The Brunswick Hotel was situated at 91 Crook Street on the corner with Ormrod Street.
Like many beerhouses it began life as a shop. The 1841 census shows Wright Sutcliffe as a shopkeeper in Crook Street. Ten years later, in 1851, he is described as a provision dealer. However, Mr Sutcliffe was already a beerseller having appeared as such in the 1843 Bolton directory. A list of Great Bolton beerhouses for 1848 shows that Mr Sutcliffe was the landlord of the Bowling Green on Crook Street. This was the pub’s original name came from a nearby bowling green situated on the corner of Crook Street and Blackhorse Street.
Wright Sutcliffe also appears to have owned the Greengate Inn on Hammond Street. In 1854, he applied unsuccessfully to convert it from a beerhouse into a fully-licensed pub, but the application failed. He ran the Bowling Green until his death in March 1875 and was succeeded by his grandson, Wright Lever. He had been living at the pub in 1871 along with his wife Harriet, the first of his three wives and had previously lived in nearby Andrew Street.
The first thing Wright Lever did was to change the name of the pub from the Bowling Green to the Railway Shipping Hotel for the simple reason that the bowling green had long since been built over and Wright wanted to appeal to railway clerks from the nearby Great Moor Street station.
Wright Lever was at the pub in 1881 along with his second wife, Sarah Ann (nee Gerrard), her daughter Harriet from her first marriage and Sarah’s widowed mother Sarah Wardle. But by the early-1890s Wright Lever had given up the pub trade and was living at 142 Deane Road along with Sarah and grand-daughter Phyllis Elliott. Sarah died a few years later, but Wright Lever married for a third time. In 1901 he was 53 years old and still living at 142 Deane Road but with his third wife Louisa Ann (nee Smith), then aged just 19, and their five month-old son Wright. He died in 1930 aged 82.
The Railway Shipping Hotel was bought by local firm Atkinson’s whose Commission Street brewery was situated half a mile away from the pub. It received a full licence in 1888 following the closure of the Old Hen and Chickens, situated further down Deansgate from where the sole surviving Hen and Chickens (formerly the Higher Hen and Chickens) still stands.
By 1898, the pub was owned by Cornbrook’s of Manchester and it remained in their hands until it closed in 1955. It was renamed the Brunswick Hotel after the First World War. The licence was transferred to another of Cornbook’s Bolton pubs, the Bull’s Head (‘Bottom Bull’) on Bury Road.
The Brunswick remained standing until 1968 when it was demolished. The Trinity Street dual carriageway runs through the site of the pub.
Ormrod Street still exists, at least in part. It runs from Great Moor Street down the side of the Grosvenor Casino – the original Sainsbury’s. But part of the street running up towards Crook Street was closed off many years ago and is now as parking for residents of Hargreaves House.
Trinity Street pictured in September 2014 (copyright Google Street View). The walled car park on the left marked the end of Ormrod Street. The Brunswick stood on the far corner of the junction as we look.