One of the main sources of the Hulton family’s wealth came from the rich coal seams under their estate. Mining first started in the 1550s, and there is evidence of mining in the area since the 16th century.
By the 1800s the amount of coal being extracted from the estate required the new technology of the railway to transport it from the collieries. This led to the visit at Hulton Hall of the railway pioneer George Stephenson who in August 1828 completed the first section of a railway line that connected Bolton to the collieries. This was two years before Stephenson had completed his link between Manchester and Liverpool.
The estate was the site of a great tragedy when on 21 December 1910 an underground explosion at the Pretoria Pit claimed the lives of 344 men and boys. Memorials on the edge of Park and in Westhoughton mark their lives.
There have been a number of Halls built on the site and the earliest known dating from the 14th century. In the early 19th century, a landscape designed by John Webb was created along with a much grander Hulton Hall. The landscape included new plantations, pasture, pleasure gardens and lakes.
By the 1950s the Hall had fallen into disrepair and had been damaged by vandalism. It was demolished in 1958. The gardens and wider Park also became neglected and the family dynasty came to an end with the death of Sir Geoffrey Hulton, who had no heir, in 1993.
Peel Land and Property acquired the Hulton Estate in 2010.