Tiger Moth – Irlam

Swallow Drive, Irlam, Manchester, M44 6PT

tiger moth

Far from the centre of town, tucked away on the centre of an Irlam estate, sits the Tiger Moth.

A stones throw or two away from the Barton City Airport, possibly giving rise to a seemingly improbable name.

This is an improbable pub, an impossibly dramatic essay in asymmetry, acute and obtuse angles, black and white cladding, trim and brick.

Several contrasting volumes hang together in perfect harmony, side by side on the pedestrian walkway.

Why can’t we?

Architecturally this building is exceptional, quite the most striking example I have visited so far, it’s really out there on its own.

It seems like a survivor – the 2012 gas blast, defining its role as a community centre:


Then redefining itself alongside local authority health campaigns:


It has lost its Holt’s Brewery ties, going it alone in a sea of low incomes, cheap supermarket beer, smoking bans and a subsequent loss of custom – an all too familiar tale.

It’s trying.


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