Among the highlights of any visit to Bolton, Lancashire’s delightful town centre is a trip to the galleries and museum in Le Man’s Cresent, just behind the magnificant Town Hall.
Le Mans Cresent is a Georgean terrace, that looks as if it has been borrowed from regency Versailles. Much of the cresent arc belongs to the municipal, crown and magistrates courts, but the end section contains the town Museum, art gallery, library and even an aquarium – all free admission – all neatly held in one building.
The Library is a general reading facility, with an excellent archive – and a gift to students of the nearby university campus, (where I studied in the late 1980’s). Membership is required as with any library, if you wish to borrow books.
The basement contains a superb aquarium, with several rather over-lit fish tanks with lots of exotic catfish and Amazonian Pirhana among the exhibits.
The Museum boasts several stuffed animals, dinosaur castings, toys through the ages (including many that you can play with), and there is an excelent egyptology room, with some real mummies on display. In many ways, the museum is a smaller version of Manchester’s Oxford Road based University museum,.but tat is not a bad thing.
THE ART GALLERY
The real highlight of a tour to me is the gallery, which has many wonderful paintings and scuptures from the 17th century to the present day. There are works here by Lowry, Pre-Raphaelites,a nd Henry Moore. The best work is the scattered display of bronze sculptures by Jacob Epstien, including a startling and instantly recognisable bust of Einstein.
The gallery is well worth a visit, especially on a rainy day.
LINK TO THIS PAGE http://arthurchappell.me.uk/bolton.galleries.htm
FACEBOOK - http://profile.to/arthurchappell/