Sunday, 5 October 2014

Town Hall Hotel, Old Hall Street South

Town Hall Hotel, Old Hall Street South, Bolton

A side view of the Town Hall Hotel taken in the 1920s from the side of the town hall itself. The entrance was on Old Hall Street South, which ran down the side of the pub.

Image from the Bolton Library And Museums Service collection. Copyright Bolton Council.

The Town Hall Hotel – not to be confused with the nearby Town Hall Tavern – stood on Old Hall Street South. It dated back to the 1840s and was originally known as the Stork.

Old Hall Street South no longer exists, though Old Street North is still there. It is the small side street that runs down the side of Beale’s to Le Mans Crescent. In the 1840s it went as far as Ashburner Street, but it was split into two in the 1870s with the building of Bolton Town Hall. This majestic symbol of civic pride cost taxpayers £167,000 having originally been slated to cost only £60,000.

In the early 1860s the town’s mayor, Alderman James Wolfenden, championed the idea of a new town hall on the site of the old pot market. What is now Victoria Square was, at that time, the town’s market place.

As plans came to fruition and the imposing building arose at the side of his pub, the landlord of the Stork, Henry Grindrod, had an idea. He renamed his pub the Town Hall Hotel and in doing so he pre-dated the actual town hall. By the time the new building was declared open on 5 June 1873, Grindrod’s Town Hall Hotel had been trading under its new moniker for quite some time.

The construction also meant that the Town Hall Hotel was now at the end of its row as previously it was in the middle of a terrace. The laying out of the new Town Hall Square meant the demolition of some of the pub’s neighbouring properties and the partition of Old Hall Street. The Town Hall Hotel was now on Old Hall Street South.

The Crown Brewery Company of Bury bought the Town Hall Hotel during the First World War but in 1933 they decided to close the pub. The former pub remained standing until 1947 when it was demolished along with a number of other buildings on Old Hall Street South. The area was landscaped and became a grass enclosure surrounded by benches. In 1967 the Octagon Theatre was built on part of the enclosure. The Wellsprings was built on the rest of the site in 1983.

Old Hall Street South no longer exists. The rebuilding of the west side of Newport Street in 1957 meant that Coronation Street was slightly diverted and extended to meet what was then the Town Hall Square.


For pub-goers of a more recent vintage, the entrance to entrance to the former Oscar’s bar (now the Motorcise gym) is on part of the site of the former Town Hall Hotel.  

Old Hall Street South, Bolton, 1957
Old Hall Street South pictured in 1957. The area once occupied by the Town Hall Hotel is now a grassed enclosure with benches placed at various intervals around the perimeter.  The Market Hotel (T'Crate Egg) can be seen in the distance.

Image from the Bolton Library And Museums Service collection. Copyright Bolton Council.





The Wellsprings in 2012 (copyright Google Street View).Coronation Street can be seen running down the side of the building. The street was slightly re-routed to include the former Old Hall Street after the west side of Newport Street was re-developed in the late-fifties.

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