Archaeological find as work starts on new Bolton transport interchange
ARCHAEOLOGISTS digging at the site of the new Bolton transport interchange have uncovered telling evidence of the town’s industrial part.
A team coordinated by the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) discovered a number of remains of the early formation of Bolton’s buildings, including possible 17th century material.
It follows a three-week visit by the experts, who were looking for 18th and 19th century houses and mills that might have survived the later 20th century developments.
The Bradshawgate Mill, where cotton manufacturing took place, and the Pillingwell Foundry, working with iron, used to be located on the site hundreds of years ago.
The industrial remains found are thought to be foundations and footings from the old buildings, while possible back-to-back house foundations have also been located.
Ian Trumble, chairman of the Bolton Archaeological Society who works at Bolton Museum, said the news was very exciting.
He said: “The earliest map we have got is for 1847 – so 17th century material is a lot earlier, and we don’t have a lot of knowledge about what Bolton looked like before then.
“The house foundatons are quite important as well. There are very few places in Britain where these back-to-back houses, equivalent to slum housing, have survived.
“Mill owners would often build these houses for their employers so they could watch them from the mill, and get to work on time.
“This discovery will help us find out how Bolton coped with the changing industry and the massive increase in population.
“Looking at a map or reading what someone wrote is from that time is one thing, but actually being able to see and find something today is very exciting.”
The material will now be examined in more detail, a report will be produced and any finds or artefacts will be donated to Bolton Museums and Archives Service.
Cllr Andrew Fender, chair of TfGM, said it was very important for any development to make sure the historical past is recorded.
He said: “It is vital that projects such as Bolton Interchange take into account the wider social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits of heritage conservation, which is why TfGM had archaeological evaluation excavations completed prior to demolition work.”
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