Sunday, 8 June 2014

Monteraze, Manchester Road

The site of Monteraze in April 2012 (copyright Google Street View). The former pub is now an orthodontist's surgery.

A relatively short-lived pub – it lasted 15 years – Monteraze was situated at 464 Manchester Road, about half a mile away from Burnden Park. The pub was run for a number of years by a former Bolton Wanderers player, Roy Greaves.

The stretch of Manchester Road from Burnden Park down to the former Greyhound near St Michael’s church never had a reputation for its pubs. The other main roads out of town – Bury Road, Derby Street, Deane Road and Blackburn Road – all benefited from the explosion of pubs following the 1830 Beerhouse Act. Tonge Moor Road didn’t, largely because various covenants forbade pubs to be built. 

Manchester Road didn’t have many pubs largely because it became sparsely populated once you got through Burnden. The King William IV was the last pub for almost a mile.

Of course, those that did live there – the middle- and upper-class mill-owners – weren’t likely to slum it with the hoi-polloi in the local boozer.

Have a look at this map of the area from the late-twenties. By then the pub boom of the nineteeth century was long gone and the urbanisation of the outskirts of Bolton was just beginning. The map shows Manchester Road lined with homes with names such as Woodlands, Mayfield and Summerfield. Mayfield Avenue and Bradford Avenue had been built on the site of another villa-type residence, Bradford House. Summerfield was next door to the building that became Monteraze and was home to the Baines family of cotton manfacturers.

That was the kind of person that lived on Manchester Road in the nineteenth century.

Monteraze opened in the autumn of 1989 with the local beer drinkers’ magazine reporting that cask beer from John Smith’s and Courage was being sold [1]. It became popular on Bolton Wanderers match days as offering something a little different to other pre-match pubs such as the Cattle Market or the King Bill.

But perhaps the Wanderers connection was to be its downfall. A few years after Monteraze opened for business the club announced it was moving to Horwich and while the move took a few years from inception to completion it meant a long, slow death for Monteraze.

The pub closed around 2004 and is now an orthodontist surgery. It still looks similar to its days as a pub with a reception area where the bar once was and the pub’s two rooms now waiting areas.

[1] What’s Doing, the Greater Manchester beer drinkers' monthly magazine. November 1989 issue.

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