Gary Neville to restore historic Manchester pub after locals fought to save it

Initial plans intended to demolish the pub, but after a hard-fought campaign the backstreet Georgian boozer is now set to be restored to its former glory

Georgina Pellant Georgina Pellant - 28th July 2023

Gary Neville’s team will restore the historic Sir Ralph Abercromby pub as part of its new £400m St Michael’s development, it has been confirmed, after locals fought to stop the centuries-old boozer from being demolished.

The historic pub, located between Jackson’s Row and Bootle Street, in Manchester, dates back to the 1800s and was considered at risk in the early planning stages of the St Michael’s development.

Back in 2016, a group of locals fought hard against Manchester City Council’s Regeneration Team and developers to keep the pub – launching a petition to save it that amassed over 5,000 signatures.

At the time, they argued: “Developers have indicated their intention to demolish the pub with a new building proposed for this site.

“Rather than lose a piece of Manchester history, they could easily accommodate the existing building into the plans. We’ve lost enough historic buildings to be replaced by steel & glass boxes. It’s time we fought to keep our history.”


Now, their wish is finally about to be granted as the former Man United star has confirmed not only will his team retain the pub – but will actively work to restore it to its former glory.

Image: The Abercromby

Named after a British soldier, politician, and colonialist, the Sir Ralph Abercromby is one of the city’s last remaining structures from the Peterloo era.


It is one of Manchester’s rare remaining Georgian buildings, and, along with the Friends Meeting House, is one of the last witnesses of the 1819 massacre considered a vital stepping stone towards the British democracy we value today.

It was in this very boozer that protesters would have discussed the rising cost of living and the state of falling workers’ pay, as starvation ran riot amongst hard-working but politically unrepresented local weavers and spinners.

And it was also here, on that fateful day in 1819, that the injured were carried back and nursed after an estimated 700+ were hurt by cavalry charging into a protest simply asking for the reform of parliamentary representation.


Read more: TV chef James Martin, 51, shares heartbreaking cancer diagnosis

The tiny pub, one of the few original structures remaining in the area, will likely be dwarfed by the new tower but encompassed in the overall St Michael’s vision.

Image: The Abercromby

Also included in the plans for St Michael’s – 15 years in the making – are a 41-storey skyscraper, a rooftop restaurant, and a 162-bed 5 Star international hotel.

That’s not to mention the 217 luxury residences, which go on sale after summer as part of a joint venture between Relentless Developments and property developer, Salboy.

The tiny pub, one of the few structures remaining in the area from the time of the Peterloo Massacre, will be dwarfed by the new tower but encompassed in the overall St Michael’s vision – sitting by itself in a new public square.


Read more: The quirky Korean bar in Chorlton serving Parasite’s famous ‘ramdon’ noodles

Phase One of the scheme, which expects to be the first fully Net Zero Carbon commercial development in the city, is due to complete in 2024.

This part includes the highly-anticipated rooftop restaurant, a new opening for Japanese-Peruvian restaurant Chotto Matte.

There’ll also be two other food and drink outlets top and tailing the building.

Featured image – Wikimedia Commons