According to Edward Law, the Old Hat can be dated back to at least 1763, with an early landlord being James Armitage, "the grandfather of Mr James Armitage, draper, the founder of the firm of Messrs James Armitage & Sons, Buxton Road."
The Old Hat had been a fully-licensed public house until its licence was revoked crica 1812, "in consequence of the assembling of the Luddites there during the troubles of 1812." After that, it reverted to being a beerhouse and was therefore not marked on the 1851 Town Plan.
By the 1850s, the Old Hat beerhouse was owned by tailor and cab proprietor Joseph Oxley of West Parade. Following several unsuccessful attempts, Oxley succeeded in being granted a licence at the Brewster Sessions of 1855.
The inn was rebuilt in 1899 slightly nearer to the road junction, by which time it was owned by Bentley & Shaw, Ltd.
The original location on the inn is shaded in green below.