Final whistle for PNE star’s old pub

The Unicorn in North Road
The Unicorn in North Road
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An historic Preston inn, once the home of Invincibles footballer Fred Dewhurst, has called last orders after 185 years of serving ale.

Locals have been told the Unicorn, in North Road, is to be refurbished, but will not re-open as a pub.

The PNE Invincibles team with Fred Dewhurst sitting second right

The PNE Invincibles team with Fred Dewhurst sitting second right

The alehouse, opened in 1832 and a Grade II Listed building, was originally called the Cattle Market Tavern because it was next door to the town’s livestock mart.

The land on which the market stood and later housed Canterbury Hall social club, is now being developed as a five-storey student accommodation block. Part of the pub is currently being used as a site office for that project.

Richard Fisher-Godwin, licensee of the neighbouring Moorbrook Tavern said: “I gather the same people who own the pub also own the land next to it where the student flats are being built.

“I’ve been told by the company that they are proposing to redevelop the Unicorn. They haven’t decided exactly what it will be yet, although it won’t be for the sale of alcohol.”

The original cattle market closed in North Road in 1867 and moved to a new site in Brook Street.

Fred Dewhurst, a member of the famous Preston North End Invincibles team of 1888/89, scored the club’s first ever goal in the Football League. He also played for England. In the 1891 Census he is registered as living at the pub with his widowed sister-in-law and her four children.