Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Talbot Inn (Old Dog), 16 Brown Street

The Talbot Inn - also known as the Old Dog – was one of Bolton’s oldest pubs. It dated back to at least the eighteenth century and appeared on the Great Bolton List of Alehouses of 1778 [1]. The landlord in those days was Edward Woods.

It was situated on Brown Street, which still exists just off Manor Street in that part of town known as Little Bolton.

Little Bolton was home to Bolton’s working-class poor, but it was a hotbed of radical politics in the early part of the nineteenth century. A report in 1816 says that a committee of radicals met at a pub in Dog Court - the Talbot Inn. In those days, pubs were often known for their political affiliations. The George and Dragon on Oxford Street  played host to the Liberal debating society while Conservatives met at the Swan Hotel. Radicals met at “pubs frequented by the lower orders”. [2] This was at a time when Bolton, a town of some 40,000 people, had no parliamentary representation at all, while a “rotten borough” like Old Sarum in Wiltshire, with its 11 voters, sent two MPs to Parliament.

The Talbot closed in 1879. The pub’s full public house licence, which enabled it to sell wine and spirits as well as beer, was a valuable commodity. The licence was transferred to the Railway on Trinity Street. http://lostpubsofbolton.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/railway-hotel-corner-of-trinity-street.html

The Talbot subsequently became a lodging house. It was owned by Robert Lukes in 1905 and by 1924 he had bought up many of the other houses on that row. A number of other properties on Brown Street were also used as lodging houses.

The row was demolished just after World War II and the land has remained empty ever since. It is currently in use as a parking area.

[1] Pubs Of Bolton Town Centre, 1900 – 1986, by Gordon Readyhough. Published by Neil Richardson (1986).

[2] Classic Soil: Community, Aspiration, and Debate in the BoltonRegion of Lancashire, 1819-1845, Malcolm Hardman. Published by Rosemount Publishing and Printing Corporation (2003).  

Brown Street in September 2014 (copyright  Google Street View). The pub was situated on this row, which was demolished in the 1950s.

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