Shambles Square

The Old Wellington & Sinclairs Oyster Bar

This collection of buildings, dating back to the 17th Century, has lived an interesting life. Originally they were located in a street of medieval building known as The Shambles close to Market Place.  The engraving below (shown here with the permission on Chetham's Library) shows the Old Wellington as seen from Market Place.

Here it is again many years later.  Notice that the optician who practiced upstairs in the Old Wellington has been replaced by a fishing tackle shop.

When much of the area was extensively damaged during the WWII blitz, the Shambles survived.  The image below shows the aftermath of bombing in the Shambles.  It is shown with the permission of the Greater Manchester Police Museum & Archive.  (If you follow this link you can see more historic images at the Greater Manchester Police Flickr Photostream.)

The aerial image below shows the extent of the damage caused by the Blitz.

When the area around them was redeveloped in the 1970s, the Old Wellington Inn and Sinclairs Oyster Bar were jacked up and secured on a steel and concrete foundation. They became part of a square behind the old Marks and Spencer store.

(The image above is shown with the permission of Chetham's Library.  It is part of the Newbold Collection)

Below you see it in its new setting in an image, shown here with the permission of David Dixon

In 1996, unlike the modern buildings around them, they survived the IRA bombing. However, it was decided to move both buildings to make way for the redevelopment of the Marks and Spencer site. This time the Old Wellington was completely disassembled and the two buildings were moved to this new location next to the Triangle. Originally the two buildings were adjacent but in their new home they have been oriented in an L-shaped configuration. A modern but sympathetic extension has been added to the Wellington.