Pubs in Wirral: Wirral’s oldest inn celebrates 400 years of history

A PUB since 1611, The Wheatsheaf Inn and Cowshed Restaurant in Raby village is steeped in history and is reputed to be the oldest hostelry on the Wirral.

Nowadays you’ll find a friendly, warm welcome inside this thatched cottage pub (hence the local’s nickname ‘The Thatch’) with its converted barn restaurant.

Like all those in the hospitality sector, the past two years have been challenging for the pub, but according to long-serving manager Steve Guiles things are now looking far more positive.

“Before Christmas it was shocking to be honest,” he said. “Everyone was coming down with Covid and we had loads of cancellations and for me going back historically this was one of the worst periods ever for the pub.

“But since mid-January things have really started to pick up and there seems to be far more confidence about going out.”

Even when restrictions were at their worst and inly outdoor drinking was allowed, the pub’s dedicated regulars stood firm with their support.

“They were all itching to come back and support us so as soon as there was outside service they endured all sorts of weather,” laughed Steve. “It was howling with rain and wind but they still came out to drink.”

It’s no surprise that beer drinkers flock to the Wheatsheaf given its reputation as a real ale haven.

“At the moment we have seven cask ales on,” said Steve. “We always try to get them from local breweries and Brimstage is our main supplier – we sell gallons and gallons of it!”

As a listed building noted for its “special historic interest” by English Heritage, you suspect it’ll take more than a global pandemic to shut The Wheatsheaf.

“As soon as you walk in it has a charm,” added Steve. “It’s warm and cosy – there’s nowhere like it really.”

n The Wheatsheaf, Raby Mere Rd, Raby, Wirral CH63 4JH.

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