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",] another suggesting it is a derivation from the Saxon words "bolt" and "tun", meaning "arrow" and "stockade" respectively.The urbanisation and development of Bolton largely coincided with the introduction of textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution however.
The A666 (sometimes referred to as `The Devil's Highway' because of the numeric designation) is a 4-lane dual carriageway which acts as a spur from the large M61/M60 motorway interchange, carrying traffic to and from the town centre.
Evidence of a Saxon settlement exists in the form of religious objects found when the present Victorian parish church was built.
The town was given a charter to hold a market in Churchgate in 1251 by King Henry III of England.
This attack, which later came to be known as the Bolton Massacre, resulted in 1,600 residents being killed and 700 taken prisoner.
Noted as a former mill town, textiles have been produced in Bolton since Flemish weavers settled in the area during the 15th century, developing a wool and cotton weaving tradition.