1837 The Bolton Poor Law Union was created on the 1st February 1837 and comprised Great Lever plus all the townships from the Parishes of Bolton-le-Moors and Deane except for Anglezarke and Rivington which were in the Chorley Union and Blackrod which was in the Wigan Union.

1894 Astley Bridge, Belmont, Smithills townships were added.

1929 The Poor Law Union was ended.


At the time of the formation of the Bolton Union in 1837 Great Bolton, Little Hulton, Turton and Westhoughton had their own workhouses. By the end of 1838 the Little Hulton and Westhoughton workhouses had been closed and the inmates transfered to the Bolton workhouse on Fletcher St. and the Turton Workhouse at Goose Coat Hill. For a short time there was a small workhouse in Old Hall St, Bolton. In September 1861 a new workhouse was opened at Fishpool, Farnworth and the existing Bolton and Turton sites were closed. At the close of the Poor Law Union the Fishpool Workhouse became Townleys Hospital . The buildings were not demolished until 2011.

Fishpool being in Farnworth it was at that local authority that births and deaths were registered. There was a burial site within the grounds of the workhouse though some seem to have been buried at St. James's, New Bury, Farnworth. Burials for the Turton Workhouse were usually at Christ Church, Walmsley.

See map, enlarge and almost in the centre Click here

The Bolton History Centre has several workhouse records that can be consulted and there is a database of Fishpool births in the MLFHS Members Area collection of databases.

See "The Paupers Palace" by by Betty Connor, 1989, and in 2011 the Turton Local History Society published a book entitled "Turton Workhouse" by David J. Leeming, No 34 in a series. In addition to the text it has maps, photographs and some details of pre-1839 workhouses in Harwood, Entwistle, Longworth and a photograph of Halliwell Township Workhouse. Both books are available from Bolton libraries and are available in the History Centre.

Click here for more details of Bolton Workhouse records held in the History Centre.


The Children's Homes website.

There are 26 Bolton Children's Homes listed on this website, including those shown below.Click Here

Dr Chadwick's Orphanage, Bromwich Street, The Haulgh, Bolton.

One website claims the charity's Trustees still hold the records. Click here

The final use of the building was as part of the Bolton Technical School.

Eden Orphanage, Astley Bridge, Bolton.

Click here and Click here

Edgworth Children's Home / Crowthorn Children's Home, Broadhead Road, Edgworth.

Click here and Click here

The home has been given various titles over the years including The Edgworth Home, The Barlow Memorial Home, The Home on the Moors and, at the time of its closure in 2002, it was The Crowthorn Special Needs Residential School. This Home consisted of a series of large houses where the children lived in small groups as "families". The actress Shirley Ann Field is a former child resident of the home. The home is now closed and the houses sold for conventional residential use.

Bolton Industrial School / Lostock Open Air School

The Bolton History Centre has a file: Lostock [SLB], Bolton and County of Lancaster Certified Industrial School 1875-1924 & Lostock Open Air School 1924-1933