Tuesday, 10 June 2014

One Horseshoe, Manor Street


Two images of the One Horseshoe from the Bolton Library and Museum collection (copyright Bolton Council). The image on the left dates back to the 1930s and shows Manor Street being widened at the bottom. The One Horseshoe can be seen on the left of the image. On the right, the building in 1975 when it was being used by Manor Carpets, a company that still exists at premises on Chorley Old Road. 

In recent years the Bar Nicholas and prior to that Bar Peru, the One Horseshoe existed as a pub from the late-eighteenth century until 1966 when it closed down and became a wallpaper shop.

The One Horseshoe was situated on Manor Street and was initially known simply as the Horse Shoe. It was a departure point for a number of stagecoaches. The 1824 Pigot Directory stated that the ‘Accommodation’ departed for Manchester every morning at 8, while the 1836 Directory listed coaches for Haslingden and Ramsbottom leaving every Monday afternoon at 4.

In their book of local reminiscences, Anne Bromilow and Jim Power recount the tale of a landlord of the One Horseshoe who became known locally as ‘Elephant Man’ after he stored six elephants in the pub’s cellar after a circus arrived in Bolton. The landlord isn’t named, nor is the story dated and the elephants were obviously not fully grown as their heights are given as being between 5ft and 5ft 6 and only just fit into the pub’s cellar. However, the landlord was worried about the authorities finding out about the elephants – hardly surprising – and he also stated that their arrival at his pub with hundreds of children in tow created something of a stir on Bank Street. [1]

The One Horseshoe was owned by the local brewery of Magee, Marshall and Co. It seems to have been bought in 1885. David Marshall & Co owned two breweries: the Grapes Brewery on Brown Street and the Horse Shoe Brewery on Water Street to the rear of the One Horseshoe pub. Magee’s – now owned by the three sons of founder Daniel Magee – bought Marshall’s in 1885 and the One Horseshoe became one of the first Magee,  Marshall pubs when the limited company of Magee, Marshall and Co. Ltd was formed three years later.

When the One Horseshoe closed in 1966 the premises were bought by Gentleman John’s wallpapers. It was later occupied by Manor Carpets before becoming Bar Peru in the nineties.



Manor Street pictured in April 2012 with Bank Street just beyond the bridge over the River Croal. Bar Nicholas in the foreground was One Horseshoe from the late-eighteenth century until 1966. Image copyright Google Street View.

[1] Looking Back: Photographs and Memories of Life in the Bolton Area 1890-1939, Anne Bromilow and Jim Power.

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.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Black Horse Hotel, Blackhorse Street


The Black Horse - and next-door neighbour - pictured in the 1920s.

The Black Horse Hotel was located on Blackhorse Street and dated back to the late-nineteenth century.
Blackhorse Street was initially known as Thweat Street and was named after James Thweat, whose surname was often spelt Thweats or Thwaites. He opened one of Bolton’s first cotton mills in nearby King Street.

The Black Horse pub dated back to the late-eighteenth century and it first appeared in the local licensing records of 1801. [1] Isaac Dobson lived at the pub shortly after he arrived in Bolton in 1789, while Lane’s Masonic Records suggests that the Lodge Of Antiquity, which was formed in Leigh in 1776, met at the Black Horse from 1793 to 1802.
In the early part of the nineteenth century Thweat Street was lined with houses, but it became a heavily-industrialised area as the century went on.

Dobson went into business with Peter Rothwell, the owner of a timber yard on Thweat Street and the firm that eventually became Dobson and Barlow was born.

With Isaac Dobson still resident at the Black Horse the pub eventually became a meeting point form some of the town’s most prominent business people and during the first decade of the nineteenth century the street took on the name of Blackhorse Street – after the pub - which it retains to this day.

These same prominent businessmen, Isaac and Benjamin Dobson, Peter Rothwell and Benjamin Hick, formed ‘the Black Horse Club,’ an informal business club which secured an annuity of £63 15s for the inventor Samuel Crompton, who often drank at the pub and attending meetings of the club. Crompton, who lived in nearby King Street, was famed at the Black Horse for sitting with his one glass of ale and “seldom speaking, except when directly addressed, and then always briefly and to the point.”

Dobson’s business prospered as did Rothwell’s nearby Union Foundry and, presumably, the Black Horse. Dobson's had moved to Kay Street by 1860, by which time the firm was employing 1600 workers.

The Black Horse Inn lasted until 1937. It was a Tong’s house in the early years of the twentieth century and was transferred to Walker Cain Ltd of Warrington when they bought out Tong’s in 1923. As Bolton Council further developed the Civic Centre around the back of the Town Hall they knocked down the Black Horse and landscaped the area. In the late-sixties Black Horse Street was widened to accommodate the increase in bus traffic going into Moor Lane bus station.


