THE ALTON CASTLE
Cropped from a 1940s Postcard
Pictured January 2020
A number of the proprietors of this pub were also butchers, who sold their meat through the shop on Queen Street, which is now a takeaway outlet.
The Independent Order of Oddfellows M.U. (Sir Isaac Newton Lodge) celebrated their third anniversary in 1873. As part of this they held a meal here, follwing a parade through the town.
The town’s original water pump used to put out fires was stored in this pub’s out-buildings until the formation of Cheadle’s Voluntary Fire Service in 1878.
In June 1876 Robert Plant held a celebration here for his workmen upon discovering a seam of the Woodhead coal at his Birches Colliery.
During the late 19th century, the pub was another customer of the 'John Bell and Co.' brewery.
There is a reference in 1888 of this pub being a venue for the game “pipe and dart”, which was like the modern version of darts except a blowpipe was used.
The brewery 'Bell and Co.' held a supper here in 1889, for friends and customers in the local area.
In 1894 following the completion of the houses on Queen Street, John Fielding’s workers played a football match on the land behind them. The teams were the ‘Shaving Pushers’ and the ‘Mortar Boards’, the final score was 5:2 to the ‘Shaving Pushers’. Following the match they were treated to a meal at the pub by Mr Fielding.
'Thomas Salt Co. Ltd' advertised the pub to let in 1912. They were were a brewery based in Buton upon Trent, who were brought by ‘Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton Ltd’ in 1927.
For decades the pub was a popular venue in the town, with several very good managers. However, like many pubs in the town; in the late 90s/2000s it started to be mismanaged by its owners, resulting in multiple short term managers.
In 2011 after a period of closure, there was some refurbishment and the pub re-opened in August. However it wasn’t long before the pub was closed again, only to re-open under new management. This was sadly a recurring theme over the next several years.
In March 2019 the pub closed, when the manager left to run the nearby Queens Arms. Soon after that, the building put up for sale - in July 2020 the bar and fixtures were advertised for sale.
At the time of writing [Sept 2020] it's believed the building is going to be turned into holiday apartments. Although there was also a rumour, it was going to be turned into a restaurant, connected to the takeaway next door. No planning applications have yet been submitted.
George Lakin (Post Office Directory of Birmingham with Staffordshire & Worcestershire 1849)
John Locker (White’s Directory of Staffordshire 1851)
Samuel Rushton (Kelly’s Post Office Directory of Staffordshire 1860 and Directory and Gazetteer of Staffordshire with Dudley, Harrison & Harrod 1861)
Elizabeth Rushton (1868 Post Office Directory and Leek Times 1874)
Arthur Wright (1876 Staffordshire Sentinel, Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire 1880, Cheadle Herald 1883)
Thomas Plant (Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire 1884)
Charles Henry Payne [from 1884] (Cheadle Herald 1884, 1886)
Mr and Mrs Poultney (Staffordshire Sentinel 1889)
John Poultney (Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire 1892, 1896)
William Tipper (Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire 1900)
William Swinson (1901 Census and Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire 1904)
Annice Swinson (c.1910 Information and Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire 1912)
John William Levitt (Staffordshire Sentinel 1913, Cheadle and Tean Times 1914) [Until March 1914]
Mr Lovatt (Staffordshire Sentinel 1918)
George Walter Lees (Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire 1921, 1940 and Staffordshire Sentinel 1950)
Thomas Godbehere (Cheadle Post and Times 1959)
D.F. Wilson (Cheadle Post and Times 1962) [until September 1962]
A.D. Fisher [from September 1962] (Cheadle Post and Times 1962)