The Wheatsheaf

The Wheatsheaf was formerly a hotel and holds a prominent place on the High Street opposite the Market Square and adjacent to the town’s ancient Market Cross,  both having served as the centre of trade and community in the town for hundreds of years.

Generally the earliest date given for the pub by local historians is 1784 which is when it first appeared in trade directories, however a court case from 1817 can date the pub back to at least 1750; with the earliest known proprietor being Howard Brown.

The newspaper ‘Derby Mercury’ ran a small advertisement signed Joseph Parker in 1765, announcing to the public he had procured premises for use as a coaching establishment, stating he is at the Wheatsheaf, he is again mentioned as there in 1768. In 1817 it was stated in the court case mentioned above that Joseph Parker leased the pub from the Moreton family in 1783, which raises the slight question as to whether he went back to the pub after 1768.

The ‘Universal British Directory of Trade, Commerce and Manufacture’ of 1793 noted that there was a coach that operated from Birmingham to Manchester which could be caught in Cheadle from the Wheatsheaf Inn.

In 1817 a dispute over pews in the Parish church resulted in a court case, which was reported in the ‘Staffordshire Advertiser’ and later recorded by Robert Plant in his ‘History of Cheadle’.  Thomas Walters the owner of the pub was disputing the number of seats in the church that had been brought with the property, after summing up the evidence the Judge ruled in favour of Mr. Walters “allaying much ill feeling” regarding the pew. It is unclear as to how many seats were being disputed in the original report, it is clear one had been leased with the pub to Joseph Parker in 1783 and some were in use by the Moreton family and their relatives after this date. By 1845 pew 1 in the Parish church with 6 seats were connected to the owner of the pub; however as this was in the new church,  it may have no relevance.

Along with the Royal Oak, the Wheatsheaf operated a horse drawn coaching service to and from the town for many years. This method of public and post transport was the quickest available at the time and would last for decades.

In 1839 the United Free Gardeners of Stoke met in the Wheatsheaf and formed a secret society in Cheadle called the Beech Tree Friendly Society; which many wealthy business men would be a part of until 1877 when the society dissolved.

By 1863 Anne Beech the widow of William Beech had re-married and decided to leave the trade; as a farewell two dinners were held in her honour at the hotel. The first was attended by gentry and tradesmen of the town, the second was attended by the Gardeners and Arch Druid clubs.

It was in the Wheatsheaf that businessmen of Cheadle held a meeting in 1878 about the formation of a properly organised and funded Cheadle Voluntary Fire Service, this followed an incident where the pump used by the town lost a wheel getting to a fire.

In 1892 the Earl of Shewsbury’s “Greyhound” coach picked up at the Wheatsheaf at 12.12pm and took visitors to his Alton Estate, the return journey was at 3.53pm.

In 1900 while the Cheadle’s railway track was been built into to the town, the Cheadle Railway Company ran an omnibus service to and from Totmonslow Station (later to be renamed Tean Station) which operated from the Wheatsheaf, picking up at 11.05 am.

Between the years 1901 and 1910 the combination of the railway station in Cheadle and motorised transport lead to the end of the horse drawn coaches and the Wheatsheaf and Royal Oak ceased to be a traditional coaching establishments.

At the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 a number of horses were commandeered for the war effort. They were gathered in the yard behind the Wheatsheaf, for inspection by officials.

In 1920 the Hammond family sold the hotel to Charles Bunting Ltd, a brewery based in Uttoxeter who owned several other pubs in the town.

In the 1940s the hotel’s telephone number was 3174.

By 1940 Charles Bunting Ltd was part of Parker’s Burslem Brewery Ltd, which in 1949 became part of the Ind Coope and Allsopp Brewery (originally two breweries, who merged in 1934). The Allsopp part of the name was dropped in 1959, with the purchase of two large neighbouring breweries (Tetley Walkers and Ansells) by 1963 the name Allied Breweries Ltd had been adopted.

Cheadle Auto Club held a dinner event here in February 1968, the guest of honour was David “Bunty” Scott-Montcrieff the former racing car driver.

For information regarding the pub in the 21st century click here.

Past Proprietors:

Howard Brown (circa 1750 – ‘History of Cheadle and Neighbouring Places’)
William Moreton (until 1765 – Derby Mercury)
Joseph Parker
(Derby Mercury 1765 and 1768 Advertisements)
Mark Brian (History of Cheadle and Neighbouring Places)
Samuel Wiggin (The Universal British Directory 1791)
George Bolton (History of Cheadle and Neighbouring Places)
Thomas Walters
(Parson and Bradshaw – Staffordshire Directory 1818, Pigot & Co.’s National Directory 1828-29)
Thomas Young (Staffordshire Advertiser Jan 1831)
Richard Beech [from July 1831] (Staffordshire Advertiser  1831, White’s Directory of Staffordshire 1834)
Robert Holmes (1845 St. Giles Pew Allocations)
William Beech (Pigot’s Directory of Staffordshire 1842, Post Office Directory of Birmingham with Staffordshire & Worcestershire 1849 and White’s Directory of Staffordshire 1851)
Ann Beech (Kelly’s Post Office Directory of Staffordshire 1860) [until 1861]
J. Hammond [from 1861] (Staffordshire Sentinel and Commercial & General Advertiser 1861)
Thomas Hammond (1868 Post Office Directory and Kelly’s Post Office Directory of Staffordshire 1872)
Sarah Hammond [from 28th June 1879] (Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire 1880, 1884 and 1896)
John H. Kirkham (Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire 1900, 1911 Census)
J. E. Poulson (Cheadle and Tean Times 1914-1918)
Benjamin Prince (Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire 1921 and 1924)
George Worthington (Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire 1932 and 1940)
John Nichol Sinclair (Cheadle Post and Times 1961 & 1962) [until 1962]
Mr. and Mrs. N. R. Gregory (Cheadle Post and Times 1969) [until 1969]
Mr. and Mrs. Ron Von Ohlen [from 1969] (Cheadle Post and Times 1969)

Images:

2 Responses to The Wheatsheaf

  1. john spooner says:

    Great site takes me back to the 50s down Highfield Ave listening to the old brickies/labrs about the what went on in the old pubs yrs ago [ Mr Mear ] not Mayor i built his bungalow after he left the ropey.

  2. Kay Mitchell says:

    Very good site. Very informative. We know a lot of people would have liked a Weatherspoons but I dont think its commercially viable given the pubs current condition. Also there is a danger of all towns starting to look the same with large chains closing down other smaller independants who cannot compete with their prices. We shall keep trying to put it back into use as it is so prominent on the High street and should be bustling with people again. If Anyone has suggestions or photographs of the place or would just like to get involved please contact The Cheadle Civic Heritage Trust by leaving their telephone number at The Summerhouse Tea rooms across the road.

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