Sunday, 23 November 2014

Wheatsheaf, 76 Blackburn Street (76 Deane Road)

Wheatsheaf Deane Road Bolton
The Wheatsheaf pictured in the 1960s

The area of Bolton at the bottom of Deane Road was originally known as Blackburn  Street from the junction with Cannon Street down to turn and then  Pikes Lane from Mayor Street up to Deane.

Blackburn Street was the home to a number of beerhouses with the 1853 Bolton Directory listing no fewer than eight with one fully-licensed public house. One of those eight beerhouses was the Wheatsheaf, situated near the town end of Blackburn Street.

Like so many pubs at the time, the Wheatsheaf brewed its own beer. But there was a disaster at the pub in April 1875 when an explosion killed one man and one child and completely destroyed the pub. Adjoining premises were also badly damaged.

The landlord at the time was a man named William Greenhalgh who faced criminal charges following the incident, which was caused by a boiler used in the brewery. At the inquest the jury found that Greenhalgh had been negligent in the management of the boiler, which was in a poor condition. But they did not feel justified in returning a verdict of manslaughter against him. [1]

The Wheatsheaf was re-built and by the 1880s it was under the control of Mark O’Boyle, who was landlord of the Derby Arms on nearby Derby Street. He also owned the Shamrock on Soho Street on what is now the site of Morrisons supermarket.

The Wheatsheaf was bought by Magee’s and was a Greenall’s house when it was closed in the seventies. [2]

The site of the pub was used for parking for many years until Bolton College was built on its site in 2010.

[1] Annals Of Bolton, James Clegg (1888).

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

Bolton College, re-located from Manchester Road to Deane Road and completed in 2010. The Wheatsheaf was one of a number of buildings that stood on this site.


  1. Do you have any record of a pub at 59 Blackburn Street please? I am researching my family tree and I found that one of my forebears worked there. You can e-mail me on if you wish.
    Many thanks.

  2. It could be the Royal George (also known as the Ship Royal George). It was at 59 Blackburn Road in the Little Bolton area which was north of the town centre. However, the bottom end of Blackburn Road was at one time known as Blackburn Street.

    1. Thanks for your reply. I came to the same conclusion separately. It was indeed the Royal George.
      Best wishes,

  3. Wow….!!! Such a nice place. Very impressive post. Thank you for sharing.
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