Thursday, 24 July 2014

Kings Head Hotel, Deansgate

Blackhorse Street with the Hen and Chickens to the left of it in this April 2012 image (Copyright Google Street View). The King’s Head directly adjoined the Hen and Chickens although it was the ‘junior’ of the two pubs.  

Many readers will know the King’s Head on Junction Road – one of Bolton’s oldest pubs – but there was another pub by that name in the town centre until the late sixties.

The King’s Head Hotel dated back to the late-eighteenth century, according to Gordon Readyhough [1]. We can narrow that down to the final 20 years of that century as it doesn’t appear on the list of Bolton pubs from 1779.

Although the Kings Head ended its days as a Tetley Walker House it was a Magee’s pub at one stage and we can only guess that it was sold by the brewery as it was right next door to another Magee’s pub, the Hen and Chickens.

The King’s Head came undone by the needs of public transport. When Bolton  Corporation decided to close Howell Croft bus station and directed the vast majority of bus traffic into Moor Lane they realised that the Blackhorse Street junction with Deansgate was far too small to cope. A projected increased in the size and nature of traffic from the north of the town meant the junction needed to be widened.

Sadly, the King’s Head had to go and it, along with a small shop next door, closed in 1968 and were demolished that year.

Next door but one to the King’s Head stood the Hippodrome Theatre and the King’s Head, the Hen and Chickens, and other nearby pubs such as the Greyhound, the Gypsy’s Tent, the Blue Boar and the White Lion would have served many thirsty patrons both during and after performances.

Photos of the Hippodrome can be seen here , here, and here. The photos are dated 1950, but given that the demolition of the King’s Head is in progress in at least two of the photos the images are more likely to be from 1968 or 1969.

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

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