The School Hill Hotel was known locally as T’Skennin’ Door due to its having two doors set on slightly different angles.
School Hill itself took its name from its proximity to St George’s School at the top of Bath Street. When St George’s church was consecrated in 1796 Green Hill was immediately to the west of the church, with Lark Hill further on towards the road to Chorley. School Hill was to the north of the church.
The pub occupied the junction of School Hill and Haworth Street and it dated back to the 1860s.
In his book, Pubs Of Bolton 1800 – 2000, Gordon Readyhough tells us that Ellen Crompton was the licensee in the 1880s when the pub also had its own brewery. Indeed, Mrs Crompton was already at the pub in 1871, according to Worrall’s Directory for that year, and there is every chance that she and her husband John were the pub’s first licensees. Mr Crompton had previously run a beerhouse on Higher Bridge Street.
Later, the School Hill became a Settle’s pub. Settle’s were a local firm based on Cross Street, just off Turton Street [more details on Settle's brewery can be found here]. Settle’s sold out to Dutton’s of Blackburn in 1951. Dutton’s and its 800-odd pubs were bought by Whitbread in 1964. The presence in the above photo of a Whitbread tankard on the front of the pub suggests the image was taken post-1964.
The School Hill closed in 1972 and was demolished soon afterwards. The whole area was redeveloped and Topp Way opened roughly on part of the site of the pub in 1980.
The image below (copyright Google Street View) shows Topp Way with the former St George’s school (later Ben Topps and McGinlay’s) on the right. The School Hill was roughly where the green sward of grass can be seen next to the pedestrian crossing.