Bolton () is a large town in Greater Manchester, in the North West region of England. Situated close to the West Pennine Moors, 10miles north west of the city of Manchester, it is the largest and most populous settlement of the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, the former county borough of Bolton has a population of 139,403, though this figure does not include the many now abolished "urban districts" of Bolton such as Harwood, Egerton or Bromley Cross. These areas are however included in the borough population which is 262,500.  
Historically a part of Lancashire, Bolton originated as a small settlement in the moorland known as Bolton le Moors. During the English Civil War the town was a Parliamentarian outpost in a staunchly Royalist region. In 1644 Bolton was stormed by 3,000 Royalist troops led by Prince Rupert of the Rhine. This attack, which later came to be known as the Bolton Massacre, resulted in 1,600 residents being killed and 700 taken prisoner.
Noted as a former mill town, textiles have been produced in Bolton since Flemish weavers settled in the area during the 15th century, developing a wool and cotton weaving tradition. The urbanisation and development of Bolton largely coincided with the introduction of textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. It was a boomtown of the 19th century and, at its zenith in 1929, 216 cotton mills and 26 bleaching and dying works, made it one of the largest and most productive centres of cotton spinning in the world. After World War I the British cotton industry declined sharply and by the 1980s cotton manufacture had virtually ceased in Bolton.
The town's name, (in full, Bolton-le-Moors) has been recorded over the years with many derivations of spelling including Bothelton, Boulton and Bolton-super-Moras. The name Bolton comes from the Old English word "Bothel", meaning a dwelling, and "tun", meaning an enclosure .
The current Arms of Bolton Metropolitan Borough are a pun on the word Bolton, as they depict an arrow (a "bolt") passing through a crown (a "tun") . The town's motto of Supera Moras means "overcome difficulites", and is a pun on the full name of Bolton-le-Moors, as it also means "on the moors".
Man has lived on the moors on which Bolton now stands for many thousands of years. There's a stone circle on Cheetham Close above Egerton, and Bronze Age burial mounds on Winter Hill.  A Bronze Age mound was excavated in Victorian times outside Haulgh Hall.
The Romans came to the area building roads from Manchester to Ribchester to the east and the A6 to the west. It is claimed that the genereal Agricola built a fort at Blackrod by clearing land above the forest.
The town was given a charter to hold a market in Churchgate in 1251 by King Henry III of England. It was then made into a market town and borough by a charter from the Earl of Derby, William de Ferrers, on January 14, 1253.
During the English Civil War, Bolton supported Parliament and the Puritan cause, unlike most of the rest of Lancashire. The town was twice attacked unsuccessfully until the third assault on May 28, 1644. Prince Rupert's army along with troops under the Earl of Derby, attacked the town. There were 1,500 dead, and 700 taken prisoner. It became known as the Bolton Massacre.
The town's position on the west of the Pennines provides a damp climate. It is this feature which probably led to Flemish weavers, fleeing the Huguenot persecutions in the 17th century, to eventually settle here, as moisture-laden air allows for the spinning of cotton with little breakage. The cotton industry was to provide the catalyst for the town's expansion between the 14th and 19th centuries. Large, steam-powered textile mills eventually dominated the town's skyline, providing the major employment and defining the rhythm of the working week, so much so that an annual shut-down for maintenance in late June became the Bolton holidays. There were also some large iron foundries in the town as well as other engineering works, many connected with the cotton industry. The Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal connected the town to Bury and Manchester.
The Bolton and Leigh Railway was one of the oldest in Lancashire, opening to goods traffic in 1828 and to passengers in 1831.
Bolton Council is made up of 60 directly elected Councillors of which there are presently 28 Labour Party Councillors, 23 Conservative Party Councillors and 9 Liberal Democrat Councillors.The Labour Party is presently in control of Bolton Council and has formed an administration with 10 Executive Members.The present Leader of Bolton Council is Cllr. Clifford Morris and the present Mayor of Bolton is Cllr. Anthony Connell.
Until the early 19th century, Great Bolton and Little Bolton were two of the eighteen townships of the ecclesiastical parish of Bolton le Moors. These two townships were separated by the River Croal, with Little Bolton on the north side of the river and Great Bolton on the south side.  
In 1838, Great Bolton, most of Little Bolton and the Haulgh area from Tonge with Haulgh township were incorporated under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835 as a municipal borough, making it the second to be created in England, after Devonport. Further additions were made to the borough, with part of Rumworth in 1872, and part of Halliwell in 1877. 
