historic pub interior. With whitened brick this 18th century pub tucked away on a cobbled street. It probably started life as late 18th century cottages which were subsequently remodelled. The quaint exterior belies its inner proportions, which are equally charming. There are leaded lights, moulded plaster ceilings, copper-topped tables, bell pushes dotted throughout its warren of little rooms. The star feature, however, is the wonderful hatch bar reminiscent of a traditional, bowed, shop window. On the right as you enter is a tiny vault, with a narrow lounge on the left. Past the bar is another lounge or snug on the right, this room has something of a conservatory feel, due to the presence of a glass roof. At the far end is a larger, raised area. There are three attractive fire places.

Four continuously changing cask beers always available. Some of the "Keg" beers are membrane keg.

Imaginative food menu available daily, but no hot food Monday - Wednesday.

No parking but the main Waters Green public car park is just 100m away. Macclesfield railway and bus stations are both within a few minutes walk away.

Branch & Cheshire Pub of the Year 2023.

Mild Magic Pub of the Year 2024.

See for other national inventory pubs.

Historic Interest

Grade II listed building

Information for this venue is provided by the Macclesfield & East Cheshire Branch of CAMRA
Previous Names
Premises Comment
Local Authority
Cheshire East (B)
Last updated
Last surveyed
Pub ID
Asset of Community Value

Three star - A pub interior of outstanding national historic importance

Listed status: II

An early Edwardian pub that retains much of its original layout, including bar counters, bar back and a rare glazed screen.

The Castle was re-built in 1901 and has kept most of its original layout and fittings. The only real change is that a separate off sales has been absorbed into the rear room, as evidenced by a door - now unused - down the side passage. Outside there is attractive ironwork over the main entrance containing the name of the pub, and a mosaic floor panel also with the name of the pub in the main entrance.

The front room retains its original curving counter but the pot shelves on both bar counters are modern. This small room has a fine vestibule entrance with the figure '1' on the inside of the interior door - formerly a requirement of the licensing magistrates. The front and rear rooms are separated by a splendid and rare part glazed partition almost reaching the ceiling which has a low service door with only three feet headroom, originally for staff to get from one part of the pub to another.

The rear room also has a vestibule entrance with leaded glass panels and the figure '3' on the inside. This room also retains its original curving counter and bar-back shelves on a glazed series of windows. To the left and right are two small back fittings with bevelled mirror panels. The original fireplace remains but it has some modern tiles and the gents' in this area has been modernised. At the back a door with the figure '5' on it leads to a large room described in the listing description as a 'Billiard Room' (but is now a dining room), which has a wood-block flooring and imitation panelling on the walls.

General information about historic pub interiors

Whitened brick, 18th century pub tucked away on a cobbled street. It probably started life originally as late 18th century dwellings which were remodelled later as a pub in the 19th century and was owned by Macclesfield's Lonsdale & Adshead Brewery. Large 19th century extension at rear. The interior of four small rooms off a central corridor is little altered no doubt partly due to a long serving licensee Charles Lomas (1930 to 1962). From the central entrance a door in the inner lobby on the front right leads to the tiny tap room with a late 19th century bar counter with decorative brackets, old half-height tongue-and-groove panelling with wall benches attached, and a small Victorian cast-iron fireplace was originally in the kitchen, that has a mirror in the old mantelpiece above; the bar back shelving are mostly modern.. Note the holes in the bar counter in the public bar near the fireplace – in the 1930s crates of Guinness were brought from the cellar and placed behind the counter and the holes were to help to bring it up to room temperature.

The inner latch door with glazing protectors leads to the lobby and passageway to the rear. On the right of the corridor is a splendid curved shop front-like glazed screenwork with rising sash windows, formerly the off-sales, now permanently closed, where cigarettes and spirits were stored and sold from. Alongside is a stable door entrance to the servery for staff with a ledge and upper window that can be closed. Also in this area is a display case holding a collection of miniatures and old bottles. Take a look within the servery and you will see an indicator box for the bell-pushes with four windows 'Front Door' (unusual), 'Parlour', 'Smoke Room', and 'Kitchen' which last worked in the 1960s.

On the left are narrow double doors leading to the splendid small smoke room which has an ornamented, probably 1920s, ceiling of moulded putty featuring a pair of lozenge patterns with foliage ornament. Deteriorating in recent years, the ceiling was superbly restored back to its original condition prior to the pub reopening in 2021 after a six year closure. All around the room is high-backed fixed seating with delicate legs and arms and bell pushes in the top and is said to have been installed in 1910. This room also has a good painted slate Victorian fireplace incorporating two pictorial tiled panels of monks eating and drinking.

On the right is the parlour situated behind the servery with a glazed partition to corridor side and has a doorway and plain baffle. It retains the original bench seating on the left hand side with bell pushes above. The bar counter was added in 1971 and some fixed seating in this area was removed. The passageway has a dado of varnished Lincrusta and at the end of past an open staircase is the rear room brought into pub use in 1986. It has no old fittings and part of the wall between it and the parlour has been removed 'for supervision'. Then in 2021 the rear room was doubled by amalgamation with the kitchen on the rear left. A passage on the left leads to the original gents' brought inside in modern times.

General information about historic pub interiors
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Current beers

This Pub serves 4 changing beers and 0 regular beers.

Castle, Macclesfield

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Changing beers typically include: RedWillow (varies) , Storm (varies) , Wincle (varies)

The venue's range of changing beers regularly includes the following rare beer styles: Porter, Stout

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Lunchtime Meals Lunchtime Meals
Evening Meals Evening Meals
Live Music Live Music
Occasional check Facebook
Garden Garden
Roof terrace
Family Friendly Family Friendly
Dog Friendly Dog Friendly
Events Events
Tasting events
Games Games
Chess, Jenga, dominos
Newspapers Newspapers
Real Fire Real Fire
Separate Bar Separate Bar
Wi Fi Wi Fi
Real Ale Real Ale
Real Cider Real Cider
Real Heritage Pub Real Heritage Pub
LocAle LocAle
Cask Marque Cask Marque
Close to bus routes (150m)
Close to Macclesfield bus station
Nearby Station (250m)
walk up cobbled st from Waters Green car park, pub is to the left as rd bends right.
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