Tuesday 26 January 2010

Golden Lion & Golden Lion Vaults

Top, the Golden Lion on Church Street and below, the Golden Lion Vaults on the corner of Ainsworth Street and Victoria Street (both photos probably date to the mid-late 1950's). Between them, they would have taken up a substantial portion of the plot that the Woolworth's store (later T.J Hughes) occupied.
For those not old enough to remember either, and I include myself here, the two backed onto each other and were in fact connected internally (see 'Inn' on the section of the OS map below). If you had turned right into Victoria St, where Hiltons shop is in the top photo and walked the short stretch of street, you would pass the shops in the lower photo and arrive at the ornate  doorway to the G. L. Vaults.
George Miller, in his 'Old Inns' book tells us how the Golden Lion was an important coaching inn, in its day and had at the rear, a large courtyard and stables. Stagecoaches left there for Liverpool, Colne, Burnley, Haslingden and no doubt lots of other destinations.
George Miller also tells us of how the cellars were flooded from time to time, when the nearby River Blakewater burst its banks, sometimes totally submerging the whole cellar area. There would be barrels of beer, floating around.
At the time the lower photo was taken, it looks as though Dutton's also had an off licence beside the Vaults. Again, please see the section of the OS map, to see the premises (the L shaped bit), which I'm assuming were an off licence by the 1950's.



  1. The Golden Lion Vaults is a beautiful building. There's one quite similar in Douglas in the Isle of Man actually, the steam railway station. They're probably unconnected but the similarity is striking.

  2. It is a nice looking building. It probably dates to the turn of the last century, as there's an 1880's or 1890's photo of that short stretch of Victoria St and the doorway to the G.L. Vaults and it looks nothing like the above photo, so I'm assuming the facade was rebuilt around 1900 or later.

  3. what a fab building the golden lion vaults was.
    wish i remembered it but it went when i was 3yrs old. such a shame,

  4. Why does it say Mercers Meat Stout - what does the Mercers mean? Brilliant building would love to see a photo of the interior bet it was huge going the full length of the street internally.

  5. Have a look at the posting I put on after this one Debbie. The one of the stout label.

    Mercers were a small brewery near Chorley, which Dutton's bought out. But as their Meat Stout was such a popular drink, Dutton's must have thought it worthwhile to keep on selling it.

  6. You've got me confused when you have placed the bottom photo of the Golden Lion Vaults as being on the corner of Ainsworth St and Victoria St Colin. If my memory serves me right Victoria St and Ainsworth St ran parallel to each other until Ainsworth St ,somehow by Magic, turned itself into Holme St. So I reckon that the location should probably read as being on the corner of Victoria St and Lord St. Or do I need a new compass again Colin !

  7. Been through all this once on another site John. You were a part of that discussion. I'm not going through it all again;-)