Monday 14 December 2009

The Old Bull Hotel on Church Street

Probably the best photo of the Old Bull Hotel I've ever seen. This circa 1940 shot, shows it in all its glory.
(please click on the image to expand it)
 Standing on the corner of Church Street and Darwen Street, the Old Bull was for many years, the premier hotel in Blackburn. George Miller, in his book 'Blackburn's Old Inns' tells us how there was a hostelry on this site for at least 500 years. The building pictured, was built in 1847 and closed its doors for the last time, in 1938. It stood empty for the next 12 years and was eventually demolished in 1950.
The top floor, where the sash windows are slightly open, is where the hotel kitchens were. To the left, you can see the Cathedral and to the right, Darwen Street, with the then General Post Office (Postal Order pub) prominent.
This is a shot of the Old Bull's ''Spanish Room'' 
(Courtesy of E. Leaver)
As mentioned above, a pub by the name of the Old Bull had occupied this spot for at least 500 years. Below is one of the earlier buildings and behind it can be seen the parish church of St Mary's, on what is today the Cathedral Grounds.
Courtesy of Blackburn Museum (I think. I can't remember where I got it, but they certainly have this drawing too)


  1. Indeed a grand hotel, I can't imagine why no one would have bought it? Rather unusual to have kitchens on the top floor...

  2. When I was about 13, I worked briefly in the White Bull Hotel, washing up pots and pans,they had kitchens on the top floor too.

  3. The photograph shows Belisha Beacons at the road crossing. Surely this is post-1935 if not post-war rather than 1920s. It also shows a view that would be difficult if not impossible to obtain before the building at the corner of Church Street King William Street was altered - and that was there when the Old Bull was a WVS Civil Defence Headquarters.
    Puzzle? Answers?

  4. The top photograph and the information are off Cottontown John, they've been known to be wrong before.

    I'll bow to your superior knowledge (I have no idea when Belisha Beacons started being used) and looking at the photo again, the way the women are dressed does look much later, so I'll alter it to read circa 1940, then we have a little leeway.

    Kind regards.