In 1889, Bolton was granted County Borough status and became entirely self-governing and independent from Lancashire County Council jurisdiction. In 1898, it was extended further by adding the civil parishes of Breightmet, Darcy Lever, Great Lever, the rest of Halliwell, Heaton, Lostock, Middle Hulton, the rest of Rumworth (which had been renamed Deane in 1894), Smithills, and Tonge, plus Astley Bridge Urban District, and part of Over Hulton civil parish. 
In 1983, Bolton East was abolished and two new constituencies were created, Bolton North East (which covers a large part of the former Bolton East), and Bolton South East (which covers most of the former Farnworth constituency). Also in 1983, there were major boundary changes to Bolton West, which took over most of the former Westhoughton constituency. 
The largest hill is winter hill and the longest river is the river bollen.
See main article: Church of St Peter, Churchgate. The Parish Church, dedicated to St Peter, is a fine example of the gothic revival style. Built between 1866 and 1871 of Longridge stone to designs by Paley, the church is 671NaN1 in width, 1561NaN1 in length, and 821NaN1 in height. The tower is 1801NaN1 high with 13 bells.
The first known church on the same site was built in Anglo-Saxon times. It was rebuilt in Norman times and again in the early 1400s. Little is known of the first two churches, but the third building was a solid, squat building with a sturdy square tower at the west end. It was modified over the years until it fell into disrepair and demolished in 1866. Fragments of stone and other artefacts from these first three buildings are displayed in the museum corner of the present church.
Today, the present parish of Bolton-le-Moors only covers a small area in the town centre, but until the 19th century it covered a much larger area and was divided into eighteen chapelries and townships. 
Situated in the town centre, the Town Hall is an imposing neoclassical building. It was designed by William Hill who later designed the Portsmouth Guildhall. Opened on 5 June 1873 by Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later as Edward VII), it was built on the site of an old Pot Market which had previously been known as Market Square. In the 1930s, the building was extended, by Bradshaw Gass & Hope, with additional office space which almost doubled in size.  
Incorporated within the Town Hall are the Albert Halls. The original Albert Hall was destroyed by a massive fire on 14 November 1981. It took three and half years for the complete internal reconstruction work to be finished. Reopened in 1985, the new Albert Halls now comprises two separate halls and several function rooms.
Smithills Hall is thought to date back to the 14th Century when William de Radcliffe received the Manor of Smithills from the Hulton family. The manor was first recorded in the 11th Century as part of a package of land granted to Roger de Poitou by William the Conqueror. In the 12th and 13th centuries the manor was held by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem and then passed to Hulton family.
Legend has it that the Saxon King Aelle of the Kingdom of Deira built a summer palace near to where the hall now stands, above Ravedon Brook. In 739 Eanbald, the Archbishop of York and Aethelbert, Bishop of Hexham are said to have dedicated a chapel to the Blessed Virgin at Smithills in response to the sacking of Lindisfarne. In 1554 George Marsh was accused at Smithills Hall of false preaching. He is said to have stamped his foot at the entrance passage to the chapel, burning a footprint into the stone flag which can still be seen today. 
The Great Hall was built sometime in the 14th Century, the chapel in the 16h century and greatly extended during the 19th. It is now a museum.
Hall i' th' Wood is a late mediaeval yeoman farmer's house which may have been built by Lauurence Brownlow. It passed to the Norris family around 1637 and the stone west wing added. In the 18th Century it was divided up into tenements for leasing and this was how its most famous occupant Samuel Crompton came to live and work there. In the 19th Century its condition deteriorated further with cattle kept in the Great Hall and the stone wing used as a barn.
The red-brick St George's Church was built in 1794-96 when the Little Bolton area was a separate township from Great Bolton, divided from it by the River Croal. Built by Peter Rothwell it was paid for by the Ainsworth family.
The last service was in 1975, it was leased to Bolton Council and became a craft centre in 1994 . For many years Stuart Hall of It's a Knockout fame housed his clock collection in the craft centre, but the building has now returned to the Church of England and remains closed.
It is a Grade II* listed building.
Other town centre landmarks in Bolton include Le Mans Crescent, Ye Olde Man & Scythe, Little Bolton Town Hall, The Market Place, Wood Street and Holy Trinity Church. Outside the town centre can be found Mere Hall, Firwood Fold, Haulgh Hall, Park Cottage, St Mary's Church, Deane, Lostock Hall Gatehouse and All Souls Church. Notable mills still overlooking parts of the town are Falcon Mill, Sir John Holden's Mill and the Swan Lane Mills Complex. Most views are dominated by the Winter Hill TV Mast on the West Pennine Moors above the town.
