A Methodist preacher on Kay Street in the early years of the twentieth century. The Falcon is on the right, but the Black Horse can be seen on the other side of the street. It is the second of the two buildings on the left-hand side of the road as we look. This small ‘row’ stood between Falcon Street and Dale Street. The pub’s name board is empty which suggests the photo was taken after 1901 which was when the Black Horse closed.
The Black Horse was situated at 91 Kay Street, across the road from the Falcon Hotel.
The pub’s first mention is in the 1848 Bolton Directory when John Bates is the licensee. By 1851 John Bates had moved up in the world and was running a fully licensed pub on Churchgate along with his wife, Sarah. He later became a wheelwright. In 1861 the licensee of the Black Horse was Joseph Stockton, who had moved to the nearby Foresters Arms by 1869.
The difficult nature of the licensed trade is illustrated by Henry Brownlow who was at the Black Horse by 1871. He was an iron planer on Todd Street in 1861, by 1881 he was back working in an iron foundry.
Samuel Scowcroft, who was the licensee in 1881, is described as a ‘publican and out-of-work mechanic’ but he and his relatives ran the pub until its close. He presumably found work back in his chosen trade and transferred the Black Horse’s licence to his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Brindle. She ran the pub until she died in 1893. Samuel had died in 1892 and so after Elizabeth died the pub was run by Samuel’s widow, Mary Anne Scowcroft and their daughter, Mary.
The Black Horse closed in 1901 when it was a Sharman’s pub. It subsequently became retail premises and was occupied by Mrs Helen Ainscow, a wardrobe dealer,in 1905. It was demolished in the fifties and the Britannia Service Station was initially built on its site.
The same view of Kay Street taken in September 2014 (copyright Google Street View). The dual carriageway runs roughly where the Black Horse once stood. The Falcon has given way to a filter from the by-pass into Turton Street.