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Worktown Walks 3: Turton: The Kays, The Barlows, Football and Nuclear War

by Live from Worktown

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21: Pill Box 03:45


This walk is through the countryside around the ancient district of Turton, near Bolton in the North West of England.

It takes in three villages, a reservoir and plenty of woodland.

The walk is six miles long and has several steepish, possibly muddy, inclines.

If you download the audio, you will receive a PDF of the map and directions in your download folder. If you choose to stream the audio, you can download the map and directions here:


Although it is unsuitable for wheelchairs and buggies, in a separate section at the end of this accompanying map and written directions, a number of alternative walk-arounds are suggested.

Towards the back there is also a hand-drawn map of the walk.

For advice about the route and if you want to comment on the walk, please contact us: daveburnham@livefromworktown.org

We recommend downloading the audio to your device before the walk rather than just streaming as, although this can be done, it’s a sensible precaution against loss of signal while out on the walk. Similarly for these directions, we recommend printing them as a precaution against loss of signal or power to your device.

The audio is free though it does require an email address so we can keep you up to date about Live from Worktown’s arts and heritage activities in Bolton, though you can unsubscribe at any time.

You can, if you wish, make a donation to the group when downloading and any money collected this way will go towards our costs or producing our various arts and heritage projects in the town.

‘Wander the fields and lanes of Turton Manor and you come across pretty villages, traditional cottages and even a sprinkling of architect designed houses for the rich.  But look more carefully and you can see the remains of a truly stunning industrial heritage - a legacy as strong here as anywhere across Lancashire’s manufacturing heartlands.

This is where the Kays, the Barlows, the Horrocks and Thomassons turned cottage workshops into commercial empires, sprinkling Turton's landscape with mills, chimneys and bleachworks - creating a landscape as laden with soot and grime as Bolton and Blackburn.   So this walk combines the delights of woodland glades and bracing moors with the emerging knowledge of a history which featured the grit and labour Lancashire is known for.’  


released May 25, 2021

Written and researched by Dave Burnham

Read and recorded, photography and design by Brad B. Wood

Trialed and tested by Peter D. Firth and Dave Bryce

Additional voices by Emily Cooke, Andy Openshaw and Tony Bridge

Map by Dave Burnham

Dave Burnham would also like to thank:

Richard Horrocks (Turton born and bred, eminent textile scientist and historian of the Kay family) who advised and commented on the content, the team at the Barlow Institute for checking the detail about the Barlow family, and the late Jim Francis, historian of all things Turton.


Intro: Diversion M1
Composed and played by Dave Bryce

Stop 1: Turton Drawing Room
Composed and played Peter D. Firth

Stop 10: Hymn for the Past
Composed and played Peter D. Firth

Stop 15: Sagina (And Can it Be)
Composed by Thomas Campbell (1825) played Peter D. Firth

Stop 21: Rugged Landscape
Composed and played Peter D. Firth

Credits music: Diversion M74
Composed and played Dave Bryce

For further information on the music:

Dave Bryce: davebryce.bandcamp.com
Peter D. Firth: peterdfirth.bandcamp.com

This walk has been produced by Live from Worktown with funding from Bolton’s Fund.

Live from Worktown CIC - Co No 13586112

Live from Worktown, Third Floor, St George's House, St George’s Rd Bolton, BL1 2EN



all rights reserved



Live from Worktown Bolton, UK

A Bolton-based Community-led Arts and Heritage Organisation in the North West of England.


Live from Worktown CIC - Co No 13586112

Live from Worktown, Third Floor, St George's House, St George’s Rd Bolton, BL1 2EN info@livefromworktown.org
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