Viaduct Tavern was built after 1837 by Robert Thomas as a
replacement for the Old Mason's, which had to be pulled down
when the railway was being constructed. He built it on the
opposite side of the road and gave it the name of the viaduct
that dominates the area.
came from a family well connected with pubs. His mother had married
for a second time to James Hill of Calf Holes, who once kept the
Old Bird there. Her first husband, John Thomas was the father of
brothers John and Robert, who were well known for their boisterousness
when they were young and got into many a scrape, playing practical
jokes and generally making nuisances of themselves with other lads
joining in and following their leadership.
John became a farmer at Top of Fold and kept a beerhouse at Deanroyd
that had the reputation of being a lively place. He
later moved to Handle Hall in Calderbrook and became a schoolteacher.
When he died, he was buried with his mother and stepfather at Holy
Trinity in Littleborough.
as has been stated, was the landlord of the Old Mason's Arms
for many years, and married Mary Greenwood, the daughter of
Robert and Fanny of the Black Swan Inn, so between them they
had a good knowledge of the pub trade. The
replacement pub was a substantial three storey building on
the main Todmorden to Rochdale road, opposite the entrance
to Bacup road. In the photograph, it can be seen through the
arch of the viaduct.
did not stay long at the Viaduct and some time in the 1840's they
moved to the Triangle Inn near Ripponden, a large coaching inn with
Law removed to the Viaduct from the Sun Inn in April of 1850, and
he remained as the landlord after Susan (Sue Poppitt), his wife,
died in 1853. Their story can be read in the Sun Inn account HERE.
Thomas employed a servant,
Mary Greenwood and he also had a boarder in 1861, young James Verity,
only 14 and an apprentice stonemason. Thomas
died in 1873 aged 77, after 23 years as landlord at the Viaduct.
He is buried at Cross Stone Church.
Whittaker then took over around 1877. He came from the Bacup area
as did his wife Mary and daughter Elizabeth. It was during his time
as landlord, in 1889, that the Viaduct came up for auction at the
White Hart Hotel and sold for £1,522 10s. 0d. A substantial
amount for those days and reflecting the busy trade of this popular
died in 1893 aged 51 after 16 years as landlord. Joshua Cunliffe,
who then took over, advertised that he was continuing to provide
the same service that the Whittaker family had provided and he thanked
the public for their support of that family for the time they had
been the licensees. He advertised
Baxter's Ales and Stout, and a selection of bottle beer, mineral
waters of the highest quality and cigars and tobacco of the very
best flavour. Joshua came from
Strongstry near Ramsbottom, son of James and Margaret and one of
Viaduct continued to be open as a beer house until, on the
last day of December 1965, it closed, bringing to an end the
beer house era in Todmorden. The
rest of them had either upgraded to a full licence, which
was offered at a reduced rate if they complied with the standards
outlined in the new licensing act of 1959 and brought their
premises up to the required standard, or had they shut down
is now a private house on the busy main road at Gauxholme little
altered from the original building.