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Middlebrook is the name given to a locality on the boundary between Horwichmarker and Lostockmarker in the Metropolitan Borough of Boltonmarker, Greater Manchestermarker, England.

Historically part of Lancashiremarker, the name Middlebrook originally comes from the watercourse which starts at Red Mossmarker, the one time marshland south of Horwichmarker. Further downstream the Middlebrook joins with other tributaries and becomes the River Croal which runs through Boltonmarker and eventually joins the River Irwell at Kearsleymarker.

Today, however, Middlebrook is associated with a modern, out-of-town retail and leisure park which, amongst other things, is home to Reebok Stadiummarker.

History

Etymology

The name Middlebrook (or Middle Brook) comes from the Old English words "mycel" and "broc" meaning "great brook". In 1292 the name was written "Mikelbrok" and over the centuries it became Middlebrook.

Early history

Before the present Middlebrook site was built it had once been farmland for Sefton Fold Farm, Horwichmarker. The original 1666 timber-framed farmhouse was re-built in 1811. Before the buildings were demolished in 1996 a team from the University of Manchestermarker's Archaeological Unit were given three weeks to complete their studies on the Sefton Fold Farm site. Through their excavations they found a moated site of late mediaeval origins. Within the farmhouse itself it was found there was an internal wall which appeared to have once been an external wall. It was also found that some pottery outside which is believed dates back to the late 1500s or early 1600s. Bolton Evening News - Sefton Fold Farm. URL accessed April 8, 2007.

Development

When the developers moved on to the land, the historic site was partly covered by a large roundabout. The farmhouse's 1666/1811 date stone, the kitchen's 1860s cooking range and other items were saved and can be seen at the Heritage Centre in Horwichmarker.

The work to build the Middlebrook complex started in 1996 and by the end of the next year the site was up and running. At Middlebrook it contains the various retail shops and stores expected with an out-of-town site. In addition there is a twelve screened cinema, a ten-pin bowling alley, various caf├ęs and restaurants, two hotels, and the Bolton Arenamarker Sports & Leisure Complex. Middlebrook is currently the second largest retail park in the UK.

At the centre of the site is the impressive Reebok Stadiummarker, the home of Bolton Wanderers F.C.. This stadium was inaugurated on the 1st September 1997 with the first game between Bolton and Everton.

Police Station

Horwich Police Station is located on Burnden Way at the Middlebrook site. The station is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm and 11am to 4pm on Sundays. It is closed on Bank Holidays and has disabled access.

Transport

By car the Middlebrook site is adjacent to Junction 6 of the M61 motorway, by train there is a regular service at Horwich Parkway railway stationmarker, there are also bus services with the 505, 576, and 615/516.

References

  1. Billington, W.D. (1982). From Affetside to Yarrow : Bolton place names and their history, Ross Anderson Publications (ISBN 0-86360-003-4).
  2. Horwich Heritage Centre. URL accessed 5 October 2008.
  3. Bolton West Police - Horwich Police Station. URL accessed 27 May 2007.


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