Bolton has a proud and distinctive identity. Flemish weavers settled in the area in the fourteenth century, introducing a wool- and cotton-weaving tradition, but it was the introduction of textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution that prompted the townís rapid urbanisation and development. Through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Bolton was a boomtown and one of the largest and most productive centres of cotton spinning in the world, but Britainís cotton industry declined sharply after the First World War and by the 1980s cotton manufacture had virtually ceased in Bolton, forcing the town to come to terms with the inevitable further changes that followed.??This extraordinary history is embodied in the many fine buildings that have shaped this former mill town and Bolton in 50 Buildings explores this history through a selection of its greatest architectural treasures. From the medieval finery of Smithills Hall and the imposing neoclassical Town Hall to more recent additions such as the University of Bolton Stadium, home of Bolton Wanderers, this unique study celebrates the townís architectural heritage in a new and accessible way. Join Ray Jefferson and Jeff Layer as they guide the reader on a tour of Boltonís historic buildings and modern architectural marvels.