The Corn Mill Tavern was situated at 120 Blackburn Road just two doors down from the Victoria British Queen. The pub dated back to the 1840s but the building itself was older and its name suggests it may once have been in operation as a corn mill.
There is no record of the pub in the Bolton Directories of either 1843 or 1848. The first record we have of the building being licenced is in 1849 when John Seddon is named as licensee on the list of Little Bolton beerhouses.
By 1861 the Corn Mill was in the hands of the Grundy family and it would remain so for the next 20 years. John Grundy was a former crofter from the Waters Meeting area of Little Bolton close to Astley Bridge. In 1851 he and his family were all working at Thwaites bleachworks at Waters Meeting. Ten years later he was the landlord of the Corn Mill. John Grundy died in 1867 and the Corn Mill passed to his son William. He ran it until his death in 1882 at the age of 51.
The Corn Mill was noted not just as a pub but as a brewery. Certainly in 1895 William Green is listed as a brewer at the pub but he also had an office in the centre of town at 42 Silverwell Lane to organise the distribution of the brewery’s products to the wider area. He was one of nine so-called ‘common brewers’ in the town in 1895, i.e. brewers who sold products to other pubs. But while William Green is listed as the pub's brewer its licensee was Robert Rawsthorne. He committed suicide in 1895 shortly before a court appearance to answer allegations of an indecent assault. Shortly afterwards the Corn Mill and its brewery was sold to the much larger concern of Joseph Sharman & Co Ltd. By 1901 William Green was running another Sharman's pub, the Stanley Arms on Egytpian Street, less than a quarter of a mile away from the Corn Mill.
The Corn Mill lasted little more than a decade under Sharman's. There were numerous pubs at the bottom end of Blackburn Road and nearby Halliwell Road and Sharman's also owned the Bowling Green less than a hundred yards away.
The Corn Mill closed in 1906. Gordon Readyhough writes in Bolton Pubs 1800-2000 that the licence was given up as part of a deal to grant a full licence to the Sunnyside Hotel at the bottom of Adelaide Street, off St Helens Road. However, press reports at the time of the licensing session make no mention of the Corn Mill although it is entirely possible that magistrates insisted on Sharman's giving up one of its own licences. Sharman's paid £1500 to Bolton Council for the licence of a pub that they didn't own. the Ship Inn, a long-established inn on Bradshawgate that was being demolished as part of a road-widening scheme. The council had bought the Ship under a compulsory purchase order and the Ship's licence was transferred to the Sunnyside.
The Corn Mill eventually became part of Relphs Funeral Service, now Relphs Funeralcare and owned by the Co-Op. The building still stands.