Historic Whaley Bridge premises to be revived as pub and hotel

Whaley Bridge’s most prominent and historic pub - the 16th century Jodrell Arms Hotel - is being brought back to life with plans for its restoration approved.

By Ben McVay
Thursday, 7th January 2021, 12:30 pm

The atmospheric central building is famous as the pub where the body of murder victim William Wood was brought following a nearby highway robbery in 1823.

It has stood empty for over 13 years but a developer hopes to revive it as a pub and hotel with six large suites.

After centuries of poorly-done alterations, water-damage and rot and more recently vandalism the hundred of years-old inn has been left in a bad state of repair.

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The historic pub has stood empty for over 13 years

However businessman Jeremy Middleton hopes to restore it as an active bar with rooms for visiting tourists.

Photographs of the enigmatic building show blackened brickwork inside and exposed floorboards above rotting plaster on its ceiling.

In planning documents, an architect for Mr Middleton wrote how the Grade II listed building had been ‘heavily modified’ since the 16th century.

However he added: “Unfortunately the most recent developments within the 20th Century have been unsympathetic and of low quality.”

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Swofo Architects say Mr Middleton hopes to provide six one-three bed suites.

This will mean significant alterations to the previous layout with 12-14 ‘low quality’ rooms with a wash hand basin and shared bathroom facilities.

On the ground floor a design statement shows plans to keep the original layout of the bar, lobby and two snug areas.

However the kitchen will be located within the courtyard and the removal of a small flat roof at the bar’s rear will allow additional windows providing more natural light.

Writing that the restoration would ‘enhance the historic character’ of the Jodrell Arms Swofo say there are plans to repair its historic facade and visual appearance - returning internal spaces to their original proportions with appropriate finishes and fittings.

They wrote how ‘Internally much of the historic layout has been lost’ and adaptations were ‘done inappropriately and in low quality materials’.

The statement read: “The hotel forms an important visual landmark for the town.

“It also has an important social connection to Whaley Bridge, which in its various forms was a part of the town since the formation of the settlements.”

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