Saturday, 14 February 2015

Fountain Inn, 30-32 Nelson Street

The Fountain Inn stood on Nelson Street on the site of what later became a part of Walker’s Tannery.

The pub dated back to around 1870 and we know that James Morris as an early licensee.

By 1891 the licensee was Christopher Adamson. Like many pub landlords of the day - particularly on the south side of Bolton - he was an ex-coalminer who took the opportunity to get out of the mines and into something different. It didn’t always work out, although for Christopher he was to spend the final years of his life in the licensed trade.

Christopher married Margaret Adamson in 1882. At that time he lived on Earl Street, just off Lever Street not far from the footbridge over the railway line. Margaret lived in nearby Grant Street. Neither was more than a couple of hundred yards from the Fountain Inn and within a few years they were licensees of the pub.

Christopher and Margaret had four children during their time at the Fountain, but that was to end abruptly when Christopher died in 1899 aged just 44. Margaret had to leave the pub and the 1901 Census records her as living at the workhouse in Farnworth, while one of the four children, nine-year-old Chris, was living with relatives on Chorley Old Road. There is no record of the whereabouts of the other three children, although one of their daughters, Annie, married William Horrocks in 1914. Margaret died in 1904. Poor Chris was also destined for an early grave. He died in 1926 aged just 35 leaving a wife and a two-year-old son.

The Fountain was owned by Robert Wood of the Prince Arthur brewery, but that company ceased trading during the first World War and the pub was bought by another local brewery, Magee Marshall. It closed in 1930 and was bought by Walker’s Tannery for an extension to their works. Lincoln House, an office block completed in 2011, now stands on the site (see the image below from September 2013, copyright Google Street View).

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