A brief history.
The parish takes its name from the estate of the Bold family who traces its origins back to Anglo-Saxon times before the Norman conquest of 1066. The name Bold is said to have originated with a blacksmith named John Birch who it is claimed killed a Griffin that was terrorising the local area and killing sheep and cattle. After this deed, he was given the title John the Bold and given extensive lands which became the Bold Hall Estate. This is also the reason for the Bold coat of arms featuring a Griffin or Gryphon.
The Bold family were prominent members of Lancashire society. In 1402 John de Bold was the garrison commander who defended Caernarvon castle against Owen Glendower he was subsequently Knighted. In 1407 he became high Sheriff of Lancashire and was the first of six descendants to hold that office. By 1588 the Bold family held extensive lands in Lancashire extending to some 33,000 acres and employing 2000 staff to maintain their house and estate.
In more recent times in 1802, Jonas Bold became Lord mayor of Liverpool and Bold Street in that city is named after him.
In 1761 Peter Bold MP died leaving three daughters but no sons and this led to the Bold family eventually losing their ties with the estate and by 1861 the only remaining heir sold the estate to Wigan cotton merchant Henry Tipping. He allowed the hall to fall into a dilapidated state and when he died in 1891 the hall was willed to Tipping’s cousin who never actually live at Bold but sold the hall and estate to a coal mining consortium who subsequently demolished what was one of the finest country houses at that time.
No History of Bold would be complete without mention of the industry which was the mainstay of the area for a century. The area had three coal mines. The first mine to be sunk was at Bold Colliery in 1875 under the management of the Collins Green Mining company, The Bold Hall Estate mining company then established a colliery at Clock Face and a further colliery was established In Sutton Manor.
After many years of contributing to the wealth and economy of the area, the three pits were closed Clock Face in 1965, Bold in 1985 and finally one of the last Lancashire pits to close Sutton Manor finally closed its gates in 1991.
All three former colliery sites now form part of the Bold Forest Park a linked area of countryside and woodland visited by over 85,000 visitors each year. In memory of the mining heritage in 2009, a sculpture ‘Dream’ by renowned artist Jaume Plensa was erected on the former Sutton Manor colliery site. This depicts the head of a girl with closed eyes representing hope for the future.
The Bold skyline was dominated for many years by the five cooling Towers of the Bold power station adjacent to the Bold Colliery these were supplied with coal directly from the colliery and by rail from elsewhere to the station’s large railway sidings. Two towers were demolished in 1985 and the remaining towers came down in 1991 following decommissioning of the station. The site of the power station is now a modern and attractive housing estate of some 600 houses known as New Bold.
In May 1980 the extensive railway sidings adjacent to the L&NWR line were used for a re-enactment of the Rainhill Trials.
In its long history, the parish of Bold has seen many changes from being a largely agricultural area and home to one of Lancashire’s most prestigious estates. Through the industrial revolution of the 19th and 20th centuries and the eventual demise of the coal mining industry to today’s mainly rural backdrop to a thriving and vibrant community with a proud heritage.