Saturday, 10 May 2014

Peel Hotel, Higher Bridge Street

Peel Hotel Higher Bridge Street Bolton

The Peel pictured in 1975. The entrance to Gordon's car showroom can just be seen on the left-hand side of the photograph. Falcon Street runs down the side of the Peel. The building directly next to the pub is slightly set back and out of shot of the camera. After the chemist’s and the property next door to that was the entrance to Clarence Street, again slightly out of shot.   Image from the Bolton Library And Museums Service collection. Copyright Bolton Council 

The Peel Hotel was a nineteenth-century pub that was fully licensed by the end of that century. It stood on Higher Bridge Street on the right-hand side as you go out of the town centre and on the opposite corner of  Falcon Street to Gordon’s car showroom.

The pub was one of four in the town to be named after Sir Robert Peel, along with three pubs named the Peel Arms: one on Halliwell Road, one on Sidney Street and one on Waterloo Street.

The Peel on Higher Bridge Street was owned by Threlfalls brewery of Salford at one time, but it was sold to local brewer Magees and passed to Greenall Whitley when they took over Magees in 1958.

It had a lounge area on the right as you entered the pub. A vault – or public bar – was on the left and was also accessible via another entrance on Falcon Street.

In the summer of 1985 it was being reported that the Peel had been closed and was boarded up, along with the Tanners Arms on Nelson Street.  At the time it was up for sale with an asking price of  £48,000; however, just over a year later, in September 1986, it was announced that the Peel had been bought by Bolton Metropolitan Borough  Council and would be demolished as part of the Topp Way extension.

Ironically, Falcon Street was named after a pub at the opposite end, the Falcon, which was bought at the same time.

Both the Peel and the Falcon were demolished in 1987. The following year, in a guide book entitled, Vintage Pubs And Real Ale In The Manchester Area, the Campaign for Real Ale said of the Peel:

“This pub had an elegant fa├žade and a spacious interior with large public bar, comfortable lounge and an upstairs function room. Among the pub ‘memorabilia’ was a fascinating price list from the 1950s.”

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

[2] What’s Doing, the Greater Manchester Beer Drinkers Monthly Magazine, June 1985 issue.

[3] What’s Doing, September 1986.

[4] Vintage Pubs And Real Ale In The Manchester Area. Edited by Peter Barnes.  Published by the Campaign for Real Ale (1988).

A May 2012 image of the area where the Peel used to stand (Copyright Google Street View). The pub was situated roughly where the cars are coming towards us on the right-hand side of the shot. The tree-lined traffic island is where the chemist was on the 1975 shot, with the entrance to Clarence Street now visible next to the row of houses in the distance.

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