St James Church
Breightmet shown within Greater Manchester
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan county||Greater Manchester|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North West England|
|UK Parliament||Bolton North East|
Breightmet // is a neighbourhood of Bolton, in Greater Manchester, England. Historically a township of the civil and ecclesiastical parish of Bolton le Moors in the Salford hundred of Lancashire, it lies 2 miles (3.2 km) north east of Bolton and 4 miles (6.4 km)north-west of Bury.
The name comes from the Old English breorht meaning bright and maed meaning meadow, so making "bright meadow". Its name was variously recorded as Brihtmede in 1257, Brightemete in 1277, Breghmete and Breghtmed in 1292, Brithmete in 1302, Brightmede in 1510 and Breightmet in 1574.
The manor originated as part of the Marsey fee and one ploughland was held by Augustin de Breightmet in the 12th century. By marriage one part descended to the Southworths of Samlesbury who held it until the 16th century. This portion was later owned by Gerards, Ainsworths, Banastres, Baguley and Parker families. The other part was held by the Hollands until they forfeited it in 1461 when it was granted to Lord Stanley and his son, Lord Strange, the Earls of Derby.
In the township there was a quarry and several collieries, including one accessing a seam of coal 3 yards (2.7 m) thick. There were handloom weavers producing quilts and counterpanes and two cotton mills and a bleachworks were built.
In 1837 Breightmet became part of the Bolton Poor Law Union which took responsibility for funding the Poor Law in that area. The township was incorporated in the borough of Bolton in 1898. Following the Local Government Act 1972, the County Borough of Bolton was abolished and Breightmet became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton in Greater Manchester in 1974. It is represented by three councillors on Bolton Council and is part of the Bolton North-East Westminster constituency.
The Breightmet township which covered 825 acres (3.34 km2) acres of hilly land was two miles north east of Bolton on Bury road. It was separated from Tonge with Haulgh by the River Irwell. Breightmet Hill, the highest point, rises to about 525 feet (160 m). There is a local nature reserve at Seven Acres Country Park. The park separates the west side of Breightmet from neighbouring Tonge Moor. 
The main shopping area within Breightmet is along Bury Road (A58) and consists of a Morrisons store (formerly Netto, acquired from Asda in Jan 2011, Home Bargains and a Mecca Bingo Hall, as well as a newly built "Breightmet Health Centre" including GP surgeries, library and pharmacy. Many other local businesses also exist in the area.
There are several places of worship in Breightmet including two Anglican churches, St James and St John the Evangelist, St Osmund's Roman Catholic church, Trinity Methodist church, Red Lane United Reformed Church and the independent Kings Church on Millfield Road.
Sport and leisure
Bolton St Catherine's Academy has a community leisure and sports centre. Leverhulme Park, the largest park area within Bolton has a community and children's centre with therapy suites, gymnasium, indoor athletics hall and outdoor athletics stadium, which hosts the town's school athletics competitions. The park has football pitches, 5-a-side football pitches, bowling greens and an athletics stadium as well as nature walks and picnic areas.
Four other primary schools serve Breightmet. These are Red Lane County Primary School, Leverhulme Community Primary School, Blackshaw County Primary School, and St. Osmund and Andrew Roman Catholic County Primary School.
Badly Drawn Boy (real name Damon Gough), indie singer-songwriter, grew up in Breightmet.
- Farrer, William; Brownbill, J., eds. (1911), Breightmet, A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5 (British History Online): 266–268, retrieved 27 November 2010
- Breightmet or Breightmead, A Topographical Dictionary of England (British History Online), 1848: 353–357, retrieved 27 November 2010
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- Workhouse, workhouses.org.uk, retrieved 28 November 2010
- Greater Manchester Gazetteer, Greater Manchester County Record Office, Places names - B, archived from the original on 18 July 2011, retrieved 27 November 2010
- Bolton Area Map: Ancient Parishes and Townships, Boydhouse, retrieved 9 August 2010
- Seven Acres Country Park, 7acres.org, retrieved 4 February 2011
- The District of Breightmet, Bolton, Lancashire Online Parish Clerks, retrieved 8 May 2011
- First pupils welcomed to St Catherine’s CE Academy, The Bolton News (Newsquest Media Group), 7 September 2009, retrieved 8 May 2011
- Photos and information about Breightmet
- GENUKI: Breightmet, Lancashire genealogy
- St James parish church
- Breightmet graves