Bolton Library and Museum Services

Local history

Oak Apple figure

This unusual statue was once the centrepiece for a drunken celebration at Tong Fold in Bolton.

View the Oak Apple figure

Samuel Crompton

Samuel Crompton invented the Spinning Mule. This machine helped to revolutionise the cotton industry.

Story of Samuel Crompton

Sharples' Museum

The first museum in Bolton was not exactly a bastion of culture and learning, it was more akin to today’s tabloids, or Big Brother.

View Sharples' Museum

Zeppelin Raid

In 1916, when a zeppelin strayed over Bolton, a number of bombs were dropped on the town, killing and injuring and causing destruction.

Zeppelin raid


Bleaching is one of the oldest industries associated to the textile industry in the greater Bolton area.

About bleaching

Fire fighting

The Extinguisher was used by the Great Bolton Fire Brigade between 1826 and 1838. It was also used to fight fires in Little Bolton and in some of the townships outside Bolton.

Bolton fire fighters

Caddow quilts

The caddow (or caddy) quilts are thought to have developed from quilting traditions brought over from Europe by refugees fleeing religious persecution.

More on Caddow quilts

Slavery and Bolton

At Bolton Museum and Archives a number of very pertinent objects have been identified relating to the slave trade.

Slavery and Bolton