Saturday, 10 May 2014

Arrowsmiths Arms, Mill Street

Well Street, Bolton. On the other side of the wall at the end of the street is St Peter’s Way, but it also marks the spot where Well Street met Mill Street. The Arrowsmiths Arms stood on the corner of those two streets.

The Arrowsmith family were early industrialists in Bolton. James Arrowsmith was a counterpane and quilt manufacturer, who had a warehouse built in Craddock Lane in the Mill Hill area. Not far away, on Mill Street, David Morris opened a beer house and shop which was in existence by 1836 and which he named the Arrowsmiths Arms, presumably after the local industrialist.

Soon after it opened Morris obtained a full licence for the pub. The 1843 Bolton Directory shows that Morris was still a ‘beer seller’ – in other words, he hadn’t yet obtained the full licence. However, the 1849 licensing list shows that the Arrowsmiths Arms was a public house licensed to serve wine and spirits as well as beer. [1]

In February 1905 a tragedy occurred at the pub when the landlord, Robert Tonge, fell downstairs and died the following day of his injuries. His widow, Edith, continued to run the pub after his death.

The Arrowsmith’s was owned by Sharman’s brewery and was one of 20 pubs transferred to George Shaw of Leigh when they took over Sharman’s in 1926. Shaw’s was in turn taken over by Walker Cain Ltd of Warrington in 1931.

As we have seen with the Old Robin Hood on Lever Street  when Walker’s reviewed their Bolton estate with the acquisition of Shaw’s and the earlier purchase of another Bolton brewery, William Tong’s, 
they decided that the Arrowsmith’s full licence was more valuable than the pub itself as a going concern. The King William IV beerhouse on Manchester Road opposite Burnden Park could do with a full licence so in 1933 the Arrowsmiths Arms closed down and its licence was transferred to the King Bill.

The location for the Arrowsmiths was on Mill Street the corner of Well St, which means that St Peters Way now runs over the site of the pub.


[1] Four Bolton Directories: 1821/2, 1836, 1843, 1853. Reprinted by Neil Richardson (2000).

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