The Sun Inn is situated on Sun Brew, on the left hand side of the road travelling towards Littleborough from Walsden. This road was made around 1781 and it seems possible that the Sun Inn was there from that time. An ideal spot for a wayside spot of refreshment.


The first recorded keeper is William Fielden, who was the son of John Fielden of Hollingworth. William had four children, two sons and two daughters. The eldest of his sons, William jnr. later became a teacher at the school at Lanebottom. He became known as Little Billy. Abraham, the youngest son of William took over the running of the pub from his father before 1825. The Fielden family had left by 1834 when Ogden Mitchell took over.


Ogden Mitchell was a local man, born in Bottoms about 1794 and whose father had built the Waggon and Horse at Bottoms. He had married by 1817 and had eight children. By 1832, he had become a Deputy Constable and in 1834, he left the area to keep a beer shop at Mount Pleasant in Calderbrook. He left Mount Pleasant in 1834 when he and his wife took over at the Sun Inn, at Walsden.

The pub backed onto fields, with the railway in between it and the canal. There used to be a small farm attached to the pub, but the upheaval caused when the railway was made during the 1830's caused major disruption to the farmland. Today the area is overgrown with grass and weeds.
In 1838, Ogden's daughter Susan married Zachariah Jackson of Lanebottom and she and Zach went on to be the lock keepers at East Summit Lock, known as Longlees, for a great number of years.

Ogden's youngest son, also named Ogden, born around 1831, followed in his father's footsteps in the licensing trade in later years by becoming the landlord at the family pub, the Waggon and Horses at Bottoms.

It was whilst Ogden was in charge, that John Marland built his roller making works on part of the land that used be the farm, so some compensation was to be had from that loss of income, as there would be an increase in trade from the workers, who would make good use of a pub on their doorstep.

Tragedy was to strike as Ogden's wife, Mally, died in November 1841, but Ogden married again in 1843 to a widow named Hannah Taylor. He then left the Sun Inn and went to farm at Sladen in Calderbrook. He later came back to his roots at Lanebottom and died there in 1872.


The next family to live in the Sun Inn were Susan Howarth and her husband Thomas Law. Susan had kept the Cherry Tree, during the 1830's, which was a beer house that stood at the bottom of Allescholes Road catering for the needs of the influx of labour when the railway was constructed. The Cherry Tree did not last for long and after Sue left, it was knocked down and a farmhouse was built in its place, known as Moverley Cottage.

Susan went by the name of "Sue Poppit" and was the daughter of Samuel and Sally Howarth of Stennerbottom and Naze. She was born around 1801 and had been the long time sweetheart of Thomas Law from the 1820's. They had six children before they married, all taking their mother's name of Howarth. In 1843, they decided to marry and were at the time running another beer house at Newbridge. Thomas had come from Lighthazels in Calderbrook, and he and Susan would likely have known each other all their lives. Childhood sweethearts in the true sense of the word.


They then removed to the Sun Inn where they remained until April of 1850 when they packed their bags and went to take on the Viaduct Tavern at Gauxholme. Susan died there in 1853 and Thomas died twenty years later in 1873.


William Haigh became the landlord straight after the "Poppits". William's father Reuben had run the Moorcock up on Inchfield Moor, and William had married a publican's daughter and had run a couple of pubs before coming to the Sun, so he was no stranger to pub life. His full story can be read HERE. He did not stay long and had left by 1853 when two more licensees are noted before widow Maria Eastwood took over. They were J. Crossley and then a Mrs. Earnshaw.

Maria Eastwood was a widow of 43 when she moved to the Sun Inn in May of 1859. Her husband William had died in 1857 at Sourhall, where he and Maria had kept a beer house. It was probably the only way of making a living that she could turn her hand to, and with 8 children at home she needed to find a means of making some money. All but three of the children were working, so things were not too bad and they too would soon be marrying and off her hands.

Maria was a Ratcliffe before her marriage to William Eastwood and had spent all her life in the Sourhall area. It would have been a big change for her, coming down to the valley bottom, but needs must. Whilst she was at the Sun, she met William Newell of Strines, a quarryman, and they were married in 1865, William being a good many years her junior. Maria kept on running the pub whilst William went out to work in the stone quarry. With William working and two of her sons, Peter and William, both in work, single and at living at home, presumably tipping up their wages, the family would not be badly off. Her sons were obviously loath to leave home, both were in their 30's, but after all they had everything they wanted there, beer on tap and a mother to look after their cooking, cleaning and washing, so they were in no hurry to leave. Maria's thoughts of getting them off her hands were dashed. William did eventually marry and move on, whilst Peter died at the comparatively young age of 44 in 1893.


With money coming in and Maria not getting any younger, she was able to employ a girl to help with the work. She died in 1885, still at the Sun Inn, and is buried at St. Peter's, Walsden with her Eastwood family.


Daniel Greenwood is the next landlord and he was born in Cliviger around 1858. His father Thomas had been the publican at the pub called the Woodcock at Warland, just a little bit further down the road towards Littleborough. Daniel married a widow, Mally Hollinrake, in 1883 and by a strange quirk of fate, she was the granddaughter of one of the previous landlords, Ogden Mitchell. She was the daughter of Susan Mitchell who had married Zachariah Jackson, and she was previously married to Joseph Hollinrake who died in 1874. Therefore, in a way, the pub had come full circle.


During Daniel's time, at the end of May 1894, Messrs. Wm. Swift and Co., auctioneers from Rochdale, offered the pub up for sale at the White Hart Hotel. It was in an extensive sale of property under an order from the trustees of the late Dr. Taylor, formerly of Todmorden Hall, and The Sun Inn was amongst the twelve lots. Mr. Stonex bought it for £915. Mr. Stonex appears to have been an estate agent and he bought the freehold ground rents on three other properties.


Daniel and Mally continued as the publicans and Mally died in 1897. Daniel carried on at the Sun at least until after 1901. At that time he employed a house servant called Sarah Mitchell aged 50 and single. Maybe she was also one of the family of Mitchell's whose name seems to crop up as having connections with nearly every pub in Walsden and some in Todmorden.

Two more keepers are noted after Daniel and Mally: Richard Halstead in 1917, and Sarah A. Halstead in 1922. Maybe Sarah was the widow of Richard.

Not much else has been recorded about the pub, and it is now a private house, still in it's original place on the main road from Walsden to Littleborough and looking little changed from what it was in previous times.
By the side of the house are some well-worn steps that form part of a public footpath and are used to get to the canal. It is nice to reflect, as you are using them, of the many feet that must have trod these steps over the years. Today we use them to gain access to the countryside and the lovely walks in the area, but in previous times they would have been used to get to work and maybe a short cut home along the canal after a hard day's labour. If you listen carefully, you will probably be able to hear the clatter of clogs echoing down through the years.