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Kearsley (or archaically Kersley) is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Boltonmarker, in Greater Manchestermarker, England. It lies about 12 km north west of the City of Manchestermarker and about 6 km south of Boltonmarker.

It is bounded on the west by Walkdenmarker, the east by Whitefieldmarker, the north by Farnworthmarker and the south by Cliftonmarker.

Kearsley was once a township in the ancient ecclesiastical parish of Deanemarker, in the Hundred of Salfordmarker of Lancashiremarker. Kearsley was an urban district of Lancashiremarker from 1894 until 1974. In 1933, part of Clifton was added to Kearsley Urban District. Part of Outwood of Radcliffemarker became part of Kearsley in line with the 1933 Lancashire Review.


The area now known as Kearsley was mentioned as an industrial area in 1752, when James Brindley worked on water drainage problems at the Wet Earth Collierymarker on the borders of Kearsley and Clifton. In 1780, a mill was built at the point where the River Croal meets the River IrwellThe first real mention of Kearsley was in 1830 when it was described as:

"Kersley, a township in the parish of Deane, Hundred of Salford, 7 miles N.W. from Manchester. Inhabitants 1833. In this township is Kearsley Moor, an extensive common, under the surface of which there are many valuable coalmines".


Today Kearsley has little industry, the one remaining mill is now a multi occupancy building housing both retail and light engineering. There are three small industrial estates concerned mainly with the transport industry.
  • Europa Industrial Estate, Stoneclough Road
  • Fishbrook Industrial Estate, Stoneclough Road
  • Lion Industrial Estate, Moss Road

There is a small shopping precinct and some isolated shops along Manchester Road.

In the mid 1800s, the area was busy with the coal mining industry. Several street names such as Moss Colliery Road bear testimony to this. The largest coal mine was the Unity Brook Colliery. On 12 March 1878 an explosion in the mine killed 43 men and boys. Nineteen of the dead were buried in the Parish Church. By 1900 the coal mining industry had all but disappeared from the area.

On the area now known as Nob Endmarker, a chemical works was built by Harrison Blair. The works produced vitriol (sulphuric acid).

In the late 1920s a coal fired power station was built. Kearsley Power station used water for cooling taken from the River Irwell. The power station closed, and was later demolished, on May 12, 1985. The power station had a dedicated rail line, which has since been removed and forms part of a pedestrian trail.


Kearsley sprang up on the main A666 from Manchester to Bolton. Today it lies on the A666 at a point where the Kearsley Roundabout connects it and Farnworth to the M61 motorway via the Kearsley Spur Link Road.

Kearsley railway stationmarker is located on aptly named Station Road, from here there is a service northbound to Wigan Wallgatemarker and southbound to Rochdale railway stationmarker via Manchester Victoriamarker. In 1878, the mineral railway line to Kearsley was opened, at a cost of £100.

It is on the main bus route from Bolton to Manchester. In earlier days, it was on the main tram route. On 3 June 1881, trams ran the full length of the system: Town Hall Square, Bolton to Farnworth & Kearsley. the main bus routes that run through kearsley are the number 8 bus and 22.

Notable people


For its size, Kearsley has a disproportionate number of churches. The main church being the parish church of St. Stephens.

St Stephens

Church of England, located on Manchester Road, St Stephen's Church was the vision of Harrison Blair. who owned the chemical works at Nob End. The church has a graveyard which hold the remains of 19 miners killed in the Unity Brook Colliery disaster, The church was founded in 1870 erected in 1870-71 by the family of the Harrison Blair who died before his vision could be finished. It cost £3,600 and has seating for 538 parishioners. The Bishop of Manchester, Dr Fraser, finally consecrated the newly built Church on 1 July 1871.

Congregational church

A United Reformed Church, founded before 1890. It is now closed.

New Jerusalem church

Located on Bolton Rd, founded in 1836, the church has a now disused graveyard.

St John Fisher

Catholic Church, founded in 1969 on Manchester Road.

Kearsley Mount

A Methodist Church of Great Britain, built in 1891 on Manchester Road faces the Parish Church of St Stephens.

Schoenstatt Shrine

After two years in planning and ten months of building, the Schoenstatt Shrine was dedicated on 1 October 2000 by Bishop Terence John Brain of Salford. The opening was attended by visitors from as far away as Mexico, Australia and South America as well as Schoenstatt members from Ireland, Scotland and its native Germany.


The schools in Kearsley are under the control of Bolton Education Department. The pupil and ID numbers are extracted from the Bolton MBC web site

Pre school

The area has two nursery schools, Rompers which is a private nursery taking 33 children and Spindle Point School.


There are two primary schools both under the direction of Bolton Education, Spindle Point School (pupils 247Ofsted Id 105/105196, Dfes Number 2075) and the church attached St. Stephens Church of England Primary School (pupils 222, Ofsted Id 105/105240,Dfes Number: 3354)


There is one secondary school in Kearsley, George Tomlinson School on Springfield Road. (Pupils 541, Ofsted Id 105/105268, Dfes Number: 5402). Its age rage is 11–16 years of age, and allows mixed genders.


Keasley Ward is in the Parliamentary district of Bolton South Eastmarker. In 2007, the Member of Parliament for the Ward is Dr Brian Iddon (Labour Party)

The local councillors for Kearsley in 2007 are Councillor John Rothwell and Councillor Mrs Margaret Rothwell, Both Liberal Democrats


Image:Kearsley North.jpg| Kearsley looking north, taken from St Stephens Church towerImage:Kearsley West.jpg| Kearsley looking west, taken from St Stephens Church towerImage:Kearsley South.jpg| Kearsley looking south, taken from St Stephens Church towerImage:Kearsley East.jpg| Kearsley looking east, taken from St Stephens Church tower


  1. (1830) The New Lancashire Gazetteer or Topographical Dictionary
  2. Vision of Britain
  3. Bolton Organisation
  4. This is Lancashire
  5. Durham Mining Museum
  6. Genuki Kearsley
  7. St Stephens official web site
  8. Bolton Revisited
  9. Genuki Churches
  10. Schoenstatt - German site in English
  11. Day nurseries UK
  12. Spindle Point School web site
  13. Bolton MBC web site - Political
  14. Bolton MBC website

External links

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