The Stables

Grape Street, Manchester M3 3JE   |   Status at Jun ’19: AS-IS

Stables, stalls and harnessing rooms for working horses were built beside the Bonded Warehouse between 1890 and 1908 (two separate blocks), on the site of an old timber yard.

Following the development of this part of the site by Granada in 1968, the buildings were converted into a theatre and bar for Granada’s experimental Stables Theatre Company, home of the newly-formed Manchester Drama Club. This theatre/television cross-platform project was launched in January 1969 by the Tiller Girls and Manchester City FC players, but ceased soon after at the end of 1970, when the company went bankrupt. The space was subsequently used by Manchester Polytechnic School of Drama, and later used throughout the 90s as part of the Granada Studios Tour.

For this, part of the single-storey stable block was converted into a replica of Coronation Street‘s Rovers Return pub in 1988-9, which still remains today. Similarly, the lower level of the two-storey stable block was converted into a replica of Emmerdale‘s Woolpack pub, which was converted into a staff room for Coronation Street crew after the Granada Studios Tour ended in 1999.

During the Tour years, The Stables also housed a restaurant – with a servery and gift shop in an interconnecting later built conservatory-style block, which, from around 2010, formed part of Coronation Street‘s ‘Weatherfield Police Station’ facade (also see Annexe):

The upper level of the two-storey stable block formed the façade of Coronation Street‘s Rosamund Street Medical Centre from 2000 to 2013 (when Coronation Street relocated to MediaCityUK), with the interior used as a hospital set. Other parts of the buildings were also used for similar filming, such as a prison set.








2 replies to “The Stables

  1. I was saddened to read today of the death of John Castle, who was one of the many stars (plus a young William Roache) to appear in the Stables Theatre Company’s 1969 production of John Bowen’s ‘The Disorderly Women’ – a modern version of Euripides ‘The Bacchae’. I was a schoolboy at Manchester Grammar School at the time and was an ‘extra’ employed to carry a coffin onstage.
    It was a fantastic experience to mix with the cast in the bar afterwards but sadly the Stables didn’t last much longer.

    Liked by 1 person

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