Bolton Arts & Culture

Click Now!
Visit Bolton- Exhibitions and museums to visit!

Bolton is home to a number of museums, including the sixteenth century Hall I’ t’ Wood Musuem. The museum was built from timber in the second half the sixteenth century and was once owned by wealthy merchants and yeomen. After 1697 the hall was rented out to a number of different tenants including the young Samuel Crompton and his parents. Crompton was the person who developed the spinning mule in 1779, which revolutionised Bolton’s textile industry, During the winter the Musuem is only open for special exhibitions. Spooky evenings are also held at the hall during the winter because the building is reputed to be haunted.

Smithis Hall is one of Bolton’s original stately family homes and is a Grade 1 listed building that is filled with drama and history. There are exhibits of architecture from various periods dating from medieval times and on through Victorian times. The house is surrounded by formal gardens near to the Penne Moor. The first written records relating to the hall date from 1335 when William Radcliffe obtained the manor.

The Radcliffe family succession died out in 1485 and the hall passed to a wealthy family called Barton, who were sheep owners. Smihis was home to the Barton family until 1659 when the hall passed by marriage to Belasyse family and then sold on to the Ainsworth family in 1801 when the hall was extensively renovated and modernised. In the late nineteen thirties the hall was sold to Bolton Council and eventually became a museum. The place is also reputed to be haunted by several ghosts.

Bolton’s main Art Gallery is part of Bolton’s Museum and Art Gallery, which is set behind the town hall building. The art gallery has a large collection of water colours from the eighteenth and nineteenth century and a fair sized collection of contemporary art. Bolton is home to the Octagon theatre which is recognized as being among some of the best theatres in the country for staging top quality theatre productions. Bolton Little Theatre puts on seven day performances during a season, the theatre was set up by a group of actors and actresses from Bolton in 1931. The Little Theater aims to present classical and contemporary drama for the people of Bolton.The Albert Halls is a collection of small theatres and functions rooms in the Victoria Street area of Bolton. The theatre offers drama, comedy and pantomimes and plenty of fun stuff for kids.

The Bolton Musuem has a number of exhibition halls, some of the artefacts relate to ancient and local history and the museum also holds special exhibitions relationg to both local and world history and culture. The Art Gallery and Aquarium are housed in the same civic centre as the museum, so there is more than enough to see on an afternoon out. The Aquarium was opened in 1941, it is the only public aquarium in Greater Manchester and one of the earliest public aquariums in the country.