The earliest reference for this establishment is a trade directory from 1791.
In March 1827 the pub was for sale in an auction, then it was described as “valuably situated, old established, and important Commercial Inn, Posting-house, Market-house and General-Tavern”.
Post Office Directory of Birmingham and Staffordshire of 1849, contains what appears to be a typo and lists this pub as the ‘Union commercial inn’. So for a time I had this information linked with the actual Union Inn; that had once stood at the bottom of Cross Street. Landlord William Thorley is described in this directory as ‘farmer & maltster & clerk of the market’.
In the 1868 Post Office Directory landlord George Collier was also listed as a watch and clockmaker.
In 1884 the licence to this pub was to be transferred to Jabez Noden, however for a time it was objected to, following allegations that he had allowed gambling and “immoral conduct” to take place in the [Upper] Bull’s Head while he was the landlord; the charges were dismissed.
In 1888 the John Bell and Co. brewery provided the hotel it’s beer, in February that year paying 3 pounds 5 shillings to the acting brewery agent John Alcock (on behalf of his father William).
The Parker’s Burslem Brewery Co. Ltd. which was formed in 1860, at one time also provided the Unicorn with its beer.
In 1894 the Ancient Order of Foresters held a celebratory evening in the Unicorn with a view to setting up a court within the town.
The Cheadle and Tean Times newspaper was printed from the converted stable buildings of the pub from 1896 by Jesse Lowndes, the newspaper would move to the current offices in 1961.
The pub closed on 9th April 1961 and the building was demolished to make way for modern shop buildings on the High Street.
Adam Higgs (The Universal British Directory 1791)
Samuel Kynnersley (Parson and Bradshaw – Staffordshire Directory 1818 and Pigot’s Directory 1822)
Mr. Thomas Sulfolk (Birmingham Gazette 1827)
William Harrison (Pigot & Co.’s National Directory 1828-29)
William Thorley (White’s Directory of Staffordshire 1834, Pigot’s Directory of Staffordshire 1842 and White’s Directory of Staffordshire 1851)
Mary Thorley (Kelly’s Post Office Directory of Staffordshire 1860)[until 1864]
George Collier (1868 Post Office Directory and Kelly’s Post Office Directory of Staffordshire 1872)
Samuel Burton [from 1876](Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire 1880)[until 1881]
Jabez Noden (1882-1916 – Cheadle: The Second Selection)
Frederick Stonier (Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire 1924)
Mrs. A. Beadmore (Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire 1928, 1932 and 1940)
Mrs. Damant [last licensee in 1961] (Cheadle Public Houses of Yesteryear)