These census population figures are for the former townships of Great Bolton and Little Bolton.
|Sources: Local population statistics. Great Bolton Tn/CP: Total Population. Little Bolton Tn/CP: Total Population.|
|County Borough 1901-1971  Urban Subdivision 1981-2001  |
In recent times, the town has swapped much of its heavy industry for service-based activities including a large number of data processing and call centres and also hi-tech electronics and IT companies. It attracts shoppers from all over the north of England and further afield, not only to the Victorian splendour of the town centre but to newly developed Middlebrook retail park, home to Bolton Wanderers, the Bolton Arena, leisure facilities, shops, pubs, restaurants and sundry other businesses. The town retains a variety of more traditional industries, employing people in, amongst other things, aerospace, paper-manufacturing, packaging, textiles, transportation, steel foundries and building materials. The area of Horwich around Middlebrook has been designated by Bolton Council as the `Bolton Economic Development Zone', and is currently seeing much building work, predominantly office space for law firms and business headquarters.
Tourism plays an important part in the local economy, with visitor attractions such as Hall i' th' Wood (the home of inventor Samuel Crompton), Smithills Country Park and Smithills Hall, Rivington, Last Drop Village, Barrow Bridge mill village, Bolton Steam Museum and the civic museums in the town centre. Residents and visitors alike can make use of the facilities at Leverhulme, Moss Bank and Queen's parks.
Bolton is the birthplace of the Reebok brand. The company's European headquarters are located in the Reebok Stadium. Bolton is also the home of the family bakery, Warburtons, who began their business in 1876 on Blackburn Road in Bolton.
Bolton also has a strong presence in the Aerospace industry through the production of military missiles and systems. This centred round the British Aerospace (BAe) factory in Lostock which formerly had the largest machine shop in Europe. BAe also had factories in Farnworth, Wingates and in the Spa Lane area of Bolton. The Lostock factory has been reduced drastically over the last couple of decades with the bulk of the buildings being sold off. A workforce of around 300 people continue to work there under the BAE Systems subsidiary MBDA. Current missile systems produced there include; ASRAAM, Rapier and Storm Shadow which are in service with the RAF and various forces around the globe.
Bolton town centre over the next 10 years will under go a series of major improvements including Church Wharf by Ask developments and bluemantle it will cost 226 million, Merchants Quarter which includes the local developer Charles Topham group it will cost 200 million, Bolton Innovation Zone(BIZ) which is a large 300 million development it has the University of Bolton at its core, this development will include various develpers. There is also the central street development which is a retail lead development which will cost 100 million by Wilson Bowden Developments Limited there is also many smaller operations. The developments listed above are likely to attract 20,000 new jobs.
Bolton is well served in terms of both the local road network and national routes.
The A6, a major north - south trunk road, passes through Hunger Hill and Westhoughton.
The A666 (sometimes referred to as `The Devil's Highway' because of the numeric designation) is a 4-lane dual carriageway which acts as a spur from the large M61/M60 motorway interchange, carrying traffic to and from the town centre. The A666 continues North, up through Astley Bridge, Egerton and on into Darwen and Blackburn, Lancashire. The M61 itself has three dedicated junctions serving the borough.
Bolton is served by the National Express coach network.
Bolton is located on the Manchester loop of the West Coast Mainline and as such is served by Virgin West Coast trains passing through Manchester Piccadilly station. There are regular commuter services between most of the local stations and Manchester. The Bolton metropolitan area is served by the following railway stations:
Bolton is home to a leading independent day school, Bolton School, whose Boys' Division originated around 1516. It was endowed by Robert Lever in 1641 and again by William Hesketh Lever (later Lord Leverhulme) in 1898, allowing it to be rebuilt alongside a new Girls' Division on its current site in Chorley New Road. The town can also boast Lord's Independent School, established by Mr Lord, a local eccentric, in 1906.
Bolton also has its own modern university, the University of Bolton. Formerly Bolton Institute of Higher Education, it gained university status in 2005 and has seen much building work and growth since.
The town's secondary schools include St James's C of E School,Westhoughton High School, Canon Slade School, Withins School, Sharples School, Thornleigh Salesian College, Turton High School Media Arts College and Smithills School, which boasts a world champion brass band. Bolton also has a community college which provides further education to many in the borough and has many sites throughout, as well as Bolton Sixth Form College, which comprises North and South campuses.
The Bolton Teaching and Learning Centre serves schools as a central point for online materials.
Bolton is home to the football club, Bolton Wanderers F.C., who were formed in 1874 and currently play at Reebok Stadium, their home since 1997, in the Horwich area of the Bolton borough. For 102 years prior to that they played at Burnden Park south of Bolton town centre, this is now the site of an Asda superstore. The club has won four FA Cups, the most recent in 1958, and have spent a total of 69 seasons in the top division of the English league - more than any club never to have been league champions.
