Coe Street pictured from Bridgeman Street in April 2012 (Copyright Google Street View). Albion Mill can be seen in on the left in the distance. Edbro’s offices on Lever Street can be seen at the far end of the street. One of Coe Street’s two pubs, the Coe Street Tavern, stood on the right-hand side about halfway down this first block.
The area in between Bridgeman Street and Lever Street became heavily-pubbed during the latter part of the eighteenth century. Indeed, it wasn’t unusual for a street to have two or even three beerhouses.
Take Coe Street, for example. The street began to be built up in the early part of the nineteenth century and old maps from 1850 show around half the houses built on the street.
Two beerhouses arrived in the street that century. At number 45 was the New Inn while just across the road, number 52, became the Coe Street Tavern. We’ll take a look at the latter.
The 1853 Bolton Directory shows no beerhouse licences in Coe Street but the 1849 list of Bolton beerhouses show a Coe Street Tavern owned by William Whittaker. By 1877 as the Holy Trinity parish records show the daughter of the landlord, Alfred Rolphs, baptised at the church that year. Their address is 52 Coe Street and Alfred’s profession was given as a ‘beerster’ – or beer seller. He wasn’t in that profession for long and by the time his next daughter, Mary Ellen, was baptised at Holy Trinity in 1882 he was working on the railways and appears to have done so for the rest of his life.
By the end of the century the Coe Street Tavern was owned by the Bolton brewery of John Atkinson on Commission Street, close to where the fire station now is. Atkinson’s pubs were bought by the Manchester brewery of Boardman’s in 1895 and became the property of another Manchester brewery, Cornbrook’s, when they bought out Boardman’s three years later.
The Coe Street Tavern remained a beer house. A number of pubs went for wine and spirits licences but the Tavern remained a beer house until it closed in 1949. Its neighbour across the street, the New Inn, continued in business until 1961 and the whole street was pulled down for redevelopment in the mid-sixties.
Coe Street still exists but it has been part of an industrial estate for almost 50 years.