AN historic Prestwich pub has been given a huge makeover.

The Woodthorpe Hotel, next to Heaton Park in Bury Old Road has undergone a major £500,000 refurbishment, to celebrate the establishment's Victorian heritage and give the pub a new lease of life.

Among the changes are a new, designated dog-friendly area, extended function suite and a family dining area.

The pub ­— which is owned by the Joseph Holt brewery ­— has also created a more centralised vault and revamped the hotel's en-suite accommodation.

Joseph Holt have additionally created a historical entrance display, featuring hops, barrels, kegs and old casks to bring to life the heritage of one of Manchester's oldest breweries.

The display is joined by images of the brewery's eponymous founder with his wife Catherine Parry, son Edward Holt and family.

Richard Kershaw, chief executive of Joseph Holt Brewery and fifth generation descendent of the Holt family, said: “The building itself dates back to 1861 and was first home to my great grandfather Sir Edward Holt.

“So when we embarked on the refurbishments, it was important to marry those wonderful elements of the past with the needs of what drinkers want from a pub today.”

Dating back to the mid 19th century the building was the family home of Sir Edward Holt from 1890, and was first used as a pub and hotel in 1955.

The Woodthorpe was also appropriated by the Ministry of Defence during the Second War and was later used a food preparation area for local schools.

Last year the pub was used for the wake of the front man of The Fall, Mark E Smith, and was said to be one of the Prestwich music icon's favourites.

Alongside the pub's more modern touches are many characterful period features, including an original fire place and carved wooden clock in the new Library bar and Art Deco ceilings.

Mr Kershaw said: “The Woodthorpe is one of our oldest pubs and we are of course immensely proud of the Holt family story.

"It`s also a striking building which says much about the history of the area.

"In refurbishing the premises, we wanted to respect the past while maintaining a comfortable but stylish area and be mindful of what the future now looks like for British pubs ­— which is an all-inclusive and comfortable experience for both drinkers and diners.

"I`m sure my great grandfather would be extremely proud of how his home looks today.”

The Joseph Holt Brewery was founded 160 years ago when the Unsworth-born son of a weaver, Joseph Holt, began brewing his own beer.

In 1849 he married 40-year-old Catherine Parry who suggested they mortgage their home to finance a small brewery behind a pub in Oak Street, in the centre of Manchester.

With business blossoming, Holts relocated to Ducie Bridge Brewery in 1855, before purchasing a site in what is now Empire Street in 1860 and built a new brewery that is still their home to the present day.

Joseph's son Edward later received a knighthood for introducing water from the Lake District into Manchester's water supply, and served as Lord Mayor of Manchester.