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Bolton's Elephants

[painted elephant]

69k JPEG on the top of the canopy in Victoria Square March 1996

This elephant, weighing 1062kg and made out of cast iron, sits proudly on the canopy in Victoria Square, and is one of a pair here, that used to sit atop the gateposts of the Bolton Bleachworks until 1977.

There are many elephants, and castles, in and around Bolton, most inspired from the Coat of Arms. In 1890, Major Ottley Perry incorporated the elephant into the former Bolton County Borough arms in respect of the (unproven) connection between Bolton and the ancient Diocese of Mercia, in the old county of Coventry, created by Lancastrian King Henry VI. The Diocese included Bolton, and for that reason a Lancashire Red Rose, and the elephant is shown in the Armorial Bearings.

However, the symbol of the elephant has been in use in Bolton for much longer, and one of the first recorded uses was in the official stamp of the Clerk to the Board of Trustees in 1799.

Bolton Metropolitan Council has produced an activity booklet called the Elephant Trail, recently updated. I am currently working on a much extended internet version which will appear here.

[stonework on top of building]

20k GIF 80k JPEG Elephant on top of crest on the Bank of Bolton August 2000

In Deansgate.

[black elephant on pole]

20k GIF 66k JPEG Elephant topped bollard August 2000

At Ashburner Street Market.

[crest with elephant in silver]

21k GIF 71k JPEG Crest featuring elephant on bin August 2000

In Victoria Square.

[carved stone elephant]

32k GIF 116k JPEG Elephant on war memorial August 2000

This is one of a pair either side of the war memorial in Victoria Square.

[etched crest in glass]

26k GIF 90k JPEG Coat of Arms etched in canopy glass September 2000

This 'engraving' is in one of the panels of the canopy.

[stone building crest]

25k GIF 72k JPEG Crest over Ashburner Street market hall September 2000

This stone carving is in remarkable condition considering its age. It is at one corner of the building at the junction with Blackhorse Street.

[stone crest]

20k GIF 90k JPEG Coat of Arms over Old School Rooms, September 2001

The elephant can be seen in the Coat of Arms over the Old School Rooms in Great Moor Street.


47k GIF 138k JPEG Plaque on Bradford Street Bridge December 2000

This is in the Springfield area on Bradford Road, on the bridge going over St. Peter's Way.


32k GIF 108k JPEG Railings on library September 2000

Look closely at the railings, they are like elephant's tusks.

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