19th December 2018

Pub History; The Story Behind Raikes Hall

If you walk down any high street, you are guaranteed to see at least one pub, if not many more. But have you ever thought about what they were before they became a pub?

In this blog post, we will explain the history behind one of our own pubs, the Raikes Hall in Blackpool.

Where It All Began

Raikes Hall, which was originally a large and convenient mansion, was built by William Boucher in 1760. The ground floor was very elegant and consisted of three parlours, a servant’s hall, butchers pantry and kitchen.

On the two floors above, there were four lodging rooms, as well as additional lodging rooms for the servants that lived there. In addition to this, there were gardens, orchards, stables and outbuildings.

Pub History; The Story Behind Raikes Hall

The Convent

From 1860 to 1870, Raikes Hall was transformed into a convent which was owned by the Sisters of Holy Child. Over the years, there have been rumours of a member of the convent drowning in the lake within the gardens and that you can see their ghost wandering the pub late at night.

If you can hold your nerve, you can do a ghost hunt at Raikes Hall but be warned, it’s said to be very spooky!

Raikes Hall Gardens

In 1871, Raikes Hall’s house and grounds were bought by the Raikes Hall, Park, Gardens and Aquarium Company. During this the time that they owned the area, the house was greatly extended, and a theatre was built. It was a new and exciting attraction in the town and it became quickly popular with locals and those further afield.

The extensive pleasure gardens also included a lake, skating rink and an aviary but as the attraction grew, it became less popular and was finally turned into a residential area.

Sporting Events

Over the years, the Raikes Hall complex has accommodated many sporting events, including the Blackpool Races, cricket and football matches. From 1888 to 1899, it was the home to Blackpool FC and interestingly, was the thirteenth ground ever to be used for a football league game.

The football team played just one season at the grounds and in that time, it became apparent that Raikes Hall needed upgrading. Blackpool FC returned to the ground again mid-season because it was popular with fans.

Fun Fact

  • The Raikes Hall pub is the only surviving building from The Raikes Hall Palace Gardens!

There is no doubt that Raikes Hall has an extremely interesting background! Keep an eye on our blog for more articles on the history of our pubs.

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