Easter Sunday lived up to its name, a sunny one, so it was in bright sunshine that I pedalled my way through Hartington (future post) and Warslow before stopping for the compulsory coffee at Cobbles in Longnor. Not to mention the cheese and bacon oatcake. And certainly not to mention the second cheese and bacon oatcake.
At first glance the cobbled market place looks to be well served with pubs - hanging signs, brewery names - but as we will see later, all is not as it seems .
The first of our bygone boozers, the Red Bull Inn, is to be found just behind Cobbles Café, tucked away in Chapel Street.
The name of this hostelry morphed into the Bull's Head in the latter years of Victoria's reign and it closed its doors in the early twentieth century. The sign on the wall of what is now an art gallery/studio says it all.
Looking out of the window over my oatcake(s) I can see the Crewe and Harpur Arms. If you're thirsty don't get your hopes up for, despite this and the name Marston's still on the wall, the pub closed around 2008/9 and is now self-catering holiday accommodation. Families staying there would need to go some to beat the Gould family that ran the place, parents then daughters, for at least 60 years from the 1880s.
Diagonally opposite the Crewe and Harpur is the Horseshoe Inn, the oldest in the town, dating back to the late 15th/early 16th century. Its façade gave it a bit of fame in the 1990s when it made an appearance as the outside of the Black Swan in ITV's Peak Practice. Like the Crewe and Harpur it still has its sign but closed a year or so ago and is currently under conversion into a private residence. It also had some long-term operators. Shoemaker John Ball ran it for over twenty years until the 1880s whereupon William Findlow, already a beer retailer in Longnor, took over the reins for the next three decades or more.
It's not all bad news in Longnor. The Grapes (previously the Butcher's Arms and before that the Board Inn) was closed for a while but has recently started serving again. Just don't plan a visit on a Monday or Tuesdsay.