Thursday, 15 May 2014

Duke/Archduke Charles, Deane Road

Duke Deane Road Bolton

The Duke – or the Archduke Charles Hotel – to give it its full original name was situated at the bottom of Deane Road, close to its junction with Mayor Street and University Way (formerly College Way).

The pub was actually one of the earliest in the area and Gordon Readyhough states that it dated back to the late-eighteenth century. [1]

By the middle of the nineteenth century terraced streets had begun to spring up on the opposite side of Deane Road, which in those days was known as Blackburn Street from town up to Cannon Street and Pikes Lane from Cannon Street onwards. Punch Street, Duncan Street and Noble Street were all in existence by 1849 and soon the stretch beyond the Duke and down towards town would consist of more housing and more than a dozen beerhouses in the space of just a few hundred yards.

Not far from the Duke was Chamber Hall. This was the seat of a branch of the Ormrod family, wealthy industrialists who made their money from cotton and banking. James Ormrod was a partner in the Bolton Bank, which through various takeovers and mergers, now forms part of the Royal Bank Of Scotland.

Chamber Hall and its land ran from close to the Duke all the way up towards what is now the Pikes Lane Health Centre and down towards the Bolton to Preston railway line.

On James’s death in 1825, his son Peter inherited his stake in the bank as well as his cotton manufacturing business. From 1856 to 1858 Peter built Wyresdale Hall at Scorton, near Garstang, some 40 miles from Deane. Chamber Hall appears to have been abandoned as the Ormrods left for their country estate and the hall was later demolished.

Rows of streets sprang up on the former Chamber Hall site and by the end of the nineteenth century the Duke, which still had its own brewery at that time, had an abundance of potential custom on its doorstep. It also had competition in the shape of the Deane Conservative Club, which had opened up just a few doors away. Indeed, when the new streets close to the pub were laid out two of them – Beaconsfield Street and Salisbury Street - took the names of prominent Conservative politicians of the day.

The Duke’s brewhouse lasted until the early part of the twentieth century. The pub was then bought by a local firm, William Tong’s, whose Diamond Brewery was situated little more than half a mile from the Duke, further up Deane Road – as it had by then become known – at the junction with Balshaw Lane. Tong’s were bought out by George Shaw of Leigh in 1923 and Shaw’s were in turn swallowed up by Walker Cain Ltd of Warrington a few years later. Walker’s merged with Joshua Tetley of Leeds in 1961 to form Tetley Walker.

It was as a Walker’s pub that the photograph at the top of the page was taken in the late-twenties. By then all reference to Archduke Charles was gone and it was operating under its former nickname. Given that the original Archduke Charles was an Austrian general there is every chance that the name was changed during World War 1. 

Note the words ‘Parlour’ and ‘Vault’ etched into the windows. The pub had a central entrance with a classic two-roomed layout and that arrangement continued until it closed in the 1990s.

The Duke Deane Road Bolton

The Duke was sold off and a takeway now stands on its site. For a while a sign proclaimed that short row of buildings as ‘Duke’s Corner’ though that has now gone.

The Conservative Club moved some years ago to a site further up Wigan Road, though it closed in 2011.  The building was demolished and is now a parking site noted for the presence of a takeaway situated in a converted airliner.

[1] Bolton Pubs 1800-2000, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (2000).

The Duke pictured as it looked in April 2012 (Copyright Google Street View). The red double-decker bus in the distance is a mobile takeaway that often stands on the site of the original Deane Conservative Club.

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