Where is Halliwell?

This is a question that has been frequently asked since the Halliwell Local History Society was founded. Here we have the answer obtained in the main from the Township map of Halliwell drawn up in 1835 and to be examined in Bolton Reference Library.

The Township of Halliwell coincided with the boundaries of the later civil parishes of Halliwell and Smithills ‑approximately the present electoral wards of those names. It comprised an area of about 2500 acres and was marked, as was customary in those days, by streams or hill ridges, some of the former having now disappeared. In the South it extended to Chorley New Road of which the portion bounded by Shrewsbury Road and Kirkhall Lane. At the junction of these two thoroughfares with Chorley New Road, boundary stones are still discernable. The well known Halliwell Lodge Hotel, of course, stands within this portion and in front of its one time gatehouse at the junction of Wyresdale Road and Chorley New Road stands the boundary stone just mentioned.

From here the boundary followed Kirkhall Lane to Chorley Old Road and crossed over to Mortfield Lane opposite. Old maps show a now vanished stream at this point flowing across the highway towards Mortfield. The boundary continued across the new Mortfield Park and then followed Yarrow Place, Boundary Street and Maria Street to Hargreaves Street. At the junction with Halliwell Road an old Turnpike Toll House still stands, it is now a private house. On the other side of Halliwell Road the boundary followed Acton Street and continued down to the Astley Brook. Thence, following the stream in a north westerly direction until the Astley Brook is joined by the stream coming down Raveden Clough. To follow the boundary one must continue up Raveden Clough past Smithills Hall to Scout Road and below the wall in front of Brian Hey Reservoir stands a further boundary stone. We must now ascend to the ridge of Smithills Moor past Lomaxes Wive’s Farm and Hampson’s Farm. At the crest we take a north westerly route following a stone wall which goes over Counting Hill ‑ the highest point in the present Bolton Metropolitan Borough ‑ almost to Scotsman’s Stump. Here the boundary follows the road from the Television Mast to the old site of the Brick and Tile works at a spot called Hole Bottom where we turn south east across rough ground to a stone wall over which is a stile. Beyond the stile we come to a small stream flowing to the south east. This is the beginning of the Dean Brook. The boundary follows the brook to Walker Fold Road and from there the north eastern bank is in Halliwell all the way through Barrow Bridge. In front of the present Bus Terminus in the old days, ran a stream flowing from the west to join the Dean Brook. The boundary followed this stream up past Lightbounds, where it formed Stannings Lodge behind Johnson Fold Estate and Hollin Hey Farm to Midge Hole Clough. We cross Chorley Old Road near the Tempest Arms diagonally leaving the Colliers Arms in Halliwell and to an old quarry and then on to Boot Lane near the Edish where a
small stream can be seen, this stream, when damned, formed the Doffcocker Lodge. This stream, the Doffcocker Brook, became the
outflow from the lodge and runs underground beneath the parking ground of the Doffcocker Hotel. The brook is crossed by Moorside Avenue and to keep the boundary, we follow the avenue uphill to Chorley Old Road opposite New Hall Lane. We follow the last named Lane to roughly Welbeck Road and from there to the Chorley New Road junction with Shrewsbury Road. The Halliwell boundary did extend in a triangle, prior to the building of Chorley New Road in 1825/6, and occupied a small area on the other side of that road. This means that part of the site on which Bolton School Boys’ Division was constructed many years later, actually was anciently in Halliwell!

by Derek Billington