The Man and Scythe

Ye Olde Man & Scythe is a public house located on Churchgate, in Bolton, England. The first recorded mention of it by name was in 1251 making it one of the ten oldest public houses in Britain and the oldest in Bolton. The present form of the name is a pseudoarchaism derived from the Man and Scythe Inn; the name is from the crest of the Pilkington family which consists of a reaper using a scythe, alluding to a tradition about one of the early members of the family.


It is not known on what date "Ye Olde Man & Scythe" was originally built, but a charter of 1251 permitting the market mentions it by name. Due to the age of the building though, it has been rebuilt at least once (1636 according to the datestone inside), and only the vaulted cellar remains of the original building, though some of the internal beams remain from the 1636 rebuild. The frontage of the building is an early 20th century remodelling. It is a Grade II listed building.

In 1651 the Earl of Derby was executed for his part in the Bolton Massacre outside the Man and Scythe (owned at the time by the Earl of Derby's family). Outside, there is a cross on the site that bears a plaque which relates the stories of Bolton through the ages. However, within the pub itself, there is a chair that the Earl of Derby supposedly sat in before being taken outside to be beheaded, the inscription of which reads "15th October 1651 In this chair James 7th Earl of Derby sat at the Man and Scythe Inn, Churchgate, Bolton immediately prior to his execution".

Building Activity

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