The Axe & Cleaver is an attractive 19th century pub in the heart of the stunning village of Dunham Massey, sat amidst buttercup-lined fields in the Cheshire countryside.

An attractive brick-and-stone-built pub dating from the Victorian heyday of 1880, The Axe & Cleaver is located in the extremely picturesque village of Dunham Massey. The pub’s handsome beer garden, dotted with trees, looks out onto fields carpeted with buttercups, winding lanes and unique, charming brick houses. Just along the beautiful Bridgewater Canal lies the Grade I listed Dunham Massey Hall, a striking residence built in 1616, set in impressive grounds. An imposing moat adds another layer of grandeur to the hall, and the orangery offers another green and attractive space in a village with an array of them.

At the Axe & Cleaver we pride ourselves on classic pub food cooked with care. Whether it's hand-battered cod & chips, the gourmet burger, or the ever-popular ‘Brewer's Chicken’, now is the time to rediscover your old favourites. Make sure you try our traditional Sunday roasts with a huge a Yorkshire pudding and unlimited gravy. The team at the Axe & Cleaver are passionate about our food menu, so you can relax and enjoy our quality dishes and great service at this fantastic venue.


The Axe & Cleaver pub dates back to 1880, and originated as a house with a beer license. Its attractive stone-and-brick-built exterior has remained virtually unchanged, as has much of the countryside surrounding this 19th century pub – the surrounding area primarily owned by the National Trust.

The village of Dunham Massey was recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as the Manor of Dunham, although settlement in the area goes back several centuries further, with the Old Roman Road (now the A56) between Chester and York passing along the Eastern edge of the village. The ‘Massey’ section of the village’s name comes from Hamo de Masci, who had control of most of the local manors.

Winnington Hall, a stunning Grade I listed former country house lies at the heart of Northwich, with its original timber believed to date from the late 16th century, and the Samuel Wyatt-designed stone extension appeared in 1775. Just a short distance outside Northwich lies Owley Wood, a stunning, bluebell-laden nature reserve, whilst in the other direction, five miles east of Sandiway is the famed Delamere Forest – a spectacular expanse of forest, with an array of auburn and green-leaved trees in the Autumn months.

During the Medieval period, Dunham Massey Hall was built as the home of the manorial lord, though the iconic, present-day hall originates from 1616 and was built by Sir George Booth, of the prominent Booth baronetcy. The carriage hall, one of several impressive buildings within the grounds, includes works by noted painters such as Peter Paul Rubens and Guido Reni. The deer park at Dunham Massey, close by to the main hall, is the only one of Trafford’s medieval parks in existence in the present day. Brookheys Covert, meanwhile, is a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI), with its diverse woodland and array of animals, as well as 57 species of bird; many of them rare.

The town of Altrincham is first referenced in documents from 1290, though there is evidence of the area having been inhabited from prehistoric times. Edward I sealed a Royal Charter for a market here, which began in 1290, and the Baron Hamo de Masci created Altrincham as a borough. To help bring Altrincham to prominence, Hamo is reputed to have closed the Roman road to increase trade in Altrincham’s Old Market Place. Despite the popularity of the market, the town retained a relaxed and rural feel, and the pre-eminent travel writer Celia Fiennes described the countryside around Altrincham as “champion ground” when visiting in 1689. By the end of the following century, the attractive Bridgewater Canal was extended to reach Altrincham, and this enabled produce grown in the town, like onions and carrots, to be transported to Manchester, and such cultivation was one of the Altrincham’s biggest occupations, during this period. The town also became popular with the cotton manufacturers of Manchester, in this early Industrial period, as the city had become a place of smoky air, due to the manufacturing taking place.

Altrincham thrived on the textile industry during the 18th and 19th centuries, which mostly centered around the use of silk, which was obtained from Macclesfield. Altrincham has a proud artistic heritage, as well. The artist Helen Allingham, famed for her scenes of cottages and countryside, was born in 1848, and grew up in Altrincham, living in the town for many years. The town has had a cinema since the first years of the 20th century, and The Playhouse, built here in 1932, was the first purpose-built Amateur theatre in Britain.

After exploring the beautiful grounds of Dunham Massey and its imposing hall, taking in lovely Cheshire Countryside, or heading down to the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), The Axe & Cleaver is a perfect spot for unwinding with delicious pub food, available all day, including tasty Sunday lunches and an excellent range of fine wines and smooth cask ales.

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Axe & Cleaver

School Lane, Cheshire, WA14 4SE


Pub Opening Times

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Pub Facilities

  • Beer Garden
  • Car Parking
  • Disabled Facilities
  • Family Friendly
  • Historic Pub

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