The Castle Inn, Manchester Road (the original Castle Inn)

The old Castle Inn was originally known as the Pinfold Inn or Pinfold Alehouse. In 1798 the licensee was James Pollett, and the inn was recorded as the Pinfold Inn. By 1845 the licensee was James Shepherd and the inn had become known as the Castle Inn.

One of the privileges of the Lord of the Manor in the late 18th century was the right to have straying cattle, poultry and sheep rounded up and penned in the “Pinfold” or animal pound. There they stayed until their owners paid a fee for their food and shelter.

Local historian Harvey Kershaw wrote that the building which became the alehouse and the adjoining pinfold had been erected in 1720. It did not become an inn until 1780 when Lord Byron, the then Lord of the manor, gave permission. The right to lease the inn and pinfold (long disused) remained with the Manor until Wilson’s Brewery bought the pub in 1927.

It’s probably safe to assume that the name-change came when the area became built up and the services of a “pinner” of stray animals was dispensed with. The choice of “Castle” for the later name was probably a reference to the nearby Castle Hill, the probable site of a wooden keep in much earlier times.

Wilson’s brewery bought the old Castle Inn for £4,750 in June 1927. It was later demolished to make way for the present Castle Inn which was built in 1930.

There was once a huge flagstone above the Drake Street entrance to the old inn, painted with an imaginary castle. Unfortunately it was destroyed soon after the old inn was demolished.


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Touchstone Rochdale