Mawdsley Street

Bolton has 26 conservation areas, 700 listed buildings, three ancient monuments and four listed parks and open spaces. The historic environment of Bolton is part of everyday culture, and forms many cherished and valued living environments.

Bolton, or, as it was once called, Bolton-le-Moors, had its origins as a small market town, and was granted a market charter in 1256. Deansgate and Churchgate in the town centre are the surviving legacy of pre-industrial beginnings.

With the explosion of industrial activity in eighteenth century Bolton became the world centre for cotton spinning. It is often asserted that cotton manufacturing originated in Bolton with the inventions of Arkwright and Samuel Crompton. Many of the mills from this period still stand. At its peak there were some 160 mills of which 100 survive today. Eighteen of these are listed.

In the surrounding valleys where water was plentiful there were many bleachworks and dyeworks, Wallsuches in Horwich is one such example which has been converted to housing. The historic villages of Barrow Bridge, Eagley and Bradshaw are surviving examples of early industrial communities which are protected as conservation areas.

In addition two historic halls have been preserved in Smithills Hall and Hall I th Wood which also have early connections to the textile industry.

Bolton town centre has a distinctive historic core, and is renowned for its magnificent Town Hall, a landmark that dominates the town and is visible from the surrounding districts. Beyond Bolton town centre there are extensive suburbs, such as Heaton along Chorley New Road where large Victorian villas can still be glimpsed through the mature trees.

The conservation of the built environment and promoting local distinctiveness are actively encouraged by the department of place. The surviving legacy of Bolton’s rich industrial heritage is an opportunity for regeneration with some exciting conversions such as Eagley Mills. Owners are encouraged to re-use and refurbish historic properties and we are keen to engage with owners to discuss schemes.

The following is a list of the 26 conservation areas in Bolton.

Conservation area appraisals

The council has a duty to formulate and publish proposals for the preservation and enhancement of any part of their area which are conservation areas. Bolton has 26 conservation areas in total comprising varied townscape characteristics from small groupings of rural buildings to large suburban areas. Conservation area appraisals were prepared and approved for all the areas in about 2000. Many of these now include out of date policies and require updating.

A programme to review and update the existing conservation area appraisals is in hand, with the six town centre conservation areas being the first to be reviewed. The other five town centre conservation area appraisals are set out here in draft and were approved in 2007. As there is also a requirement now to prepare conservation management plans, a single management plan has been prepared for all the town centre conservation areas as many of the pressures and issues relating to the conservation areas are similar.

All the appraisals provide a summary of the special interest of each area and consider extensions to the conservation area boundaries. The management plan makes specific recommendations and identifies a series of tasks to ensure the preservation and enhancement of each conservation area. 

Conservation area consent

You need to apply for conservation area consent to demolish buildings, parts of buildings or other structures in a conservation area.

There is no fee for a conservation area consent application.

Work to trees in conservation areas

You need to apply to the council to carry out work to trees in conservation areas. You can

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