Monday, 12 May 2014

Horse And Jockey, Bradshawgate

The junction of Great Moor Street and Bradshawgate pictured in May 2012 (copyright Google Street View). In 1875 the bottom end of Great Moor Street was known as Old Acres and was less than half the width it is now. As part of a road widening scheme a number of buildings on Bradshawgate were demolished and the row including the Balmoral was built in their place.

This isn’t a pub that any living person will remember given that it closed in 1875, but we’re going back to the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries now for a pub that was actually a predecessor to one of our current licensed premises.

The Horse and Jockey opened in the 1790s [1] at a site close to the modern-day junction of Bradshawgate and Great Moor Street, the bottom end of which was known as Old Acres. Emen Davenport was listed as the pub’s owner in the 1818 and 1824 Bolton Directories, by which it time it was more commonly known as the Old Horse & Jockey despite only having been in existence for perhaps 30 years or so. By 1836 it was being run by Samuel Horrocks, who was also a musician.

Henry Dutton was in charge during the 1840s and 1850s and in 1859 it was the meeting place of the Waltonian Angling Club with a local politician, Alderman Richard Dunderdale, as its chairman. [2] The club took its name from Izaak Walton, the seventeenth-century author of The Compleat Angler, an early fisherman’s handbook and a number of towns opened ‘Waltonian’ fishing clubs in his honour.

Dunderdale was a tea dealer operating from premises on Deansgate and sat on Bolton Council. The title of ‘Alderman’ suggests he was chosen by his fellow councillors rather than having to submit to what passed for the electoral process in the middle of the nineteenth-century.

By the 1870s Old Acres was just a narrow street at its junction with Bradshawgate, but it was the point of entry into the town for people travelling from Bolton Moor, which had grown in population during the nineteenth century meaning that traffic had become much heavier. The council decided to improve the junction, but also to widen Bradshawgate down to where it meets Nelson Square.

In February 1875 the owner of the Horse and Jockey, William Bridge, received a letter from the council asking for him to deliver possession of the premises. Another similarly-named pub the Horse and Groom, further along Bradshawgate, was also purchased along with a number of other properties along the same row. The properties were demolished later that year and a new row of buildings emerged in their place.

The Horse and Jockey’s public house licence was transferred to the Derby Arms at the bottom of Derby Street; however, one of the new properties built in place of the Horse and Jockey was the Balmoral Hotel, which opened in 1876 and which continues to trade to this day.

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

[2] Leisure In Bolton, 1750-1900, Robert Poole (1982).

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