BOLTON’S hidden history will be revealed during Heritage Open Days this weekend.

Bill Naughton’s original script for Alfie, the chilling interrogation room of a famous Bolton martyr and arguably the finest rooftop view in the town all feature during the English Heritage backed programme of activities.

Here are twelve of the borough’s attractions that will host special events, many offering the chance to glimpse rarely seen archives and off-limit areas.

1. Bolton Archive

The Bolton News:

Go behind the scenes in Bolton Archive as the museum opens its rarely seen strong room vault. The collection’s oldest item will be on display – ancient land deeds dating from the 16th century – as well as a Bolton Police’s criminal log book, with most recorded offences being of drunk and disorderly in Bradshawgate – proving that some things changes little in 100 years. Elsewhere features Bill Naughton’s original script for Alfie. Pictured is collections access officer, Caroline Fury, in the archive room.  Limited places left for 45 minute tours on Saturday 10am and 11am and Sunday 11am and 12noon. Call 1204 332211 to book.

2. Bolton Little Theatre

The Bolton News: Bolton Little Theatre

Visitors can go on a behind the scenes tour of Bolton Little Theatre, including back-stage area and rehearsal spaces, see original documents relating to productions and find out about the history of the building since it was converted for theatre performance in 1934. Saturday September 12 between 10am and 3.30pm and Sunday, September 13 between 10am and 4pm.

3. Bank Street Unitarian Chapel

The Bolton News:

Visitors can tour the Bank Street Unitarian Chapel, dating to 1854. Displays will tell the story of the congregation, beginning in 1662. Open Saturday, September 12 between 11am- 5pm and Sunday, September 13 between 11.45am and 2pm.

4. Bolton Parish Church

The Bolton News:

Bolton Parish Church will hold tours of the church tower on Saturday afternoon. There will be a chance to see the collection of thirteen bells (pictured, with guide Linda Mort) including the 1699 tenor bell, as well as taking in one of the finest views of Bolton from the roof of the church tower. The tower, said to be the highest parish church tower in Lancashire, is 180ft high and commands extensive views over the surrounding moorlands, from which the old title of Bolton-le-Moors originates.

5. Bolton Steam Museum

The Bolton News: Bolton Steam Museum open day at Atlas Mills, Chorley Old Road, Bolton.Photo by Steve Holt Newsquest Bolton Ltd, Sunday September 15 2013. (28158072)

Bolton Steam Museum’s 25 old stationary steam engines will be on display, most of which will be running. Many of the museum’s collection are unique and were used to power the industrial revolution in Bolton – with the oldest being 170-years-old. Saturday, September 12 10am-4pm and Sunday, September 13 between 10am and 4pm.

6. Hall i’ th Wood Museum

The Bolton News: Hall i' th' Wood

Visitors can take a tour of Hall i’ th Wood Museum, with a rare chance to see the attic space where Samuel Crompton allegedly hid the spinning mule during an outbreak of machine-breaking in the late 1700s. Saturday, September 12 between 12noon and 4pm.

7. Holy Trinity, Horwich

The Bolton News:

The Georgian Grade II listed Holy Trinity Church in Horwich, will be offering guided yours of the bell tower from 10am until noon.No booking required. Saturday, September 12 between 10am to4pm. Bell Tower tours between 10am and 12noon.

8. Smithills Hall

The Bolton News: The Rediscovery of Smithills Hall Stable Block

Smithills Hall will offer free entry and guided tours on Sunday. Not usually open to the public will be the room where Bolton Protestant Preacher, George Marsh, was interrogated by the owner of the estate, Robert Barton. Marsh was later burned at the stake because of his faith. Legend has it that as George Marsh was being led from the Hall he stamped his foot on the flagstone, leaving a mark that has remained there ever since as a declaration of his steadfast faith.

9. St Stephen and All Martyrs’ Church

The Bolton News:

St Stephen and All Martyrs’ Church is the first of Edmund Sharpe's three famous 'pot' –or terracotta – churches. It was built 1842-45 of locally produced blocks and decorative elements, influenced by early Gothic architecture. In the graveyard are the war graves of nine service personnel, grouped around the base of the war memorial.

10. Bolton Octagon

The Bolton News: Octagon Theatre, olton.
Stock pic.
Picture by Roy Bolton, Newsquest (Bolton) Ltd. Picture taken Tuesday 8th January, 2013 (16402651)

Thursday, September 10 2pm-4pm, Saturday, September 12 10am-3.30pm, Sunday, September 13 12noon-3.30pm Octagon Theatre in Bolton will offer exclusive behind-the-scenes tours on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 September. It’s a rare opportunity to see the backstage of a theatre - a must for anyone who's ever wondered what goes in to making a show.

11. Victoria Hall

The Bolton News:

Victoria Hall will offer hourly tours of the main hall and the normally unseen depths of the building. While the lower areas of the building are inaccessible to wheelchair users there will be a video presentation of this part of the premises. Magic lantern shows showing some slides of the early days at Victoria Hall as well as other slides will also be on display, as well as some Victorian musical entertainment. Saturday, September 12 between 10am and 4pm.

Find out more about the events going on around Bolton at