Three-storey Northampton town centre pub set to open by next year, landlords say

Plans are in the pipeline to open Shipmans pub by next year.
Plans are in the pipeline to open Shipmans pub by next year.

A Northampton pub dating back to the 18th century is to open in the next year, McManus Pub Company has confirmed.

McManus Pub Company are to reopen the Shipmans pub, in the Drapery, which closed down in 2014.

The Wig and Pen was taken over by McManus Pub Company last week.

The Wig and Pen was taken over by McManus Pub Company last week.

Paul McManus said his company hopes to restore the Shipmans on the Drapery, by this year, or latest 2020.

The pub was taken over by the McManus Pub Company in 2015 and is has undergone refurbishment for nearly five years.

The pub, which was built in 1790 by the Shipman family, is a narrow, three-storey building that is Grade Two listed.

Shipmans is believed to be haunted by a former landlord Harry Franklin, who took his own life in the building in what witnesses described as a “gruesome manner” more than 100 years ago.

A ghostly figure, suspected to be Harry, has been sighted near the fruit machine and poltergeist-like activity has been reported such as moving pint glasses and the sound of footsteps crossing the upstairs floors.

McManus Pub Company, who also previously owned the Wig & Pen, in St Giles Street, between 1992 to 1997, took on the watering hole again last Friday.

Paul McManus said his team are over the moon to be its new bosses.

"We are excited to be running this famous Northampton town centre venue," Paul said.

"All the staff are staying on and we look forward to working with them to make the Wig & Pen thrive at being a great pub for food, ales, live sport and entertainment."

Former landlord Richard Gordon reopened the mothballed venue in 2010 after years of it standing empty.

Among McManus group of pubs are the Brampton Halt, in Chapel Brampton, The Lamport Swan and The Sun Inn in Hardingstone.

McManus Pub Company, who owns an estate of traditional pubs, sports bars and country inns, is celebrating its 50th year trading in Northampton in 2020.