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River Croal
River Croal.jpg
River Croal at Little Lever
Physical characteristics
 • locationthe confluence of Middle Brook and Deane Church Brook
 • location
confluence with River Irwell
 • coordinates
53°33′0″N 2°22′57″W / 53.55000°N 2.38250°W / 53.55000; -2.38250Coordinates: 53°33′0″N 2°22′57″W / 53.55000°N 2.38250°W / 53.55000; -2.38250
Length10 mi (16 km)

The River Croal is a river located in Greater Manchester, England. It is a tributary of the River Irwell.

Rising at the confluence of Middle Brook and Deane Church Brook, it flows eastwards through Bolton, collecting Gilnow Brook and the larger River Tonge at Darcy Lever. Most of the river is culverted through Bolton town centre, running under Knowsley Street, Market Place and Bridge Street. Before 1836, the River Croal formed the boundary between the townships of Great and Little Bolton.

The name of the river is derived from the Old English croh and wella, the winding stream. It was possibly originally called the Middlebrook along its entire length as early references mention the Mikelbrok, (mycel and broc), the great stream but not the Croal.[1]

It meets the Irwell at Nob End, Kearsley after a total course of around ten miles.




  1. ^ Mills 1976, p. 76


  • Mills, David (1976), The Placenames of Lancashire, Batsford, ISBN 0-7134-5236-6
Next confluence upstream River Irwell Next confluence downstream River Roch (East) River Croal River Irk (East)