The Bolton Bridgeman Connection

In 2015 the Weston Park Foundation in Shropshire approached Bolton Documentary Photography to commission an arts and education project to explore the long relationship between the Earls of Bradford and Bolton. The Bridgeman family (Earls of Bradford) has a long connection with Bolton, starting with John Bridgeman, Bishop of Chester, who acquired the Great Lever estate for a country residence in 1629. Subsequently, and for more than 350 years, the family helped shape the growth and economic development of Bolton.

Weston Park on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border was the family seat of the Earls of Bradford until it was acquired for the nation in 1986. The project culminated in an exhibition in their modern art gallery in September 2017. We were delighted to work alongside the Bishop Bridgeman C of E Primary School in Bolton, supporting their lessons and helping mount their own exhibition alongside ours in a major presentation and celebration of the work in Bolton parish church as well as at the Granary Gallery at Weston Park.

The work was made possible because of the Weston Park Foundation, The Provincial Walsh Trust, The Earl of Bradford, Bishop Bridgeman C of E Primary School, the University of Bolton, St Peter’s Parish Church, Bolton Arts Forum, Mr William Morgan, Bolton Library and Museum Services, Staffordshire County Council Record Office, the Arts Society Bolton and Bidwells in Cambridge.

The photographs below illustrate the project and the exhibitions.

Working with Bishop Bridgeman Primary School

The school visit to Weston Park

Our exhibition is prepared

The presentation in Bolton parish church

The exhibition at Weston Park