Lying on the west side of Long Street opposite the library and Jubilee Park, the Olde Boars Head is a quaint old black and white timber structure said to date from 1587 according to a fireplace inscription and a stone lintel in the cellar bears the date 1632. Part of a row of ancient cottages, it operated as a coaching inn and Long St is thought to be part of the even more ancient roman Chester to York thoroughfare. Bonnie Prince Charlie is said to have taken refuge at the inn in 1745 as well as Dick Turpin, said to have stopped over on his way to York. Local radical and reformer Sam Bamford held many of his meetings at the hostelry. A secret tunnel to the Parish Church was said to once exist.
There have been many alterations and additions over the years. A later extension called 'The Sessions Room' was added to the right hand side with an 18th century door and window all making up the quirky building we see today. The sessions room served as the local courtroom and has seen many 'sessions' of a kind since, as its large size compared to the older cosier parts, serves as a great function room for small parties and other events.
The inn was in danger in 1919 when councillors wanted to demolish it to make way for WW1 war memorial. This was sited elsewhere and the old pub remains to this day a favourite and trusty old watering hole for Middleton folk. It remains a favourite to musicians of the town who still pay an annual tribute here to the late Pete Cowap, a popular local music legend of recent years.
Investigators in the last couple of years have claimed to have evidence of ghostly goings on, indeed there can't be many places in Middleton that are old enough to warrant the possibility of such claims and who really knows about the unknown? All I know is that living in Middleton myself and having frequented the place often over the years, I have never felt any uncomfortable vibes of that nature as I am not really a believer of such things. It is just a quaint little place with an enchanting atmosphere. It has seen many landlords and ladies come and go over its 400+ year old history and I cant resist ending the note on a friend of mines amusing but affectionate re-naming of the place as, 'The Old Whores Bed'. There is no story behind that of course but just a silliness and great play on the letters involved I think!Written by the editor. July 2008