Stockport & South Manchester

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Weekday Wander - Greenfield

Wednesday 3 August 2022

We are off into the hills again for this Weekday Wander. Situated on the fringe of Greater Manchester, Greenfield used to be part of Gods Own Country as it was part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, so be on the lookout for WRCC markers on public structures. Many of the older 17th Century houses still display the distinct, many windowed, upper floors which indicate they were used for hand-loom wool cloth weaving. I use the term wool cloth, because whether they were producing woollen fabric [soft and springy like tweed] or worsted [smooth and lustrous used for suits] isn't recorded. (For more on the wool/worsted differences see or

Though not dating back as far in time, three of our objectives today could still be described as "olde worlde". The first of these, the Wellington, is an end of terrace local, with darts, dominoes and cribbage all in evidence. Because there is a difference in the frontage with next door, and the stone better dressed, I speculate that this is a later addition rather than being part of the original terrace - discuss. I assume the pub is named after the Duke and not his footwear, but who knows. Food is available here, but only Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, hence the date of our visit.

Our next destination, The King Willian IV, known locally as the King Billy, is set at right angles to the main road. I have no idea what connection the King would have had with Greenfield, unless the pub opened around the year of his coronation. With both a red post AND phone box outside, along with a 'yard' and what is described as a cobbled area on, it is the epitome of a country pub. This misunderstanding between cobles (rounded stones usually recovered from a river bed) and setts (square dressed quarried stone) is not uncommon, but unforgivable to a pedant. With two rooms and four beers this isn't a typical Star (Heineken) pub, so they must be doing something right to avoid the eyes of the corporate management. The King Billy also purveys food, but only after 5pm today, so unless you plan staying a little longer [or coming back?] you will have to miss out.

The walk to our next establishment, Donkeystone Brewery Tap, would have been a lot shorter until September 2021, as the original site was behind the houses on the opposite side of the road from the King Billy. Today we must return towards the station and behind the Tesco we enter our only modern building, an industrial unit housing the brewery tap. No old world accoutrements here, just industrial chic, but with plenty of beers on offer, not just Donkeystone's own. Food may be available here, but I'm not sure when [depends which web page you consult!]

Returning towards the station and our final destination, but before we enter, take note of the interesting building to the right of the pub. With its obvious loading doors, this must have been some form of manufactory, but for what, and with such a small footprint I don't know. As the buildings here are two stories on the front street, but four at the back, the extra front floor seems a little greedy.

Our final establishment is the Railway, and there is no mystery how it got its name. Again an elderly building, was it here before, or was it built/opened to take advantage of the business from the station opposite? There is a simple two room layout, with an accompanying beer garden offering views across the valley. Being on the Transpennine Ale Trail [or whatever the Manchester to Leeds rail pub crawl is now called] weekends can see a sudden influx of people as the latest train disgorges its revellers. Hopefully things will be a little calmer on a midweek afternoon.

As we board our train home, take a moment to inspect Greenfield Station. Interestingly Greenfield station is the only rail station remaining of the around 25 formally in the current Oldham Borough. Opened on 1 August 1849 on the same day as was the section of line between Huddersfield and Stalybridge. This was remarkably early considering work on the single line Standedge tunnel was only started in 1846. It did have the advantage of the adjacent canal tunnel which acted as a supply route and had already proved the ground through which the tunnel was bored. Compare this to the Elizabeth line in London! Look carefully at the station and you may be able to detect a former bay platform at the Manchester end. This was the terminus of occasional trains from Oldham, but as that line closed to passengers in 1955 it isn't obvious. Another 'claim to fame' is that it is one of only a handful of stations which are not fully step-free accessible in Greater Manchester, though the engineering problems entailed creating this from the Huddersfield platform can be appreciated.

11:30am11:36amStockport Rail Station for 11:36 train to Piccadilly
11:46am11:58amPiccadilly Station for 11:58 train to Huddersfield
12:12pm12:12pmGreenfield Station
12:30pm1:55pmWellington Inn29 Chew Valley Road, Greenfield, OL3 7AF12:00noon
2:00pm3:00pmKing William IV134 Chew Valley Road, Greenfield, OL3 7DD5:00pm
3:10pm4:20pmDonkeystone Brewery TapWellington Indust Est, Wellington Rd, OL3 7AQNo
4:30pm5:35pmRailway Inn11 Shaw Hall Bank Road, Greenfield, OL3 7JZNo
5:40pm5:45pmGreenfield Station for train to Piccadilly arrive 6:10
6:10pm6:27pmPiccadilly Station for 18:27 train to Bournemouth arrive Stockport 18:35

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