The Hole I’The Wall was situated at 20 Ashburner Street. While we can only guess why this beerhouse was so named, Ashburner Street was named after the steelworks that stood at one end of the street where the market has stood since 1932.
The Hole I’Th Wall dated back to around 1840. Joseph Broughton ran the premises for many years. He was there at the first mention of a beerhouse in that part of Ashburner Street, which was on the 1841 Census. At that time he lived there with his wife Alice whom he married in 1830 when the couple were both aged 19.
The Broughtons appear not to have any children. The only person to live with them was Ann Spencer, a washer-woman who was Alice’s mother. Sadly, they were down to just Joseph Broughton and Ann Spencer in 1861 following Alice’s death in 1857. He married again, to Margaret Bentley in November 1863 and by 1871 he had moved to Davenport Street. Oddly, despite having spent much of his adult life in the licensed trade the census return for that year describes him as a ‘retired brickmaker’.
The Hole I’Th Wall was bought by Magees later in the nineteenth century. The pub closed in 1931 and was subsequently demolished. The Octagon Theatre now stands on the site.
The bottom end of Ashburner Street looking up towards the library is shown in this September 2014 image (copyright Google Street View). The multi-story car park is on the left, the Octagon Theatre is on the right. The Hole I’Th Wall was near to the top of the theatre building as shown on this image.