The historic Raven Inn reclaims hundreds of years of history


THE painstaking work to restore and recreate the historic Raven Inn at Glazebury, saved from demolition by local campaigners, can now be revealed.

Earmarked for demolition until a successful campaign to save the pub, work is continuing to re-open the premises, hopefully in time for Easter!

Originally the Raven was the site of a water mill. It is firmly believed ‘Lyttyl Mylle’ was repurposed as a hostelry in the 16th Century. Supporting this timeframe, the mill walls at the north end of the Raven are Tudor in origin. The beautiful brickwork has been revealed and will remain on display for all to admire.

Records show that In July 1770, the Tyldesley family sold, what was then referred to as “…the ancient hostelry, the Raven Inn…” and other properties to John Lyon. Lyon was responsible for greatly expanding the inn, ‘wrapping’ the new Georgian building around the old Tudor fabric.
Fast-forward to the latter part of the C20th, inappropriate use of modern building materials during refurbishment (plastic membranes and cement render) kept out the damp but also trapped damp in the building from the leaking roof.
But after the Raven was bought and saved in 2022, all membranes have been removed and the brickwork has been repaired with lime mortar pointing and lime render throughout. The brickwork can now ‘breathe’ and the building is drying out.
During the conservation and renovation work, brick pockets chiselled into the brickwork to take floor timbers were identified; their width & height, spacing and height from the ground were sufficient to recreate the original C16th timber beam arrangements by recycling nearly 100 Victorian ceiling joists (seen in the photo). Everything required was already on site.

Local campaigner Bob Eden, along with Lyttyl Mylle historian Van Hostetler, in Arizona, unearthed and evidenced the incredible history of the Raven, which Bob has enacted, directing, and overseeing the detailed, sympathetic preservation and restoration work.

Bob said: “We could have ignored the ancient story and delivered a functional magnolia box instead: all plasterboard and straight lines. This would have got the pub up-and-running before last Christmas. But that would have been a travesty; we had one chance to get this right: to recognise and reflect the history of this building for all to enjoy. The ‘Saturday Crew’ of volunteers have been working every weekend since last April, making this transformation possible. We could not have done it without their hard work and shared vision. We were also fortunate to identify local plasterers who specialise in the all-important lime”.

Chair Peter Sturman added: “The thing that strikes me most is the sheer dedication of Bob and the Saturday crew, along with the very skilled tradespeople. You have to see people wire brushing the newly set lime mortar, and each and every brick, to create the clean authentic look, to appreciate just how painstaking this work has been”.
It is still hoped the Raven will open in time for Easter, however as Peter says, “Taking Bob’s example, we have to do this properly. We have lead times from various suppliers. There are some things we cannot control. We are all desperate to get our Raven up and running as soon as possible. Easter is going to be tight, but we have to have challenging deadlines”.

Time for consolidation as Raven Inn team prepare for next big push


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Chair of Warrington Healthwatch Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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