Bolton, Greater Manchester Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning
The history of Bolton
Bolton is a large town in Greater Manchester and traditionally part of Lancashire. A former mill town, Bolton has been a production centre for textiles since Flemish weavers settled in the area in the 14th century, introducing a wool and cotton-weaving tradition.
The urbanisation and development of the town largely coincided with the introduction of textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. Bolton was a 19th-century boomtown and, at its zenith in 1929, its 216 cotton mills and 26 bleachings and dyeing works made it one of the largest and most productive centres of cotton spinning in the world. The British cotton industry declined sharply after the First World War and, by the 1980s, cotton manufacture had virtually ceased in Bolton.
Close to the West Pennine Moors, Bolton is 10 miles (16 km) north-west of Manchester. It is surrounded by several neighbouring towns and villages that together form the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, of which Bolton is the administrative centre. The town of Bolton has a population of 139,403, whilst the wider metropolitan borough has a population of 262,400. Bolton originated as a small settlement in the moorland known as Bolton le Moors. In the English Civil War, the town was a Parliamentarian outpost in a staunchly Royalist region and, as a result, was stormed by 3,000 Royalist troops led by Prince Rupert of the Rhine in 1644. In what became known as the Bolton Massacre, 1,600 residents were killed and 700 were taken, prisoner.
Bolton Wanderers football club play home games at the University of Bolton Stadium and the WBA World light-welterweight champion Amir Khan was born in the town. Cultural interests include the Octagon Theatre and the Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, as well as one of the earliest public libraries established after the Public Libraries Act 1850.
A tradition of cottage spinning and weaving and improvements to spinning technology by local inventors, Richard Arkwright and Samuel Crompton, led to the rapid growth of the textile industry in the 19th century. Crompton, whilst living at Hall i’ th’ Wood, invented the spinning mule in 1779. Streams draining the surrounding moorland into the River Croal provided the water necessary for the bleach works that were a feature of this area. Bleaching using chlorine was introduced in the 1790s by the Ainsworths at Halliwell Bleachworks. Bolton and the surrounding villages had more than thirty bleach works including the Lever Bank Bleach Works in the Irwell Valley. The mule revolutionised cotton spinning by combining the roller drafting of Arkwright’s water frame with the carriage drafting and spindle tip twisting of James Hargreaves’s spinning jenny, producing a high-quality yarn. Self-acting mules were used in Bolton mills until the 1960s producing fine yarn. The earliest mills were situated by the streams and river as at Barrow Bridge, but steam power led to the construction of the large multi-storey mills and their chimneys that dominated Bolton’s skyline, some of which survive today.
The growth of the textile industry was assisted by the availability of coal in the area. By 1896 John Fletcher had coal mines at Ladyshore in Little Lever; The Earl of Bradford had a coal mine at Great Lever; the Darcy Lever Coal Company had mines at Darcy Lever and there were coal mines at Tonge, Breightmet, Deane and Doffcocker. Some of these pits were close to the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal providing the owners with markets in Bolton and Manchester. Coal mining declined in the 20th century.
Important transport links contributed to the growth of the town and the textile industry; the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal constructed in 1791, connected the town to Bury and Manchester providing transport for coal and other basic materials. The Bolton and Leigh Railway, the oldest in Lancashire, opened to goods traffic in 1828 and Great Moor Street station opened to passengers in 1831. The railway initially connected Bolton to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Leigh, an important link with the port of Liverpool for the import of raw cotton from America, but was extended in 1829 to link up with the Manchester to Liverpool Line. Local firms built locomotives for the railway, in 1830 “Union” was built by Rothwell, Hick and Company and two locomotives, “Salamander” and “Veteran” were built by Crook and Dean.
Bolton’s first Mayor, Charles James Darbishire was sympathetic to Chartism and a supporter of the Anti-Corn Law League. In August 1839 Bolton was besieged by Chartist rioters and the Riot Act was read and special constables were sworn in. The mayor accompanied soldiers called to rescue special constables at Little Bolton Town Hall, which was besieged by a mob, and the incident ended without bloodshed. Derby Barracks was established in Fletcher Street in the early 1860s.
One of two statues prominent on Victoria Square near Bolton Town Hall is that of Samuel Taylor Chadwick (1809 – 3 May 1876) a philanthropist who donated funds to Bolton Hospital to create an ear, nose and throat ward. Built houses for people living in cellars, through Bolton Council fought for better public health including cleaner water, established the Chadwick Orphanage, improved the Bolton Workhouse and funded the town natural history museum that was the basis of the present Bolton Museum at Le Mans Crescent, the original museum was in a building at Queens Park. The second statue at Victoria Square is in memory of a former Bolton Mayor Sir Benjamin Alfred Dobson (1847–1898) who died in office in 1898, he was a textile machinery manufacturer and chairman of Dobson & Barlow, a significant employer in the town. By 1900 Bolton was Lancashire’s third-largest engineering centre after Manchester and Oldham. About 9,000 men were employed in the industry, half of them working for Dobson and Barlow in Kay Street.
