The Red Lion was situated at the Derby Street end of Crook Street, just four doors along from the Flying Horse.
The pub dated back to the 1840s, probably the latter end of that decade. It first appears in the 1849 licensing records when the licensee was James Nuttall.
The Red Lion was owned by William T Settle whose brewery was based near the Rose and Crown pub, off Turton Street. However, in the early days of its ownership the brewery was known as Booth’s. William T Settle was born out of wedlock to Robert Booth and Rachel Settle. The couple later married and had two more sons, Albert and Daniel. Meanwhile, William T Settle went to work in the Rose and Crown’s brewery as a 14-year-old and later took over the business. He expanded the tied estate and installed his brothers at two of its pubs, Daniel at the Rope and Anchor on Kay Street and Albert at the Red Lion.
One day, during a visit to the pub, William and Albert got into an argument during the course of which Albert remarked that the name of the brewery – Booth’s – didn’t correspond with William’s surname of Settle. William picked up a stool, smashed the window with the Booth’s brewery name on it and said “It will have Settle’s Ales on it tomorrow”. All the pubs were subsequently changed to Settle’s.
Settle’s remained in control of the Red Lion until 1951. The brewery and its pubs were then sold to Dutton’s of Blackburn.
The Red Lion last for just two more years before being closed in 1953. It remained standing for some years afterwards but it was demolished in the mid seventies.
This image of the slip road to Aldi looking towards the bottom of Derby Street was taken in May 2012 and is copyright Google Street View. The site of the Red Lion was on the left of the image roughly where the slip road starts.