When Bolton was granted the charter in 1251 to hold a market, it was held here
until it became too large, when it moved to Market (now Victoria) Square in
1824. Churchgate used to be the entertainment area of Bolton, there used to be
two theatres, the Grand and the Theatre Royal as well as the Capitol cinema.
There also used to be a gateway or archway part way down towards the church
itself. Silverwell Lane led into Silverwell
At the entrance to Churchgate is the Marketgate Cross (pictured at bottom),
which is close to the spot where James Stanley, the Earl of Derby was executed
after the Civil War. Around the base of the
cross are plaques detailing the history of Bolton.
The orange building on the left is the site of the old cinema, which became a
sports hall before its demolition and this office block being built in the
You may go inside the Ye Olde Man and Scythe Inn.
A plaque outside states In this ancient hostelry, James Stanley 7th
Earl of Derby passed his last few hours of his life previous to his execution
Wed 15th October 1651.
Sir Richard Arkwright had a barbers shop here before he moved to London, and
invented his Water Frame. He was married to Patients Hold in St Peter's on March 31st 1755. The plaque above the
newsagent reads: Sir Richard Arkwright inventor of the water frame for
cotton spinning occupied a shop on this site as a barber and peruke maker from
1760 to 1768. He died August 3rd 1792 aged 60. Arkwright used to travel
as a peruke (wig) maker to collect hair, and during one such expedition, he
met with Kay, a clockmaker when he got interested in cotton machinery. Using
water, he created a yarn known as water twist. This is not the original
building, it long since been demolished and this one built in the late 1890's.
Go into the Sandwich Inn
They have an interesting variation on the 'beefburger' and there's a long
history to this shop. The present owners are direct relations of the purveyors
of fine ice cream! (This closed of c2003).
Go to the parish church of St. Peter's
Here you can get meat and potato pasties, made and baked in the shop. First
dated 1667, this timber framed building with Georgian bow windows is the only
such example in Bolton.
Have a look around the graveyard, find out more about the church and have a
19k GIF 70k JPEG
St Peters at night December 2002
This is a similar night view
Read the B.E.N.!
The evening newspaper moved here from its original premises in Mealhouse Lane
and is part of the Reed group of newspapers, and an
online copy is available.
This building occupies the former site of the Grand Theatre.
The paved River Croal runs towards and underneath
Churchgate on its way to Farnworth where it
joins the River Irwell. Until the incorporation of Bolton in 1838, this was
a very dirty river, being used for sewerage. It was then paved in stages
all the way from Queen's Park to and beyond
Go out of Churchgate
On the left hand side is the Marketgate Cross. At the base of the
cross are plaques which detail the history of Bolton
. The building to the right, Preston's of Bolton, is a jewellers with a time
ball above its dome, which you can read more about.
You may also go back the way you came by hitting your browsers BACK
Back to the town hall steps
Please email the webmaster to
request additional depth, detailing what you want to see.
DISCLAIMER: Errors and Omissions Excepted.