Head out of Bramhall and into Woodford and you can’t miss the historic Davenport Arms (Thief’s Neck) pub. In business for decades, the pub has been looked after with loving care by the Hallworth family for an astounding 87 years. I Love Bramhall met up with landlady Yvonne to learn more about this family-run landmark and what makes it so special.
Set back on Chester Road with an appealing beer garden up front and lush fields to the rear, the Davenport Arms was once the property of the Capesthorne estate, named after former owners and game wardens of the King, the Davenports.
The pub’s somewhat more grisly alternate name, the Thief’s Neck, refers to the power bestowed on the historic pub owners to hang poachers – most commonly sheep rustlers. In the 1920s, the pub was acquired by Robinson’s Brewery, and the Hallworth family has been at the helm for much of that time.
Yvonne and her son Jack are fourth and fifth generation Hallworths, offering a warm welcome and attentive service to all who visit – as do the rest of the staff, many of whom are also family members. Yvonne’s sister, cousin and 81-year-old mum all contribute to the running of the pub, and it’s this family continuity that has helped the Davenport Arms withstand the test of time.
Of course, it’s not just the family-run element that pulls in the punters – the Thief’s Neck has plenty to offer besides, including an impressive range of cask ales. Named in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide for the last 33 years and former Pub of the Year winner, the Davenport Arms stocks Unicorn, Wizard and Dizzy Blonde all year round, Old Tom during the winter and other ales depending on the season. Add to the drinks menu a selection of lagers, wines, bottled and draught prosecco and a choice of 16 gins and there’s something to suit all tastes.
There’s a delicious food menu too, serving traditional home-cooked meals – everything from light bites to a full Sunday roast. Smaller portions are available for children and the pub holds a themed night every Thursday when visitors can take advantage of the two for £20 offer on mains.
Brimming with rustic features and a cosy wood burner, the Davenport Arms welcomes guests of the young, old and four-legged varieties. The vault to the left of the entrance is designated a dog-friendly space, while the front room and grassy area to the rear of the pub are family-friendly. Renovated several years ago, the pub has retained its rustic charm with subtle changes to the layout, and there are tentative plans to add an orangery in the future.
Plenty of people pop in for a light lunch during the week, or for something heartier following a walk over from Bramhall – the route from the village conveniently finishes just behind the pub. It’s also a great option for a bite to eat after a visit to the Avro Heritage Museum on the site of the old Woodford Airfield over the road.
The Thief’s Neck is a hit with locals at the weekend, too, and can also cater for group bookings and special occasions with a bit of notice. With an ample lawn that can easily hold a marquee and plenty of space out front, the pub makes an ideal venue for celebrating after a christening or a wedding. Yvonne and the team also caters for funerals and other occasions – get in touch for more details.
Open all day, every day, the Davenport Arms extends a warm welcome to all, so pop in anytime for a drink or a bite to eat. To book a table or find out more about the Thief’s Neck, use the following links.