The oldest football club in Lancashire, Turton F.C., was formed in a village on the moors above Bolton in 1871 and is said to have introduce the Association game to the county. There have been recent claims that their original ground, which is still in use, is the oldest surviving football ground in the world. It is claimed matches were played there since the 1830s.
There are two local cricket leagues in Bolton, the Bolton Cricket League and the Bolton Cricket Association.
Bolton Blaze is a baseball club that was started in 2003, playing their home games at The Ball Park at Stapleton Avenue. In addition to the adult team, there is a junior team, Bolton Bears. Bolton Baseball dates back to 1938 with a team called Bolton Scarlets.
According to a survey of the British Association for the Advancement of Science Boltonians are the friendliest people in Britain.  Bolton is one of the more deprived boroughs in England according to the Indices of Deprivation 2000. It is the 28th most deprived in England in terms of numbers of people who are income deprived. A third of the borough's population lives in seven wards which are amongst the 10% most deprived in England. Despite this, Bolton is currently experiencing much attention and is experiencing an influx of people, leading to property prices increasing faster than most other parts of the UK. The borough already contains traditional and also increasingly affluent areas including Heaton, Horwich, Harwood and Smithills.
Bolton's oldest public house is Ye Olde Man and Scythe, dating from 1251 - one of the oldest remaining public houses in England.
Bolton has a theatre called The Octagon along with many small, independent groups such as Bolton Little Theatre, Farnworth Little Theatre and the Phoenix Theatre Company. Inside the town hall there is also a large theatre and conference complex called The Albert Halls, named after the Prince Consort, Prince Albert whose early death in 1861 at the comparatively young age of only 42 would eventually lead to many buildings and monuments throughout Great Britain and her vast empire being named in his memory. The Halls opened on 5 June 1873.
Le Mans Crescent, (currently home to the central library, museum, art gallery, aquarium, magistrates' court and town hall) is to be at the centre of a new Cultural Quarter. This area will no longer house the magistrates' court; instead the library and museum are to be extended into these sections of the building, along with other new cultural projects. These works are to take place during a large-scale expansion and improvement project, which is set to more than double the size of the current town centre and improve its appearance, infrastructure and amenities.
Bolton Central Library was one of the early public libraries established after the Public Libraries Act 1850, opening on 12 October 1853 in the Exchange Building on Market Square (present day Victoria Square). The library moved to its present site in Le Mans Crescent on 4 July 1938.
The town's local daily newspaper is The Bolton News, formerly known as the Bolton Evening News. There are weekly free papers, such as the Bolton Journal and Bolton Council's free monthly newspaper, Bolton Scene.
Bolton is referenced in the famous Monty Python's Flying Circus Dead Parrot sketch, in which it is the location of the shopkeeper's brother's pet shop. The shopkeeper's brother (played by Michael Palin), incorrectly describes the town as Ipswich. On being challenged by Mr Praline (played by John Cleese), Palin's character defends himself, claiming (wrongly) that Ipswich is a palindrome of Bolton. Cleese's character retorts, "It's not a palindrome. The palindrome of Bolton would be Notlob. It don't work." As a consequence, Bolton is sometimes humorously nicknamed, "Notlob". Bolton is also referred to in Monty Python's "Blackmail" sketch, in which the host of the gameshow "Blackmail" (played by Michael Palin) announces that if a Miss Betty Teal from Lancashire sends the show 15 pounds, he will refrain from revealing her lover in Bolton.
In "The Rutles" (Eric Idle, 1978) the bands manager (after Arthur Scouse) was Leggy Mountbatten. In the words of the film "In October 1961 Leggy Mountbatten, a retail chemist from Bolton, entered their lives. Leggy had lost a leg in the closing overs of World War Two and had been hopping around Liverpool ever since. One day he accidentally stumbled down the steps of a dingy disco, what he saw there was to change his life: a sailor who told him about the Rutles. It was a dank, sweaty, basement cellar, torrid and pulsating with sound. Leggy hated it. He hated their music, he hated their hair, he hated their noise: but he loved their trousers."http://www.rutles.org/
More famously Peter Kay is from Bolton and much of his comedy TV series That Peter Kay Thing and Phoenix Nights are set in the town. The latter was filmed at St Gregorys Social Club in Farnworth, and an episode of the former was set at Bolton West services on the M61.
Many Bolton buildings have also stood in for other towns and cities. Bolton Town Hall stood in for an East European Bank in the 1980s film Sleepers and Le Mans Crescent has featured as an upmarket London street in the Jeremy Brett version of Sherlock Holmes and a Russian secret service building in the 1990s comedy series "Sleepers".
See main article: List of people from Bolton. Bolton has produced its fair share of actors, comedians, musicians, sports personalities, engineers, inventors, politicians, authors and other notable people. They have all made a mark in different periods of time, whether at local, national or international level.