Friday, 27 November 2015

Royal George (Ship Royal George), 59 Blackburn Road, Bolton

The Royal George was named after one of the eight Royal Navy ships that carried the name HMS Royal George.

The pub - which was originally known as the Ship Royal George - dated back to the 1830s when local directories gave its address as Blackburn Street (1836), Halliwell Road (1843 and the 1849 licensing list), and back to 28 Blackburn Street by 1855. By 1870 the address was given as 59 Blackburn Road. It was actually situated close to what is now the Blackburn Road/Halliwell Road junction on the corner with Moss Street.

One constant in all this is the Settle family who ran the pub from its establishment until around 1870. John Settle was the pub’s founder and he ran the pub until the 1860s when he was succeeded by his son, Thomas. Thomas also married into the pub trade in 1864. His wife Mary Anne was the daughter of Benjamin Hart, landlord of the Horse Shoe in the New Market Place (now Victoria Square).

But either Thomas doesn’t seem to have made a good fist of running the pub or he decided to get out of the trade when John Settle died in 1870. Thomas and Mary Anne were still at the pub on the 1871 census, but by 1881 they were living at Clyde Street where he is described as a retired beerseller. 

After the settles Reece Ivill is listed as the licensee in 1876 and William Street was there according to the 1881 Census. He had been at the Bank View on Kestor Street in 1876. 

The Royal George was unusual in that it was owned at various time by two of Bolton’s ‘big three’ brewers having been a Magee’s house in the late-nineteenth century and then owned by Sharman’s up to its closure. Sharman’s was a relatively local concern being situated next to Mere Hall.

The pub closed in 1922 and the building was converted to alternative uses. It was demolished in the 1960s as part of the clearance of much of the area between Blackburn Road and Chorley Old Road.

Royal George Ship Royal George Bolton site of

Blackburn Road near its junction with Halliwell Road in August 2015 (copyright Google Street View). Thanks to various road improvements Blackburn Road is much wider than it was before the 1970s.  Indeed, the Royal George was demolished to help facilitate those improvements. But the old layout can be gauged by the fact that the pavement we can see on Blackburn Road as it disappears into the distance ran at the same level on this stretch. The junction with Moss Street was just before the junction with Halliwell Road so this shot is within a few feet of where the Royal George used to stand.

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