Another engineering company Hick, Hargreaves & Co based at the Soho Foundry made Lancashire boilers and heavy machinery. Thomas Ryder and Son of Turner Bridge manufactured machine tools for the international motor industry. Wrought iron was produced for more than 100 years at Thomas Walmsley and Sons’ Atlas Forge.
By 1911 the textile industry in Bolton employed about 36,000 people. As of 1920, the Bolton Cardroom Union had more than 15,000 members, while the Bolton Weavers’ Association represented 13,500 workers. The last mill to be constructed was Sir John Holden’s Mill in 1927. The cotton industry declined from the 1920s. A brief upturn after the Second World War was not sustained, and the industry had virtually vanished by the end of the 20th century.
During the night of 26 September 1916, Bolton was the target for an aerial offensive. L21, a Zeppelin commanded by Oberleutnant Kurt Frankenburg of the Imperial German Navy, dropped twenty-one bombs on the town, five of them on the working-class area of Kirk Street, killing thirteen residents and destroying six houses. Further attacks followed on other parts of the town, including three incendiaries, which dropped close to the Town Hall.
In 1899 William Lever, Lord Leverhulme bought Hall i’th’ Wood as a memorial to Samuel Crompton inventor of the spinning mule. Lever restored the dilapidated building and presented it to the town in 1902, having turned it into a museum furnished with household goods typical of domestic family life in the 16th and 17th centuries. Lever re-endowed Bolton Schools, giving land and his house on Chorley New Road. He presented the town with 67 acres (270,000 m2) of land for a public park which the corporation named Leverhulme Park in 1914. In 1902 he gave the people of Bolton Lever Park at Rivington. In 1911, Lever consulted Thomas Mawson, landscape architect and lecturer in Landscape Design at the University of Liverpool, regarding town planning in Bolton. Mawson published “Bolton – a Study in Town Planning and Civic Art” and gave lectures entitled “Bolton Housing and Town Planning Society” which formed the basis of an illustrated book “Bolton – as it is and as it might be”. In 1924, Leverhulme presented Bolton Council with an ambitious plan to rebuild the town centre-based on Mawson’s designs funded partly by himself. The council declined in favour of extending the town hall and building the civic centre.
Situated in the town centre on the site of a former market is the Grade II* listed town hall, an imposing neoclassical building designed by William Hill and opened in June 1873 by Albert Edward, Prince of Wales. In the 1930s the building was extended by Bradshaw Gass & Hope. Within the Town Hall are the Albert Halls and several function rooms. The original, single Albert Hall was destroyed by fire on 14 November 1981. After rebuilding work, it was replaced by the present Albert Halls, which were opened in 1985.
The Great Hall of Smithills Hall was built in the 14th century when William de Radcliffe received the Manor of Smithills from the Hultons, the chapel dates from the 16th century and was extended during the 19th. Smithills Hall was where, in 1555, George Marsh was tried for heresy during the Marian Persecutions. After being “examined” at Smithills, according to local tradition, George Marsh stamped his foot so hard to re-affirm his faith, that a footprint was left in the stone floor. It is a Grade I listed building and is now a museum.
Hall i’ th’ Wood, now a museum, is a late mediaeval yeoman farmer’s house built by Laurence Brownlow. Around 1637 it was owned by the Norris family, who added the stone west wing. In the 18th century, it was divided up into tenements. Samuel Crompton lived and worked there. In the 19th century, it deteriorated further until in 1895 it was bought by industrialist William Hesketh Lever, who restored it and presented it to Bolton Council in 1900.
Bolton’s 26 conservation areas contain 700 listed buildings, many of which are in the town centre, and there is parkland including the Victorian Queen’s Park, Leverhulme Park and other open spaces in the surrounding area. These include Le Mans Crescent, Ye Olde Man & Scythe, Little Bolton Town Hall, the Market Place, Wood Street and Holy Trinity Church. The Market Hall of 1854 is a Grade II listed building. Outside the town centre can be found Mere Hall, Firwood Fold, Haulgh Hall, Park Cottage, St Mary’s Church, Deane, Lostock Hall Gatehouse and All Souls Church. Notable mills still overlooking parts of the town are Sir John Holden’s Mill and Swan Lane Mills.
Most views northwards are dominated by Rivington Pike and the Winter Hill TV Mast on the West Pennine Moors above the town.
Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Greater Manchester is one of the country’s most successful city regions. Home to more than 2.8 million people and with an economy bigger than that of Wales or Northern Ireland. Our vision is to make Greater Manchester one of the best places in the world to grow up, get on and grow old. We’re getting there through a combination of economic growth, and the reform of public services.
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is made up of the ten Greater Manchester councils and Mayor, who work with other local services, businesses, communities and other partners to improve the Greater Manchester City Region.
The ten councils (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan) have worked together voluntarily for many years on issues that affect everyone in the region, like transport, regeneration and attracting investment.
- Professional carpet cleaning
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Areas we cover in Bolton
Blackrod, Bolton, Bradshaw, Bromley Cross, Egerton, Farnworth, Haigh, Harwood, Horwich, Kearsley, Little Lever, Lostock, Over Hulton, Smithills, Stoneclough, Westhoughton.
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