Monday, 4 January 2016

Old House At Home, 40 Old Acres, Bolton

The Old House At Home was situated at 40 Old Acres, a street that was actually the bottom end of Great Moor Street heading towards Bradshawgate.

John Bridge appears as the licensee according to the 1848 Bolton Directory listing. The Old House At Home had a full licence, but according to the 1851 census John Bridge was described as a shopkeeper and beerseller so at some stage he must have decided that it wasn’t worth his while selling wines and spirits alongside general provisions.

John Bridge later moved on Balshaw Street, off Deane Road. By 1881 he was 74 years old and still working as a beerseller in Bamber Street, off Cannon Street, though the premises appear to have been an off-licence instead of a pub or beerhouse.

By the late 1860s Charles Barrow was running the Old House At Home. The 1861 census has Charles as a house painter living on Chantlers Court, but he got into the pub game though he was to be the Old House At Home’s final landlord.

Mr Barrow had to re-apply for his licence in September 1869. A change is legislation gave licensing magistrates the power to force beerhouses to go through the same annual licensing procedure that public houses had to. The application didn’t go well. Mr Barrow had been charged twice; the house was troublesome to the police and it had facilities for illegal sales. PC Dearden – the bane of so many Bolton landlords in the late 1860s – was called and said that a good many objectionable persons congregated about the house on a Sunday morning, a time when the pub ought to have been closed. [1] 

However, Mr Barrow was one of a number of licensees who appealed against the decision to strip them of their licences and he granted a licence at the end of October.

But the Old House At Home lasted for only a few more years. The council decided that Old Acres was a bottle-neck on Great Moor Street. They demolished the street and extended a widened Great Moor Street down to Bradshawgate.

[1] Bolton Evening News, 2 September 1869.

The bottom end of Great Moor Street pictured in August 2015 (copyright Google Street View). Up to 1875 this was a narrow thoroughfare known as Old Acres.

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