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Kettledrum Inn pub and restaurant in Burnley Lancashire  A traditional, English country pub on the e

Why we are The Kettledrum Inn

About the Owners

©Photograph Courtesy of Lancashire Telegraph

Robin and Stephen Reid (pictured) snapped up the Kettledrum Inn, Red Lees Road after it was on the market for more than two years.

Robin, 52, said although investment in the pub trade was ‘a risk,' he was confident the Kettledrum could still be a success. He said: “We think there is still a business there to be had based on good beer, good food, and excellent service.

“We see it as a chance to stamp our mark on the local area. We’ve lived here; we know the community and the customer base, and we’ll be trying to take advantage of that.

“It’s become dilapidated like a lot of old country pubs, and we have to make it a quality, comfortable place to visit again.”

The good news is that the brothers have succeeded in making The Kettledrum Inn one of the most popular country inns in the Pennine area.  A warm welcome, pleasant surroundings, and excellent home cooked food await you at The Kettledrum Inn.


The gallery below shows the refurbishment of The Kettledrum Inn 1861.

“The most famous racehorse from East Lancashire.”



Although the name, kettledrum, relates to a musical instrument, a drum, in the percussion family here it refers to an outstanding thoroughbred horse. Its huge drum of a heart took it to stardom for the Towneley family in 1861 when entered into the Epsom Derby.

The horse was foaled in in 1858 and bread by James Cookson at Neasham Hall. Colonel Charles Towneley of Towneley Hall owned a stud at Root Farm, Dunson Bridge where the horse was trained by W and G Oates. The Colonel delighted in breeding and racing horses and this Epsom Derby was the highlight of this part of his life. The jockey was Ralph Bullock and it only took him 2 minutes and 45 seconds to run into the history books.


The Towneley Estate was originally part of the forest of Bowland and was of considerable size. They were a prominent Catholic family and used some of the winnings of Kettledrum to build a church, St Hubert’s and a school within the Towneley estate. Kettledrum was immortalised in the stained glass window of the church and commemorated by stone carved heads near the altar.

In the year of Kettledrum's Derby win a public house at Mereclough, in the parish of Cliviger near Burnley, was renamed The Kettledrum Inn in his honour. There is some speculation that the winnings from Kettledrum's Derby win paid for the pub, but there is evidence of an inn and alehouse having been on the site since the 1820s. It may be the case that the winnings paid for a refit or extension, but nothing more. The pub survives to the present day and is widely recognised as one of the best country pubs in the area.

Shortly after the pub was refurbished in early 2014, a couple visiting the UK from Australia donated an unusual memento to the owners in the shape of a silver-mounted ink-well fashioned from the horse's hoof. This was traditional for winning horses in the 19th century, and the hoof is part of a display in the 'Turnpike Room' within the pub. The pub have a number of historical notices situated around the premises showing the history of the horse and the local parish of Cliviger.

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