A FAMILY dynasty which dominated history in the Bolton area for eight centuries is to be remembered with a blue plaque installed on the site of its former home.
Hulton Hall, which was demolished in 1958, was the home of the Hulton family from just after the Norman conquest, and the Westhoughton Local History Group has decided to recognise its significance.
Blue plaques have been used to denote places of historical interest for about 150 years and the Hulton estate plaque is the second unveiled by the Westhoughton group.
It has been placed on the outside kitchen wall of Hulton Cottage, the smaller home that Sir Geoffrey and Lady Patricia Hulton moved into when the hall was knocked down.
The group says the recent sale of the estate prompted its desire to do something to ensure the Hulton legacy is remembered in Bolton.
The 1,000-acre estate in Over Hulton, has been in the hands of the Hulton family since 1167, although it is believed its links with the site stretch back to 989.
Westhoughton historian David Kaye said: “This is, without doubt, a quite remarkable local story, the full details of which are known to relatively few people.
"The first blue plaque installed by the group was done some years ago on the White Lion pub in Market Street, commemorating the bi-centenary of the burning of the Westhoughton Mill by a rioting Luddite mob in 1812.”
The Hultons became one of Lancashire’s most important families, and left a remarkable local legacy over eight centuries, until the end of the dynasty came with the death of Sir Geoffrey Hulton in 1993, who had no heir.
The reasons for their early wealth are unclear but they capitalised on the rich oil seams the estate sat on.
By the 1800s, the Hulton mines were excavating so much coal, railway lines had to be built to transport it from the collieries to Bolton.
Their estate was also the scene of the 1910 Pretoria Pit disaster, in which 344 men and boys were killed in an explosion.
The Hulton family always refused to have a memorial installed on site, but Peel Holdings, which bought the estate in 2010, agreed to such a proposal, giving people in the town a place to go to remember the victims of the disaster.
The group’s president Pam Clarke said: “That building specifically has only been there for a few years, but we wanted to do something to highlight the importance of the area.
“With the estate no longer in the hands of the Hultons, who knows what might eventually happen to it. The people who live there were happy for us to attach the plaque to the kitchen wall.”