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Bid to prevent demolition of historic Raven Inn


HISTORY enthusiast Van Hostetler has applied to Historic England for the threatened Raven Inn at Glazebury to be Listed as a historic building.
In his application, he says there is an imminent threat to the building because of a planning application to demolish the 16th century inn to make way for 10 houses “with no regard to its heritage value.”
Mr Hostetler claims to have saved a number of other threatened buildings through painstaking research into their histories.
He says the Raven was built by the powerful Holcroft family in 1562 and is in good, solid condition.
There are direct links to the Holcroft family, Colonel Thomas Blood, and King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn via the Holcroft family.
The heritage statement included in the application to demolish the pub – which closed recently when it was said to have become unviable – contains no details of the buildings long history, he says.
He claims the application contains misleading statements.
The Raven is more important architecturally and historically than either the nearby Holcroft Hall and Hurst Hall, both of which have been extensively altered over the years.
Mr Hostetler said: “     “The Raven Inn is the oldest surviving hostelry in the old village of Glazebury once known as Bury Lane. The Inn owes its origins in 1562 to the Holcroft family, who in addition to being powerful manorial lords existing as far back as the 13th century, achieved notoriety through the marriage of their daughter Maria to Colonel Thomas Blood, an Irish adventurer.
“Thomas Blood served with Cromwell in Ireland and when he was stationed in south Lancashire the wedding took place at nearby Newchurch Parish Church on the 21st June 1650. A turbulent life of political intrigue was marked by a failed attempt to steal the Crown Jewels, when Thomas was imprisoned in the White Tower before trial. Surprisingly he was pardoned and eventually became a favourite of King Charles II, dying at his Westminster home in 1680.
“ The old Inn sign showed the Holcroft Crest of a raven holding a sword and there is folklore of a secret passage leading from the Inn to Holcroft Hall some distance away on the mysterious land of Chat Moss.”
Numerous other people have protested at the plan to demolish the pub and a number of objections are being made to Warrington Borough Council.


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  1. What a true gentleman! May my best wishes be with him and every argument he has presented for the preservation of this building. Furthermore, may we one day find ourselves at the bar of the Raven Inn once again, and I’ll wager that you Sir, will not need to reach into your pocket for a pint… For there will be many in my company who will find themselves deeply indebted to your work.

    • You won’t be able to buy a pint if this interfering man gets it listed. The building will go to seed, the Gypsy’s will move on the car park,,well done that man.

      • Interfering?

        Anyone would think that the entitlement of an entire local community to object to a planning application should be removed, and that anyone should just be able to cover large amounts of land with as many houses as they please… They can’t. And for good reason.

        Also, why are people who are commenting here called ‘neighbour’ or ‘anonymous’? At least stand by your commentary and assertions as yourselves, or is that too much? Are your real names a bit too precious?

        Theres a letter which accompanies the planning application which is full of absolute nonsense! Even to the point of referencing the absence of ‘a good-sized residential area within an acceptable walking distance’. Has nobody heard of google maps? There are absolutely loads of residences within an acceptable walking distance of the Raven (inclusive of Fowley Common Lane, Hawthorne Avenue, Millbrook Close, Glazebury Mill Close, and the entire Mee Brow estate). Furthermore, the successful George and Dragon pub is 520 yards away.

        This is why a village has mobilised itself to protect this building. Call it interfering if you wish, but if you ask me, and if it’s to be considered as interference, it’s interference that I would welcome anytime.

    • The current owners refused to serve drinkers unless they were dining. They only served food to people who they liked the look of, and had no interest whatsoever in the building being considered a ‘pub’. They turned anyone away who just wanted a drink, and even changed the sign outside to “Raven Restaurant”. Furthermore, regular customers were told on an individual basis (myself included) that they were not welcome.

  2. Such a shame the owners turned away so many potential customers refusing to serve drinks only, then opening their restaurant for only very limited periods – no way to sustain a business

  3. Could someone please tell me, why in this part of Lancashire where I was brought up, no one recognises the historical importance of old buildings? Every historical building gets taken down for new homes! Bottom line is “money”. With no thought to future generations! History should be treasured for the future! It’s a crying shame! Hope in this case The Raven survives because of its historical importance, noting at all to do with the fact I spent lots of happy times in there as a teenage not appreciating then the importance of this building. Good Luck with your endeavours!

  4. I don’t think I ever used this pub when I lived in Warrington but Jackie’s comment struck a nerve. Rampant greed has taken over and the often flouted social heritage and social cohesiveness of the UK is just being allowed to dissolve, mostly unnoticed for the quick buck.
    I regularly follow the Peel Hall Conservation Group and its work as I grew up in that particular area and take note that not all are indolent, lethargic or passive in the face of aggressive and fleeting development vultures. To the people of Glazebury I would ask ‘what do you need from your area and what do the developers want ? Will this improve your life quality and will your children be content ?’

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