Britons Protection, Manchester

50 Great Bridgewater Street
Manchester
M1 5LE
0161 236 5895

Traditional Town Pub, 3* Heritage Pub

At the time of writing in early 2024 this celebrated Manchester pub is under threat. Star Pubs & Bars (part of Heineken) are not renewing the lease which means that the Britons Protection is at risk of redevelopment or demolition. A glance at photo 4 showing the old pub surrounded by tower blocks makes it clear that it is a prime spot for developers. The pub’s landlord and leaseholders are running a campaign to stop the pub from closing and we wish them success.

The pub is known for its long term support of cask beers with eight rotating ales on handpump. It is usually a selection of beers from Manchester independents with one from Yorkshire on my last visit. Craft beers include Camden Pale and Neck Oil with lagers from Moretti and Stella. It also has an acclaimed collection of over 300 whiskies, making it one of the top whisky pubs outside Scotland. And if that wasn’t enough the Britons Protection is one of Manchester’s least spoilt heritage pubs.

The pub was built in 1811 and its modest exterior (photo 1) doesn’t prepare you for the superb original features inside which date from a refit in 1930. The public bar, first right as you go in, has the original wooden bar counter, moulded ceiling and wall tiles (photo 3).

The corridor which leads round behind the bar has a moulded ceiling, terrazzo floor, tiled walls and leaded glass windows (photo 2). A hatch half way round serves the two rooms at the back (photo 6). Both these rooms have original fixed upholstered seating, that on the left in maroon and the room on the right in green with matching green and gold wallpaper (photo 5).

The pub is opposite Bridgewater Hall and it’s used by concert goers, and apparently, Halle Orchestra members, before and after events. I’m not sure if Liam Gallagher has ever played the Bridgewater but the video for his 1922 single Too Good For Giving Up features the interior of the Britons Protection in its final minute.

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