Bolton-le-Moors, Great Bolton, Little Bolton, Bolton.

The historical name,Bolton-le-Moors, is now only used in an ecclesiastical context with St Peter's, Churchgate officially still being St Peter's, Bolton-le-Moors.

Great Bolton and Little Bolton were the names of the early industrial townships and the names referred to the communities on the opposite sides of the River Croal. The Croal now is partly culverted through the town centre and is contained within a modest stone channel, less than 5 feet wide for much of its exposed length. To the west of the town centre the same river is called Middlebrook. Great Bolton was on the high southern bank of the river and Little Bolton was on the lower northern bank. The two areas were merged in 1838 to become Bolton. Over the succeeding years various minor changes were made to the boundaries of the town and in the nationwide local government re-organisation of 1974 that Bolton was merged with the 7 smaller authorities that surrounded it to form the Bolton Metropolitan Borough. Some of the moorland villages on the northern fringes, which had always looked to Bolton for services, were not included in the new expanded Bolton instead they were added to the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen for reasons that are not immediately apparent.

From about 1662 the Parish of Bolton-le-Moor comprised the separate townships of: Anglezarke, Blackrod, Bradshaw, Breightmet, Darcy Lever, Edgworth, Entwistle, Great Bolton, Harwood, Little Bolton, Little Lever, Longworth, Lostock, Quarlton, Rivington, Sharples, Tonge-with-Haulgh, & Turton.

At the same time the Parish of Deane comprised the separate townships of: Farnworth, Halliwell, Heaton, Horwich, Kearsley, Little Hulton, Middle Hulton, Over Hulton, Rumworth & Westhoughton

Great Lever was a separate township being part of the Parish of Middleton whilst Prestolee was part of Prestwich-cum-Oldham.

Bolton Municipal Borough etc.

1838 Bolton Municipal Borough was created and consisted of the townships of Great Bolton, Little Bolton south of the Astley Brook and the Haulgh.

1872 part of Rumworth and Daubhill added

1877 Halliwell, excluding Smithills, added

1889 Bolton Municipal Borough became Bolton County Borough

1894 Bolton Rural District created and included Belmont, Bradshaw, Breightmet, Darcy Lever, Deane, Edgworth, Entwistle, Great Lever, Harwood, Heaton, Longworth, Lostock, Middle Hulton, Over Hulton, Quarlton, Smithills, Tonge.

1898 Astley Bridge, Breightmet, Darcy Lever, Deane, Great Lever, Heaton, Lostock, Middle Hulton, part of Over Hulton, Smithills and Tonge added to Bolton County Borough.

1974 saw the creation of the current Bolton Metropolitan Borough, putting together Bolton CBC, Blackrod UDC, Farnworth BC, Horwich UDC, Kearsley UDC, Little Lever UDC, Westhoughton UDC and the Bromley Cross, Bradshaw and Harwood parts of Turton UDC.

Note:Since 1974 that part of Turton which did not become part of Bolton [Belmont, Chapeltown, Edgworth, Entwistle, Longworth and Quarlton] became part of the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen.

The local government units around the original Bolton were:

N.B. In these local authorities some services were provided by Lancashire County Council.

1894 ~ 1898 Astley Bridge UDC Astley Bridge was created when a part of Sharples was added to a part of Little Bolton.

1894 ~ 1974 Blackrod UDC

1899 ~ 1939 Farnworth UDC

1939 ~ 1974 Farnworth BC

1894 ~ 1974 Horwich UDC

1894 ~ 1974 Kearsley UDC

1933 parts of Clifton & Outwood added

1894 ~ 1974 Little Lever UDC

1894 ~ 1974 Turton UDC

1898 Belmont, Bradshaw, Edgworth, Entwistle, Harwood, Longworth, Quarlton added

1925 Belmont, Edgworth removed

1894 ~ 1974 Westhoughton UDC

1898 part of Over Hulton added

Before these Districts were created in 1894 there were Local Board's of Health for each of the Townships and these undertook some of what we now regard as local authority functions.

CBC County Borough Council

CC County Council

BC Borough Council

RDC Rural District Council

UDC Urban District Council