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Longton - Golden Ball Inn

Name: The Golden Ball Inn

Address: 150, Liverpool Road, Longton

The Golden Ball Inn has a commanding position in the centre of the village at the junction of Marsh Lane and Liverpool Road (the Old Liverpool & Preston Turnpike Road) and is reported to have been the tap of the W & R Wilkins Brewery on Marsh Lane. Their brewery, founded by William and Richard Wilkins, was opened about 1870 but the family were residents in the village long before that operating the malting down Marsh Lane.  They were maltsters for the brewery in Preston and ran several of the local pubs including the Walmer Bridge Inn and the Longton Arms.

Listed landlords at the pub were Thomas Wilkins (1814-24), James Pye (1839-44), Mr Newton (1845), Mr Simms (1848), John Wilkins (1849-54), William Whittle (1856), James Wignall (1861-66), James Wilkins (1867-71), Richard Harrison (1881), Joseph Hull (1889-99), Elizabeth Hull (1901-07), Richard Law (1909-11), William Booth Hindle (1924-30) and Chris Wilson (2019-).

1824 Baines' Directory

Sunday week, a well-dressed person, in a gig, stopped a few minutes to bait at Mr. T. Wilkins's, the Golden Ball Inn, Longton and tendered a five pound note in payment of his bill, the man having got his change, drove off towards Liverpool.
24 May 1828 - Lancaster Gazette - Lancaster, Lancashire, England

1844 Map

It's interesting to note that the Golden Ball was run for a short period in the early 1840s by James Pye, the proprietor of the other brewery in Longton, James Pye & Son, which was based alongside the Wilkin's Brewery just down Marsh Lane and was actually the first brewery in Longton having opened around 1830.

To be Let, (With early possession if required), THE GOLDEN BALL INN, in Longton, five miles from Preston to J. PYE, on the promises. 
21 December 1839 - Preston Chronicle - Preston, Lancashire, England

ORDER OF ODD-FELLOWS INTEND to meet at the house of Mr. JAMES PYE, the Golden Ball Inn, Longton, on Monday the 29th instant, at ten o'clock in the forenoon, previous to walking in PROCESSION. 
20 June 1840 - Preston Chronicle - Preston, Lancashire, England

1841 Census

The following press articles confirm how many different landlords occupied the pub during the 1840s.

 ...put his sovereigns which he had received in a check bag; put check bag in his pocket; called at Mr. Pye's the Golden Ball, Longton; had got rather fresh in drink, went asleep, money then went (£29). That was on Saturday night.
24 February 1844 - Preston Chronicle - Preston, Lancashire, England

On Monday last, the rent day of these gentlemen was held at the house of Mr. Newton, the Golden Ball in Longton, on which occasion their respective tenants were treated to a most excellent dinner provided by the worthy .
22 November 1845 - Preston Chronicle - Preston, Lancashire, England

By Mr. WM. PEARSON, at the house of Mr. Simms the Golden Ball Inn, in Longton, in the county Lancaster on Wednesday, the 14th day of June instant, at six o'clock in the evening
10 June 1848 - Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser

 On Monday evening last, a supper was given to a large party of friends and neighbours, by Mr. John Wilkins, of the Golden Ball, Longton. The Longton band attended, and, with untiring zeal, kept up a flow of good humour and pleasing enjoyment.
24 February 1849 - Preston Chronicle - Preston, Lancashire, England

1851 Census

1854 Mannex Directory
 The pony was handed over to the postman on Saturday evening last, by Mr. Whittle, of the Golden Ball, Longton, and it has performed the journey here and back to Longton every day this week.
25 October 1856 - Preston Chronicle - Preston, Lancashire, England

Transfer of Licence
The licence of the Golden Ball lnn, Longton, was transferred to Mr. James Wignall. 
19 June 1858 - Bolton Chronicle - Bolton, Lancashire, England

1861 Census

 Lot 3.—The well-known INN, called the Golden Ball, Longton, in the occupation of Mr. James Wignall, with the outbuildings thereto belonging, and the two Cottages, Wheelwrights... 
23 December 1865 - Preston Herald - Preston, Lancashire, England

We know from the following press article that James Wignall had left the pub by 1867 and moved to Liverpool

Advertisements & Notices
 BEER AND SPIRIT DEALER "PEACOCK INN," 1, POWNALL SQUARE (Near Tithebarn-street), LIVERPOOL. JAMES WIGNALL, late of the Golden Ball, Longton, begs to inform his friends and the public in general that he has opened the above premises 
02 February 1867 - Preston Chronicle - Preston, Lancashire, England

I suspect the entry in the directory below that lists "Jas Williams" as landlord is a typo and the pub was actually being run by Jas (James) Wilkins during this period, as he was two years later at the time of the 1871 Census.