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


Blackhorse Street pictured in April 2012 (copyright Google Street View) looking towards Moor Lane bus station. The Black Horse Hotel was situated on the left-hand side of this view. When Howell Croft bus station was closed in 1969 and bus traffic transferred to Moor Lane, Blackhorse Strreet was widened. The Black Horse Hotel was situated where the pavement now stands, roughly just past the lamp post on the left.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Wheatsheaf/Serendipity's, Great Moor Street


Newport Street with Great Moor Street running across pictured in the late-nineteenth century. The 1835 version of the Wheatsheaf can be seen on the left-hand corner.

The story of the Wheatsheaf Hotel is one of three buildings in two locations on opposite sides of the town centre.

While many people will associate the Wheatsheaf with the round building on the corner of Great Moor Street and Newport Street, the original Wheatsheaf stood on Bank Street – ‘Windy Bank’ as it was known to Bolton residents at the end of the 18th century.

In his book Pubs Of Bolton 1800-2000, [1] Gordon Readyhough claims the original Wheatsheaf opened in 1810. However, the list of Bolton pubs from 1778 shows that there was already a Wheatsheaf Hotel with Thomas Haslam as landlord.

The pub stood close to the entrance to the Unitarian chapel on Bank Street and the chapel’s bicentenary book from 1896 makes reference to the Wheatsheaf and its proximity to the chapel’s Sunday School, which was built in 1796:

“It [the Sunday School] stood between the passage to the old chapel and the old Wheatsheaf Inn. On the removal of this inn, with the inn-keeper and the name of the hotel, to the new Wheatsheaf in Newport Street, the school building, along with the inn, was pulled down, and shops built on the site.”

In those days Bank Street was a narrow passage, in fact it was “so very narrow that it was necessary for foot-passengers to step into some shop or doorway to avoid being crushed by a passing cart.” [Sayings and Doings of Parson Folds. Bolton : Geo. Winterburn, 1879, page 34]

In 1818 the landlord of the Wheatsheaf was Samuel Henry and he appears to have run the pub until shortly before it was removed to Newport Street in 1835. In the 1836 Bolton Directory [2], John Platt was the landlord of the Wheatsheaf while Samuel Henry was running a beerhouse on Bridgeman Place. [3] Samuel Henry’s departure may well have been the catalyst for the removal of the Wheatsheaf to its new location.

The Wheatsheaf was sold by auction for £8400 on 3 April 1878 [4] and was run in the 1880s and 1890s by George Walker, the proprietor of the Bolton Brewery Company Ltd. The premises were much larger than the building that still stands today and was run as a hotel, as this old photograph from the late-fifties shows. Here's another shot of the old building, this time from the Bolton Evening News taken in 1961 shortly before it was demolished.

Indeed, there appears to have been a Wheatsheaf Hotel Company that was taken over by the local brewery of Magee, Marshall and Co around 1909. Magee’s ran the pub until they were taken over by Greenall Whitley in 1958.

A few years later, Greenall’s took the decision to knock down the 1835 building and rebuild the Wheatsheaf in a modern style – complete with revolving doors. The new building was set further back than the old Wheatsheaf, but the pub had new neighbours: the western side of Newport Street had been demolished and rebuilt in 1957 and when the new Wheatsheaf was completed in 1962 it was more in keeping with the buildings that had sprung up around it. A new row of shops was later built next to the pub– including a branch of Hanbury’s and Shaw’s outfitters – so that corner of Newport Street and Great Moor Street had architecture which, while perhaps not entirely aesthetically pleasing, at least complemented each other and were much more of their time. Here's a photo from 1963.

The new Wheatsheaf had a much smaller bar area than the old building, though it did have an upstairs function room, used for weddings, engagements and the like, and also heavy rock discos for a few months around 1984.

In 1986, Greenall’s decided to refurbish the Wheatsheaf. The result was £100,000 spent on an “exciting and cosmopolitan” town centre venue known as Serendipity’s. The idea was that instead of being just a pub, Serendipity’s would also serve tea and coffee for passing shoppers.[5]

But for “exciting and cosmopolitan” read ‘one last throw of the dice’. Some of the rougher pubs were at that end of town and with the clientele to match. Serendipity’s did well at first, but towards the end it had become a pub to avoid. It closed around 1994 and after lying empty for a few years it was converted into a branch of cut-price retailer Home Bargains, which opened in 1997.


The former Wheatsheaf, pictured in April 2012. Copyright Google Street View.

[1] Pubs Of Bolton 1800-2000, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (2000).
[2] Four Bolton Directories: 1821/2, 1836, 1843, 1853. Reprinted by Neil Richardson (1982).
[3] The beerhouse on Bridgeman Place that Samuel Henry was running may well have become the Bradford, though not the pub of the same name a few hundred yards from Bridgeman Place, on Bradford Street. This one was where the petrol station now stands.
[4] Annals Of Bolton, James Clegg, 1888
[5] Bolton Beer Break, the magazine of the Bolton branch of the Campaign for Real Ale. Summer 1986 issue.