Crook Street goes off in the distance and Thynne Street goes across the middle of this August 2015 image (copyright Google Street View). When Sainsbury’s was built on the site of the old Hick, Hargreaves factory in 2003-04 it took out much of Burns Street. Only the junction with Bridgeman Street now exists. At the other end of the street at the junction with Crook Street was the site of the Barley Mow, roughly where the bushes are on this image.
The Barley Mow was situated at the Thynne Street corner of Crook Street, part of a triangle of land also bordered by Burns Street and which was later used as a bus station.
The pub dated back to the 1840s when the part of Crook Street around the Holy Trinity church was being developed. It is mentioned on the licensing list of 1849, but it isn’t on directories from that decade – 1843 or 1848.
The first recorded licensee was Robert Hamer. Robert was a joiner living in Hanover Square according to the 1841 census. A decade later he and his wife Sarah were at the Barlow Mow along with their son Henry. But by 1861 he had given up the pub trade and was living just around the corner in Burns Street and working as a joiner and undertaker.
The Barley Mow was licensed to sell beer and wine, but Gordon Readyhough tells us in Bolton Pubs 1800-2000 that by the 1890s the licensee was also brewing his own beer. That is likely to have been Isaac Gibbons who spent around twenty years at the Barlow Mow from late-1870s onwards. By 1901 he had moved to the Grapes on Blackburn Road.
The Barley Mow lasted until 1910 by which time it was being supplied by Wilson’s brewery of Newton Heath, Manchester. Later in the twentieth century Wilson’s were a major supplier of beers in Bolton.
The premises were demolished soon afterwards and in time the rest of the buildings between Burns Street and Thynne Street were also pulled down. For some years from the 1940s up to the expansion of Moor Lane bus station in 1969 this parcel of land was used as a small bus station by operators such as Salford Corporation Transport and Lancashire United Transport. Salford’s number 8 bus to Manchester used this small station which consisted of no more than a few stone shelters. A 1958 map of Bolton bus services shows that the number 12 to Manchester, the 41 to Worsley and Eccles, the 49 to Union Road Mills, the 51 to Little Lever and the 52 to Bury via Little Lever and Radcliffe all left from this bus station. When the buses moved to Moor Lane the land was used as storage by Thistlethwaites Tyres. When the news Sainsbury’s was built Thistlethwaites moved across Burns Street to occupy the whole parcel of land that once contained the Barley Mow.
“John McDermott, 19, was indicted for stealing from the person of Robert McClenahan, a silver lever watch and three shillings in money on 28 June. Mr Marshall prosecuted and Mr Cottingham defended. The parties were drinking together on the day in question and at the Barley Mow on Crook Street, prosecutor fell asleep. He awoke at eleven o’clock at night, but the prisoner had then left, and the watch and money were gone. The prosecutor was drunk at the time, and admitted in cross-examination that it was probable he might have asked the prisoner to take care of the watch. Evidence as to the character of the witness was given and by direction of the Recorder a verdict of not guilty was at once returned. The Recorder, in discharging the prisoner, said that in this case the prosecutor was more to blame than the prisoner, and he ought to leave that court thoroughly ashamed of himself for his conduct.”
Bolton Evening News, 23 July 1869.