black lion pub in nantwich - pic by JThomas creative commons licence

One of Nantwich’s oldest pubs, The Black Lion, has closed down and staff made redundant, it has emerged.

The pub on Welsh Row was closed on Friday night (August 2) with a notice in the window stating “closed until further notice”.

Today the manager of the pub, Elizabeth Brett Snell, confirmed the pub, which was part of the town’s real ale trail, has gone into administration.

Regular drinkers say they have not been informed of the reasons for the closure.

Elizabeth said she was “very distressed” and added: “I would like to express my appreciation to all my loyal customers.”

She added: “I want to say thank you to my loyal staff.

“I am just so sad after 12 years.”

The pub is a former Camra winner and has featured in the good beer guide on numerous years.

The pub dates back to 1664, built 20 years after the Great Battle of Nantwich 26th January 1644, which has a re-enactment every year, as Holly Holy Day, on its anniversary.

It is the oldest one in Nantwich to have always been a pub.

(pic by JThomas, creative commons licence)


  1. Anthony Arblaster says:

    Shocking news! This was a great little ‘traditional’ pub with rare character and serving decent real ale. One of the few places left in the area where you could enjoy the traditional pub experience, meet interesting people and hear great stories. I sincerely hope this is not the end for the Black Lion!

  2. Anthony says:

    I warned Joe to get some dark Ale on!

  3. Be nice if it could be reopened as a community owned pub, like the White Lion in Ash.

  4. Martin & Nickie says:

    Really sorry to hear this news. Liz, Joe and all the staff were always polite a pleasure to be around.
    The Food & Olde World atmosphere with its warm open fire was a joy.
    Good luck for the future to all and hope the Pub opens again soon as its a precious piece of Nantwich history and needs to be preserved.

  5. Chris B says:

    Sadly, very few “traditional” pubs are succeeding in today’s market. Nearly every town and village has signs offering people the “opportunity” to run a pub. On the other hand, people stream out of supermarkets every weekend clutching cases of cheaper beer or bottles of wine. There are several well-run pubs in our area offering first-class food and are well supported and continue to thrive.

  6. Jo says:

    Sorry to hear this for the owners, staff and customers. Always been a favourite retreat whenever we get chance. It will be missed and I sincerely hope it will be open again soon as a traditional pub.

  7. Allan Sherwood says:

    Another legendary pub shuts its doors! A sad loss for Nantwich indeed. So many happy times there playing and listening to live music over the last 30 years. Sorry it didn’t work out for Liz and the team .

  8. Lesley says:

    Apparently there is a sign in the window saying Westwood beer sold at the cat,that’s not the same it’s the character of the building and all the people who go at different times it was like a community open soon ,,,,

  9. Susan Withers says:

    Apply for national heritage funding

  10. Jon says:

    Such a shame, a great pub in a great area. But at the end of the day there’s no one else to blame but the owners and or landlord. Nantwich itself is a very competitive town with so many bars, restaurants and cafes. People vote with feet…’s the staff I feel sorry for, pub work / customer service is never easy….and there the ones who have been let down most

  11. Edward Leetham says:

    I can’t remember whether Elizabeth owned it or leased it. If leased, then I expect the landlord will look for another tenant. If owned, then the adminstrator may well look to sell the building to the highest bidder. If that’s the case, we need to get it listed as an Asset of Communuty Value.

  12. Simon Cooke says:

    Sad news I lived in that pub as a child, my parents were landlords in the 70’s

  13. Ian Booth says:

    It’s tough in the pub game to make a living out of drink alone especially when your trade is weekend loaded. The margins just aren’t there. There has been a big hike in business rates over the last few years along with increasing wage bills and pension contributions. Difficult to pass any of these costs on in a small business.
    We all look forward to the speedy opening of the Lion and wish it’s new tenants well. I think we all must accept that we may have to pay a little more for our ale there if we are to keep this historic pub alive.

  14. David says:

    Terrible news

  15. Such a shame. One of the best pubs in Nantwich. Slso where older people can go in the evening and feel comfortable. Elizabeth and her staff are so lovely we really feel for them. Hopefully a way of reopening it will be found soon.

  16. Jo says:

    Very sad .. shows that rents are too high to make a good living as this seemed to be a well run pub with reasonable prices and a good customer base. Is this part of the long term strategy to change welsh row?

  17. Phil Hinton says:

    Bring down the price of the rents and all the other over priced bills and then maybe people can make a living. Such a shame.

  18. Lesley says:

    We need as a town to get it open again it’s part of nantwich history so many people go there

  19. Paul Weaver says:

    Don’t go to pubs very often but when I’ve been in it’s always been busy 🙁

  20. Kath Harris says:

    How sad, another good pub closure.

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