YET another old Bradford pub is up for sale. In the latest of his articles for this page, Paul Jennings, author of Bradford Pubs and The Local: A History of the English Pub, delves into the eventful past of The Green Man at Undercliffe:

Driving into Bradford in recent weeks, I have noticed that the Green Man at Undercliffe is for sale.

I had a look at the agent’s website and saw that it was being offered both as a pub and for alternative retail uses but also that the whole site was suitable for retail or residential development, subject to planning consent.

It would be a shame were it to go, as it is of some historical interest. I took these details from the deeds to the property when it was owned by Tetleys of Leeds.

READ MORE: Bradford's early beer house - the Jacob's Well pub

It dates back to 1796, when one Zacharias Harrison, a clothier, took a 999-year lease from Bradford’s Lord of the Manor, Benjamin Rawson, on land at Undercliffe, part of the Bradford Common or Moor.

On it he built the public house, in a good location on the main road towards Otley and Harrogate and beyond, which was first known as the Rifleman, reflecting perhaps the fact that the country was then at war with France.

It was then bought in 1809 by James Laycock, who was in business with his brother Thomas as a grocer, with its brew house and stables and eight further cottages, some of which were later incorporated into the pub. Sadly, they went bankrupt and landlord James Rhodes bought it and now changed its name to the Green Man, a popular pub name linked both to fertility and the legend of Robin Hood.

He in turn sold the pub in 1820 to William Whitaker and Company of the Old Brewery, which stood where the New Victoria Cinema (later the Odeon) was built, in one of the earliest examples in Bradford of a brewery owning its pubs.

From its prominent position overlooking Bradford it has witnessed its transformation from small town to great city and many notable events.

One in particular caught my eye, reported in the Bradford Observer in May 1844, reflecting local tensions at this period between the native-born English and Irish migrants.

It tells of how the band of the Undercliffe Orange Lodge, returning from a mass demonstration of Orangemen in the town, was attacked lower down Otley Road by a crowd of between 200 and 400 Catholic Irishmen armed with stones and cudgels, forcing them to retreat up the hill to their base at the Green Man.

My photograph dates from the mid-1980s, when I sometimes adjourned there after exploring nearby Undercliffe Cemetery. At that time there were also close by the Hare and Hounds, another late 18th century inn, and the Robin Hood.

Both are now closed, although the buildings remain, if, as in the former case, virtually unrecognisable. Will the Green Man follow them? Or, like the Branch at Shipley - another old pub which dated back to the 1820s - will it be demolished?