Two images of the One Horseshoe from the Bolton Library and Museum collection (copyright Bolton Council). The image at the top dates back to the 1930s and shows Manor Street being widened at the bottom. The One Horseshoe can be seen on the left of the image. On the right, the building in 1975 when it was being used by Manor Carpets, a company that still exists at premises on Chorley Old Road.
In recent years the Bar Nicholas and prior to that Bar Peru, the One Horseshoe existed as a pub from the late-eighteenth century until 1966 when it closed down and became a wallpaper shop.
The One Horseshoe was situated on Manor Street and was initially known simply as the Horse Shoe. It was a departure point for a number of stagecoaches. The 1824 Pigot Directory stated that the ‘Accommodation’ departed for Manchester every morning at 8, while the 1836 Directory listed coaches for Haslingden and Ramsbottom leaving every Monday afternoon at 4.
In their book of local reminiscences, Anne Bromilow and Jim Power recount the tale of a landlord of the One Horseshoe who became known locally as ‘Elephant Man’ after he stored six elephants in the pub’s cellar after a circus arrived in
Bolton. The landlord
isn’t named, nor is the story dated and the elephants were obviously not fully
grown as their heights are given as being between 5ft and 5ft 6 and only just
fit into the pub’s cellar. However, the landlord was worried about the
authorities finding out about the elephants – hardly surprising – and he also
stated that their arrival at his pub with hundreds of children in tow created
something of a stir on Bank Street.
The One Horseshoe was owned by the local brewery of Magee, Marshall and Co. It seems to have been bought in 1885. David Marshall & Co owned two breweries: the Grapes Brewery on Brown Street and the Horse Shoe Brewery on Water Street to the rear of the One Horseshoe pub. Magee’s – now owned by the three sons of founder Daniel Magee – bought Marshall’s in 1885 and the One Horseshoe became one of the first Magee, Marshall pubs when the limited company of Magee, Marshall and Co. Ltd was formed three years later.
When the One Horseshoe closed in 1966 the premises were bought by Gentleman John’s wallpapers. It was later occupied by Manor Carpets before becoming Bar Peru in the nineties.
Manor Street pictured in April 2012 with Bank Street just beyond the bridge over the River Croal. Bar Nicholas in the foreground was One Horseshoe from the late-eighteenth century until 1966. Image copyright Google Street View.
 Looking Back: Photographs and Memories of Life in the Bolton Area 1890-1939, Anne Bromilow and Jim Power.