WHEN the railway station at Greenbank was first built the nearest public house would have been the Thatched Tavern on the other side of the railway bridge in Castle.

The station was originally called Hartford & Greenbank Station, but eventually it was renamed just Greenbank to avoid confusion with Hartford station.

Most railway stations had a public house or hotel nearby so Greenall, Whitley & Co wanted to build one alongside Greenbank Station to benefit from the passing trade it created.

They originally applied for a license for a hotel here in 1878 but the magistrates refused on the basis that they didn't feel there was a need here.

Greenall's didn't give up and tried again the following year. They offered to close two other pubs in Northwich if the licence for the new one was granted, but the magistrates refused permission once again.

In 1893 they tried again requesting a licence for a new hotel here in Greenbank and The Fox in Northwich in exchange for the closure of three town centre pubs, the Robin Hood, the Britannia and the Market Tavern. This time they were successful and they set about building the hotel we see here today.

The hotel opened in 1894 with an extensive stable block to the rear. An advertisement placed at the time read: "Greenbank Hotel, Hartford, Cheshire. This first class new hotel has 12 loose boxes for hunters and every accommodation for gentlemen and their servants. Apply C. M. Chamberlain, proprietor". This demonstrates the standard of clientele they were aiming for.

The photograph here shows the proprietors name as J. Durward who was the licensee from 1904 to 1906 which allows the photo to be dated quite accurately to this time. Thomas Lightfoot took over in 1906 at which time the wall at the front was taken down and a new motor house built alongside.

More photos of old Northwich can be seen on the Northwich History Past & Present Facebook group.