Third Fulwood pub in seven years calls 'time'

The Withy Trees pub has closed after 160 years.
The Withy Trees pub has closed after 160 years.

Mystery surrounds the future of another suburban Preston pub after a brewery revealed it is on the verge of selling it.

Mystery surrounds the future of another suburban Preston pub after a brewery revealed it is on the verge of selling it.

The 160-year-old Withy Trees in Fulwood closed its doors this week and will be the second pub in Fulwood to be off-loaded by Greene King in the past 12 months.

The Sumners was sold to a property developer last year and has since been flattened to make way for flats.

Greene King says a sale has been agreed in principle for the Withy Trees after months on the market and the deal is expected to be completed within days.

But the UK’s largest pub retailer and brewer has declined to say who the prospective owner is, although the Post understands that, while the building may well survive, it is unlikely to re-open as an alehouse.

“We advertised The Withy Trees for sale some time ago and a sale has now been agreed in principle,” said a spokesman. “It is never an easy decision to sell a pub but we continue to run a number of other pubs in the area, including Lane Ends in Blackpool Road and The Guild in Fylde Road.”

The Withy Trees will join a list of more than 25 watering holes to shut down in Preston in the past 10 years.

As a pub, at the junction of Garstang Road and Lytham Road, it dates back to mid-Victorian times, although the building appears on a map of 1786 as a farm called Within Trees.

Locals say it has fallen away in popularity over the past few years, in stark contrast to its nearest rival the Plungington Hotel, on the Lytham Road, Black Bull Lane roundabout.

The “Withys” was once owned by brewers Matthew Brown and later by Punch Taverns. Customers have accused Greene King of failing to invest to combat competition from Fulwood rivals the Black Bull and the Plungington, both extensively refurbished.