Haunted historic Rochdale pub Owd Betts is searching for a new owner.
The landmark was built in 1796 as ‘The Hare and Hounds’ by Richard and Mary Ashworth, and was passed to their son John and his wife Betty in the mid 1800s. After John passed away in 1869 Betty continued to run the inn alone. It was during this time it became known locally as ‘Owd Betts’.
It was officially renamed in the 1950s after its most well-known owner, who it is said can still be heard walking the corridors and keeping an eye on the staff.
‘Owd Betts’ is up for sale as current landlord, Rhys Knowles, who has managed the pub for 12 years, would like to return to Wales to spend more time with his young family. The pub has personal significance to Rhys, as he used to drink in it with his father as a young man, and had his first kiss with his wife outside the pub in 1994.
The pub has gone on the market for £194,995 with business broker Hilton Smythe, which is trying to help Rhys find a suitable new owner for the business.
Gareth Smyth, Group Managing Director at Hilton Smythe, said: “Owd Betts is a fantastic business for us to work with, as it has so much local history, and the new owners will not only be getting a pub, they will be getting a piece of Rochdale’s heritage.
“At Hilton Smythe, we get a lot of businesses with interesting stories, and Owd Betts is one of the best. We want to find the perfect owner to come and take it over, and we hope the ghost of Betty will get on well with them too.”
Rhys Knowles said: “Owd Betts means a lot to me personally, as it has been part of my life for a long time. When I knew I had to sell it, to spend more time with my wife and two young children, it was important for me to find a business broker that would understand its significance in the local area and treat it with respect.
“I hope that Hilton Smythe will find a new owner that will give it as much love as I have. Owd Betts is an institution, and people come back because of what it is. I don’t want it to go to someone who will turn it into a wine bar.
“Owd Betts is a special place and it will be difficult for me to leave. It means a lot to many people in the area, and I look forward to handing it over to someone else, to give them their place in its history.”