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A forgotten & abandoned 200-year-old pub discovered under a building site

Ian Harvey

Archaeologists have unearthed a pub in the Manchester city center which is believed to be some two centuries old and has a lot of artifacts to offer. The dig at the site has so far revealed untouched bottles of liquor and a plethora of personalized tableware containing the name of the former landlord.

The find was rather accidental as the construction work was on going at the site for the building of a 13-storey building situated on the corner of Great Ancoasts Street and Port Street.

During the construction after making the initial discovery the building company had to alter the planning process to call in expert archaeologists who came in and started overlooking the unearthing of the artifacts. The archaeologists finally discovered the pub hidden underneath along with the remains of a number of old houses.

Thomas Evans, the landlord of the pub who owned the Astley Arms in 1821, had in fact personalized a number of crockery that archaeologists meticulously unearthed including pots, keys, and some smoking pipes. The archaeologists expressed immense amazement on the finding saying that the pub and remains of the old houses, in fact, represents a still picture of Manchester from the centuries gone by before it became the hub of industries and trade.

According to the Historians, the pub was first named Astley Arms Pub which was later changed and renamed by Thomas Inglesent in 1840 as Paganini Tavern. The new name did not stick around for too long as it was reverted back to its original name of Astley Arms in 1850.

The pub remained open for public up until 1928, by that time it was called Cornbrook house. In 1986 the building was partially rebuilt by an unknown builder but was later demolished, probably due to lack of funds or the new owner did not deem it worthy of renovation, Manchester Evening News reported.

The construction workers working at the site were stunned at the discovery of the buildings and pub dating back to 1800’s. That was the time when Europe was facing Napoleon’s forces who had swept most of the continent; and when Manchester city was a modest market town.

According to James Alderson who is the site developer for Mulbury City the company responsible for the skyscraper building, a large number of sealed wine bottles were discovered from the site, some of the bottles contained brandy.

The amazing aspect t of the dig on the building site is that everyone working at the site got excited after learning that the site was the home of ages old pub that once hosted drunken parties in the northern city. Alderson told the local reporters that they did open a few bottles and that they still smelled amazing.