Saturday, 21 February 2015

Middleton Arms, 27 Charles Street

The Middleton Arms was situated at 27-29 Charles Street, on the row between Hulme Street and Lark Street.

The pub dated back to around 1860 and is believed to have taken its name from a family of shopkeepers who branched out into the sale of beer.

The licensee in 1869 was one Sophia Nicholson, a woman who had run a number of pubs in this part of Bolton. She was in charge of an un-named beerhouse in  Lark Street in 1861 and later ran the British Oak on Union Street.

By the 1890s, the Middleton Arms was in the hands of the Bedford Brewing and Malting Company Ltd, a Leigh brewery which was the predecessor of George Shaw and Sons Ltd. [1] At that time, the pub was run by John Summerton and his wife, Mary. But John died in 1897 and although Mary Summerton continued to run the pub for a few years longer before packing it in soon after 1901. By that time she would have been around 70 years old.

The Middleton’s final landlord was Charles McLoughlin. In 1906, the pub was refused its licence and closed down [2]. The premises became a lodging house.

[1] Shaw's gained a considerable presence in Bolton with their takeover of Joseph Sharman & Sons in 1927, a deal that almost bankrupted the company and which forced them into a takeover by Walker Cain Ltd of Liverpool in 1931.

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

Charles Street looks very different now to how it did even in the 1970s. The street deviates from its original route and continues down what used to be Hulme Street, as seen on this view from September 2014 (copyright Google Street View). That part of Charles Street which contained the Middleton  Arms was where the footpath now is in the centre of the image. 

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