The White Lion, Stockport’s oldest pub, reopens after 15 years

The legendary White Lion roars again - and just in time for the Euros.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 19th June 2024

The White Lion, Stockport’s oldest and one of its most historic pubs has been reborn and is now officially open to the public for the first time in 15 years.

Brought back to life by the team behind Alfredo’s Pizza Social, which opened up just a stone’s throw away on Great Underbank last year, the newly reopened White Lion Coaching House is up there with the borough’s most storied and decadent buildings.

With a fascinating history which harks all the way back as far as the 15th century (when the location was said to have first been given its hostelry license to serve as a pub/inn), the building only became the impressive Edwardian structure we see today back in 1904, but it’s long been sat unutilised.

Now, though, The White Lion has been given a whole new lease of life and is set to serve not only as a bustling town centre boozer but also as a place to grab classic pub grub, book private functions and live sport. Perfect timing for the Euro 2024.

Having operated as a pub and coaching house throughout the Victorian era, The White Lion has served as everything from a post house for horseriders, a labour exchange, an auction house and even a coroner’s court at one point. It was given its distinct mock Tudor facade back in 1823.


The upper floors of the Grade-II listed building were turned into 11 luxury apartments back in 2020 after being acquired by Stockport Council in partnership with the Trafford Housing Trust (now London & Quadrant) as part of £7m local investment, but now the pub itself has been brought back to life.

In the heart of SK’s historic Underbank district and adjacent to the busy Merseyway Shopping Centre, which is also steadily being redeveloped, the latest iteration of the White Lion has all the character of its rich heritage but with all new fittings and fixtures like plush booth-seating, multiple bars, TVs and more.


The White Lion is also relaunching with a tried and tasted food menu of British pub classics like fish and chips, burgers; a proper Sunday roast and their soon-to-be signature ‘Lion Wraps’, which elevate the now-beloved Yorkshire puddings street food with pot of gravy for dipping to boot.

Although the structure itself is made up of four storeys total, the newly opened pub spans across the entire ground floor and the fully converted cellar area, which promises to be perfect for live music, parties, meetings and popular live sporting events.

Being resurrected by industry veterans, Paul Astill and Jon Dootson – who between them have owned and run many Manc institutions including Cord, Centro, Thomas, the old Rampant Lion near Victoria Park and Tib Street Tavern over in the Northern Quarter, there’s plenty of pedigree behind this new opening.


Commenting on the relaunch, Astill said: “As soon as Jon showed me the building I just fell in love with it and I instantly said I want to be involved. The White Lion has an amazing history and everyone in the community has a story to tell about it.

“It’s taken us over four years to finally open the doors and we’re really proud of the result. It’s a beautiful building but it was an empty shell when we started. We feel like we’ve really achieved something when people comment on us keeping the original features but it’s actually all new with the exception of the

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With the pub already open to the public from 11am-11pm from Sunday to Thursday and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, Stopfordians are buzzing to have this important piece of their local history back open and restored to its former glory.

Paul went on to explain how they’ve “also created the ‘Lion’s Den’ and Boardroom in the cellars, which is a space that has never previously been used.” Lions, dens – get it?…

“It’s kind of a gentleman’s club feel that’s perfect for intimate gigs, parties or private functions”, he continued, adding: “It’ll also host the ‘Lion’s Den Sporting Club’ showing all sports starting with all the Euro games.”


What about you, Stockport locals – have you popped into the new White Lion yet and, if so, what are your first impressions?

The White Lion Stockport reopens
The main pub lounge.

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Featured Images — The White Lion Coaching House (supplied)