Marriage: 9 Aug 1866 St Andrew, Longton, Lancashire, England
William Wilkins - full Saddler Bachelor of Preston
Ellen Taylor - full Spinster of Longton
    Groom's Father: James Wilkins, Inn Keeper
    Bride's Father: Nicholas Taylor, Farmer
    Witness: William Banister; Thomas Johnson
    Married by: Lawrence Preston
    Register: Marriages 1838 - 1900, Page 34, Entry 68
    Source: LDS Film 1278777

Marriage: 4 Nov 1869 St Andrew, Longton, Lancashire, England
William John Fisher - 29 Plasterer Bachelor of Longton
Ellen Wilkins - 22 Spinster of Longton
    Groom's Father: Joseph Fisher, Plasterer
    Bride's Father: James Wilkins, Innkeeper
    Witness: Richard Wilkins; Ellen Norris
    Married by: Charles J. Astbury M. A. Incumbent.
    Register: Marriages 1838 - 1900, Page 40, Entry 79
    Source: LDS Film 1278777

1869 Slater's Directory

Valuable FREEHOLD PROPERTY Longton. 
Sold by Auction, Mr. John Jeff BYES, at the house of Mr. James Wilkins, the Golden Ball, Longton, Wednesday, May 18, 1870 
Very desirable small farm, maltkiln, cottage residence and several closes of land. 
23 April 1870 - Preston Herald - Preston, Lancashire, England

1871 Census
Mr. Myres, coroner, held an inquest, on Saturday, at the Golden Ball Inn, Longton, near Preston, on the body of William Ryding, boy nine years of age, who committed suicide in a most determined manner on the previous day.
25 February 1871 - The Ashton Weekly Reporter

Later that year James Wilkins was to pass away at just 62 years of age.

Burial: 17 Jul 1871 St Andrew, Longton, Lancashire, England
James Wilkins - Age: 62 years
    Abode: Longton
    Buried by: C. J. Astbury M. A. Incumbent
    Register: Burials 1852 - 1900, Page 60, Entry 473
Source: LDS Film 1278778

Auction, by Mr. HENRY SNAPE. at the house Mrs. Wilkin's, the Golden Ball Inn, in Longton, the county of Lancaster, on Wednesday, the 25th day of September. 1872, the hour of six o'clock this evening.
14 September 1872 - Preston Herald - Preston, Lancashire, England

1881 Census

1891 Census

1901 Census

1905 Kelly's Directory
 Intruder William Ormiston Henderson (32), labourer, was charged with burglariously breaking and entering into the Golden Ball Hotel, Longton and stealing roast beef and 7s in money, the property of Mrs. Elizabeth Hull. 
18 May 1907 - Preston Herald - Preston, Lancashire, England

Longton Wesleyans
 First reception dinner, organised means meeting new and old friends, was held by Mr. Rd. Law, the licensee at the Golden Ball Hotel, Longton, on Thursday evening. The evening proved highly successful. 
23 January 1909 - Preston Herald - Preston, Lancashire, England

1911 Census

1924 Kelly's Directory

WILLIAM BOOTH, the beloved husband of ALICE E. HINDLE, in his 71st year 
(late of the Golden Ball. Longton).
—Inquiries to J. C. Barnes and Son. Ltd. Funeral Furnishers. Fulwood.
17 February 1930 - Lancashire Evening Post - Preston, Lancashire

TO LET, Golden Ball Hotel, Longton. Fully licensed- Wilkins Brewery, Longton, Preston. 
26 June 1940 - Liverpool Echo - Liverpool, Lancashire, England

Golden Ball courtesy of WhatPub

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