About Bolton : Historically part of Lancashire, Bolton rose to prominence during the 19th century as a mill town centred on textile manufacture and cotton spinning. At its zenith it was one of the largest and most productive centres of cotton manufacture in the world. The town's name, (in full, Bolton-le-Moors) has been recorded over the years with many derivations of spelling including Bothelton, Boulton and Bolton-super-Moras. However, the exact origins are not totally clear from historical records. There have been three main hypotheses - one is that because of its location in the valleys of confluencing moorland rivers, it is derived from "Bowl Town"[citation needed]- another suggesting it is a derivation from the Saxon words "bolt" and "tun", meaning "arrow" and "stockade" respectively. A final suggestion is from the words "boul" and "town", where boul means a monument or central feature, though the boul itself is unidentified. A further possibility is that "bol" derives from the Norse for farm and "ton" from the Norse for town. The town's position on the west of the Pennines provides a damp climate. It is this feature which probably led to Flemish weavers, fleeing the Huguenot persecutions in the 17th century, to eventually settle here, as moisture-laden air allows for the spinning of cotton with little breakage. The cotton industry was to provide the catalyst for the town's expansion between the 14th and 19th centuries. Large, steam-powered textile mills eventually dominated the town's skyline, providing the major employment and defining the rhythm of the working week, so much so that an annual shut-down for maintenance in late June became the Bolton Holidays. There were also some large iron foundries in the town as well as other engineering works, many connected with the cotton industry.

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