Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Baths Tavern, 42 Bridgeman Place

The Baths Tavern stood at number 42 Bridgeman Place. This beerhouse dated back to the middle of the nineteenth century and it took its name from the nearby Bolton Baths which opened on Lower Bridgeman Street in 1845. The privately-owned bathing facility was believed to be the first public baths in the country since Roman times.

For many years the Baths Tavern was run by the same family. Thomas Lane was a cooper on Chancery Lane in the 1840s. By 1853 he was working at premises on Churchbank but he died in 1858. His wife, Jane Lane, was Welsh, born in Denbigh in 1817 and the couple had one daughter, Sarah, who was born in late-1839 or early-1840 and one son, William, born 1836.. Jane was listed as the licensee of the Baths Tavern in the 1860s though it is entirely feasible that she took on the pub along with her husband while he was still alive. By 1871 she was living at the pub alone but with a servant in residence.

Jane Lane died in 1881. At the time, her daughter Sarah was living with her at the pub as she entered the final stage of her life.  Some of Sarah’s younger children were with her while her husband, Reuben Bolton, a baker, lived in nearby Matthew Street South with the rest of the family.

After Jane’s death, Sarah Bolton took over the running of the pub. She was to remain there for the rest of her life. Reuben Bolton died in 1896 and by 1911 Sarah was at the pub with her four unmarried adult children. Three daughters worked at the pub while her son worked elsewhere as a patternmaker.

Sarah Bolton died in 1925. In 1927, the owners of the nearby Globe Hosiery Works, Hodgkinson and Gillibrand Ltd, wanted to rebuild and expand their factory. That meant buying seven properties, including the Baths Tavern, which were owned by the Earl Of Bradford. The pub closed down and the new Globe works was completed in 1929. The building remains on the site today.

 Bridgeman Place in September 2014 with Salop Street running off to the left (copyright Google Street View). The Baths Tavern was directly opposite the entrance to Salop Street.

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