Sunday, 18 May 2014

Albion Hotel, Bridgeman Street

The bottom end of Bridgeman Street pictured in May 2012 (copyright Google Street View). The boarded-up Church Hotel is on the left. Station Street is on the left-hand side of the street running across the picture, Moncrieffe Street runs to the right. The Albion Hotel was actually situated on the other side of the role on the corner of a very brief continuation of Bridgeman Street, with the railway line running behind it.

This isn’t the Albion Hotel on Moor Lane. That’s very much alive and well, thankfully – this is another Albion, a long-lost pub once situated at the very bottom of Bridgeman Street, and although both pubs date back to around the middle of the nineteenth century by the dawn of the twentieth-century only the Moor Lane Albion remained.

Bridgeman Street was once said to be the longest street in Bolton. Initially it ran from Bradford Street all the way up to High Street and was later extended even further up to Adelaide Street.

In 1838 Bridgeman Street was affected by the opening of the Manchester to Bolton railway. This involved digging a huge ditch to accommodate the new rail tracks with Bridgeman Street carried over the line by means of a bridge.

By 1849 the Albion Hotel was in existence as a public house – not a beer house - at the corner of Bridgeman Street and Station Street, a street that still exists to this day. Station Street ran down the side of the old Trinity Station building for just a few yards until it met Moncrieffe Street outside the Church Hotel, but when the old station building was pulled down in 1987 Station Street was truncated just a few yards where it met the main carriageway.

The Albion’s existence became a little more precarious in 1884 when Bridgeman Street bridge was pulled down and the street split into two: the original Bridgeman Street, which ends where it meets Crook Street with the Church Hotel on the corner, and Lower Bridgeman Street which runs on the other side of the railway line.

The pub’s luck ran out in 1899. By then the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway owned the premises and they decided to pull it down. An 1891 map of Bolton shows the Albion all alone, opposite the Church Hotel and with the railway line running behind it. It was very much in the way. Nathaniel Tyldesley had run the pub for over 20 years and, in his late sixties, he sold out to the railway company

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