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z sidebar - 4 n2 church wharf 1959 from BGB

We look back again towards Church Wharf and note how the Parish Church was built high on a spur of land above the river valley.

n1f church wharf n1c EdThoCroal

A splendid picture looking back again but more to the east with the road out of Church Wharf towards Bury seen under the bridge and the Lum Street gasholder above it.

It may be just as work on St Peter's Way begins.

n3 118.1 boltonold n4 Bolton Archives, Croal E of Parish Church n5 canal and river looking from Bradford St toward n2 d 2013 n6 St Peter's Way under construction from Haulgh B

Looking back along the canal, which still has water in it, to the railway viaduct and the wharves. The river is at the far left of the picture.

The picture above is from the Haulgh Bridge (Bridgeman Place, Bradford Street). In 1947 this part of the canal still exists and the river snakes along the bank on the left.

The coloured picture is what we see in 2013. There is no sign of the river though ironically up on the left where the new hotel has been built, is River Street. This view is from the bridge down from Bridgeman Place.

A similar view from Haulgh Bridge during the construction of St Peter's Way.

Posted on facebook by Angela Thompson. The river is close to the banking at the left.

Looking towards the Haulgh Bridge, the Croal has just been culverted in preparation for the construction of St Peter's Way. The original two bridges are still there with the Croal passing under the right (west) one and the canal no longer going uner the left (east) one.

Posted on Facebook by Edward Thompson.

n2 f Dorset St David Evans

(C) David Evans

Dorset Street. A good picture of utter chaos on the road with the muddy morass of the Croal Valley during the construction of St Peter's Way. The River Croal has already been culverted under the left-most arch of the viaduct. The Parish Church overlooks the scene from its spur of land above the valley and Winter Hill is hazily in view in the distance. The buses are in Bolton's later colour scheme, not SELNEC or First Bus.

o1 Lower Bridgeman Place 1949

Here is Bridgeman Place pictured 1949 with the Miners’ Union building on the left, going on to the Haulgh and Bradford Street. At the lowest part of the road are the Haulgh Bridges which cross the Bolton canal and the River Croal. Now St Peter’s Way goes under the road. Toys R Us and other outlets are to the right and the river does see the light of day again after its journey under St Peter's Way.

o2 River Croal, Bradford St Bridge, Bolton Council Archives, 1947 o3 canal, Bradford St Bridge between o2 and o3 is a road to the Springfields industrial estate, now completely gone under St Peter's Way

Remember the long view from Church Wharf to Haulgh Bridge a few pictures ago with that dark rectangle sitting up on the skyline? Well that was the advertising hoardings seen on the above pictures. At the bottom of Bridgman Place were actually two bridges, the first one you reached was over the river and the second over the canal. These two pictures do not quite join together. There is a road between them down to a hamlet called Springfields, just a row of houses and some industrial works.

o4 Bolton Archives, toys r us site query, labelled as at Ginnel Tunnel o4b a

We look from the bridge over the river down to Springfields. The houses on the top of the banking are on Westbrook Street and the bottom of Grosvenor Street which ran down the far side of the Technical College. On the left is the Springfields Paper Mill whose chimney we saw from afar.

o7 Alongside Staples

You cannot get a similar shot now because of trees used to “landscape” the road down to what was Springfields which was a paper mill. If you could you would just see Burger King, Toys R Us,  Staples and the rest.


However the river flows in its original position in its cobbled bed along the back of this site.

o4b c Springfields

This picture had appeared in the Bolton Evening News in April 1982 with a report that Town Hall Planners had no objection to the Earl of Bradford's scheme to reuse this terrace of houses for cottage industries. The Earl, who owned the cottages, was objecting to a compulsory purchase order by which the council would demolish around 100 houses said to be unfit for habitation in the Rose Hill and Orlando area and earmark much of the area for housing but schedule Springfields for industrial use.


Note the communal privies.

o4p River Croal widened as lodge for Springfields Paper Mill o4n View from Bradford St towards Burnden showing

Views of Springfields Paper Mill looking downstream towards Burnden, probably in the 1930s. The canal has been filled in. The Burnden railway viaduct can be seen and on the right picture so can the Burnden floodlights.

From here the river still flows in more or less its original position. It loses its cobbles and takes on a rather gentler air again.

o11 Downstream from Raikes Lane

And here it is just downstream from Raikes Lane and Bolton’s main waste disposal area and incinerator.

o16 River Croal immediately after joining R Tonge, just upstream of weir

Here it takes a left turn through an industrial area and meets with the River Tonge. The Tonge is quite a bit larger than the Croal at this point and it is the Tonge which carries on in a straight line while the Croal meets it and flows into it.


Nevertheless, in times gone by it was seen fit for the combined flow to retain the name Croal.


This is the River Croal now reinforced by the waters of the Tonge.

o18 River Croal immediately after joining R Tonge s1 Croal at Hacken Lane 1950

Immediately downstream of the confluence is a weir constructed to raise the level of the Tonge for industrial use.

A little way downstream from here the Croal flows under  Smith’s Lane / Hacken Lane (ex sewage works) (picture c1950). This is now part of the Moses Gate Country Park and a footpath from Hacken Lane will take you to Hall Lane and Crompton's Lodges.


Immediately upstream of Hacken Lane Bridge is Darcy Lever Cricket Club.

o8 P1271639 o9 P1271638 o10 P1271635 o10 P1271637

Immediately beyond the Toys R Us and Staples retail park, behind Burnden's ASDA the river goes underground again for a little way as it goes from the west to the east side of St Peter's Way.  The river is flowing towards us with the culvert beneath our feet.

And here it emerges, flowing right to left, immediately downstream of the Burnden viaduct. Disgusting sight. What is it about people, rubbish and steep slopes down to rivers?

Views of the river as it flows away from the Burnden Viaduct which is now part of a footpath and cycle route from Scholey Street off Manchester Road, across this viaduct and also the Tonge Valley viaduct to Top o' th' Gorses at Darcy Lever and the bottom of Leverhulme Park. (C) WDC 27 January 2017

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