Great Bolton

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Great Bolton
 • 1891826 acres (3.34 km2)[1]
 • 180112,549
 • 189147,067
 • CreatedMiddle Ages
 • Abolished1895
StatusTownship (Until 1866),
Civil parish (1866–95)

Great Bolton was a township of the civil and ecclesiastical parish of Bolton le Moors in the Salford hundred of Lancashire, England.[2] Despite its name, Great Bolton had a smaller acreage than its northern neighbour Little Bolton from which it was separated by the River Croal.[3][4]


Historically, Great Bolton formed part of the Hundred of Salford, a judicial division of southeast Lancashire. It was one of the townships that made up the ancient ecclesiastical parish of Bolton le Moors.[5]

Under provisions of the Poor Relief Act 1662, townships replaced civil parishes as the main units of local administration in Lancashire.[6] Great Bolton became one of the eighteen autonomous townships of the civil parish of Bolton le Moors.[2] The township appointed overseers of the poor who levied a rate to fund the Poor Law. Highway surveyors were also appointed and funded from the rate to maintain the roads.

By the eighteenth century Great Bolton was expanding rapidly and the Bolton Improvement Act of 1792 established the Great Bolton Improvement Trustees (or police commissioners) who took responsibility for regulating the streets, securing a water supply, removing nuisances, and licensing conveyances[7] The act also provided the enclosure of Bolton Moor which was divided into building lots.[7] In 1837, Great Bolton became part of the Bolton Poor Law Union, which took over the responsibility for the administration and funding of the Poor Law in that area.[8]

Under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, the Municipal borough of Bolton was established as a local authority in 1838, which comprised Great Bolton, most of the township of Little Bolton, and the Haulgh area of the township of Tonge with Haulgh.[9] In 1866, Great Bolton changed its status to become a civil parish.[10] Although Great Bolton was part of the Municipal Borough of Bolton from 1838, the township, later civil parish, was used for the censuses until it was abolished in 1895.[10] For recording births, marriages and deaths, Great Bolton continued as a sub-district until 1902, then part of the Great Bolton and Lever sub-district until 1941, both parts of the Bolton Registration district.[11]


The township was bounded on the north and east by the River Croal which eventually joins the River Irwell. The land was level apart from a clough or steep-banked valley occupied by the river Croal. The south western part of the township was occupied by moorland that gave the parish its early name.[2]

A cross roads about 200 yards (180 m) from the church was the place where a market was held in the Middle Ages. From here the road to the east Churchgate led to the church, Deansgate to the west led towards Deane and Chorley, to the south Bradshawgate led to Manchester and to the north, Bank Street led to Little Bolton.[2]


Population changes in Great Bolton 1801–1891
1801 12,549—    
1811 17,070+36.0%
1821 22,037+29.1%
1831 28,299+28.4%
1841 33,449+18.2%
1851 39,923+19.4%
1861 43,435+8.8%
1871 45,313+4.3%
1881 45,694+0.8%
1891 47,067+3.0%
Sources: (a) Local population statistics.[12] (b) A vision of Britain of through time.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Great Britain Historical GIS Project (2004). "Great Bolton CP/Tn through time. Population Statistics. Area (acres)". A vision of Britain through time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d Farrer, William; Brownbill, J., eds. (1911). Great Bolton. A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5. British History Online. pp. 243–251. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  3. ^ Billington, W.D. (1982). From Affetside to Yarrow. Egerton: Ross Anderson Publications. pp. 6–8. ISBN 0-86360-003-4.
  4. ^ Bolton Township Map,, retrieved 13 August 2010
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, ed. (1848), "Bolton-Le-Moors (St. Peter)", A Topographical Dictionary of England, British History Online, pp. 295–302, retrieved 11 February 2010
  6. ^ "Local Authority Records: Townships And Civil Parishes". Bolton Museum and Archive Service. Archived from the original on 11 March 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Records of the Great Bolton Improvement Trustees". Access to Archives. The National Archives. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  8. ^ "Bolton, Lancashire". The Workhouse. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  9. ^ "Greater Manchester Gazetteer". Greater Manchester County Record Office. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  10. ^ a b Great Britain Historical GIS Project (2004). "Great Bolton CP/Tn through time. Census tables with data for the Parish-level Unit". A vision of Britain through time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  11. ^ "Coverage of the Birth Indexes". Lancashire BMD. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  12. ^ Tatton, Pauline. Local population statistics 1801-1986. Bolton: Bolton Central Library Archives.
  13. ^ Great Britain Historical GIS Project (2004). "Great Bolton CP/Tn through time. Population Statistics. Total Population". A vision of Britain through time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 9 August 2010.