Lancashire cities, boroughs, towns and major villages
order - continued:
Darwen dates its history back to Anglo-Saxon times though evidence
is scarce, depending mainly on an ancient burial ground uncovered
in the Whitehall area. It takes its name from the river which runs
through the narrow valley from the south through the town. From the
19th century passing trade giving rise to regular markets in Over
Darwen and during the Industrial Revolution the town grew into a booming
cotton mill town and by 1911 its population reached around 40,400.
The Borough of Darwen was created in 1877 and remained intact until
Local Government reorganisation of 1974 when it became part of the
Borough of Blackburn. Currently around 33,000 live in the town. Overlooking
the town stands the dominant Jubilee Tower, (locally known as Darwen
Tower), built in 1897 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen
In 1998 Darwen became part of the new Blackburn with Darwen Unitary
Authority which made it completely independent of Lancashire County
is located on the coast of south-west Lancashire, 13 miles north of
Liverpool and 7 miles
south of Southport beside the
River Alt. The village was founded by Scandinavian settlers in the
early 9th century in a remote and inaccessible part of the county,
isolated by forests, lakes and marshland. In the nineteenth century
the arrival of the railways connected the village directly with Liverpool
and Southport, which sentenced Formby to eventually become a major
dormitory area for the Metropolitan Borough of Merseyside to the south.
is a small market town, located in Lancashire where a main north-south
road crosses the Wyre. The name of the town probably comes from the
Saxon word "Gaerstung" (meaning common or meadow
land). In the Doomsday Survey of 1086 it is described as "Cherestanc".
In 1314 King Edward II granted a Charter for a market to be held in
the town. Two annual horse and cattle fairs were also held up until
quite recent times. The Market Place still exists as a focal point
for the township, with food produce market days on Thursdays, and
is nowadays marked by a Market Cross which was first erected in 1887
to commemorate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee. Also in the Market
Place stand the old village stocks; there were also several large
stones (the Fish Stones) which were used to display fishmonger's wares.
On the outskirts are the ruins of Greenhalgh Castle, built by Thomas
Stanley, the Earl of Derby in 1490. In the end it fell to Cromwellian
forces during the English Civil Wars
Harwood, in the Parish of Blackburn, has evidence of Bronze Age activity
and may have existed for many centuries. Hoards of ancient gold and
bronze implements have also been uncovered nearby. The origin of the
town's name has at least two possible explanations, with the "har"
indicating "grey" (hence "grey wood"). Another
possibility is that "hara" comes from the Old English
for "hare" (hence a wood where hares are found). "Great"
distinguishes it from Little Harwood, 5 miles west.
At the time of The Norman Conquest of 1066 Great Harwood was predominantly
moor and marsh land with sporadic clearings of cultivated land. It
had many springs and small streams on its hillsides where the first
settlements and farmsteads were built. The whole area was in the possession
of the de Lacy family until 1177, when it was bequeathed to Richard
In 1338 King Edward III granted a Royal Charter to Adam Nowell, Lord
of the Manor of Netherton, for a weekly market and annual fair to
be held at Great Harwood. The market still survives today, but the
last fair was held in 1931 until revived by the Great Harwood Civic
Society in 1973.
In the 19th century Great Harwood saw weaving as its main form of
employment, carried out as a cottage industry on hand looms at weaver's
cottages. By the 1870s, increasing industrialisation and mass produced
textile manufacture in larger surrounding towns saw the death knell
of hand weaving and by the 20th century the craft had completely died
is a small town in the Rossendale Valley with a population of around
16,000. Its name means 'valley of the hazel trees'. Haslingden has
the oldest recorded history of any of the borough towns of Rossendale
and was granted Borough status in 1891. Its parish church, St James
is built on the site dating from 1284. Haslingden is celebrated for
its fine stone quarries, and many famous locations boast paving slabs
from Haslingden, (including Trafalgar Square in London). Much of the
town's industrial and historical past is now housed in the local museums,
including Helmshore Textile Museum,
Higher Hill Museum and Museum of Lancashire Textile Industry. Haslingden
is also birthplace of the famous Hollands Pies.
is a small village on the edge of Morecambe
Bay, which began as a small fishing village which grew up to become
a major port in the 19th century. Today, it has a busy cargo terminal
and its ferries still operate out of the port to the Isle of Man and
to Ireland. The village is also somewhat dominated by Heysham nuclear
power station, which produces most of Lancashire's electricity.
Its parish church, St Peters, dates back to 976 AD, but an even older
chapel once stood on the site. By the time of Viking incursions into
Heysham in the 10th century, the chapel was already around 300 years
old. Located on the Fylde coast, the unmistakable silhouettes of nuclear
reactors Heysham 1 and Heysham 2 at Half Moon Bay can be seen for
miles in all directions.
is a small, picturesque stone built village in the Lune Valley between
Kirby Lonsdale and Lancaster,
located on an old traditional pack horse route through the county.
It sits astride the River Wenning, and was originally part of the
parish of Melling, but its history really dates back to the construction
of Hornby Castle in the 13th century, though there were probably small
settlements there well before this time. Hornby Castle was founded
in the reign of King Stephen by Roger de Montebegone, who held several
lordships in the county of Lincolnshire. The castle is well known
as the subject of one of William Turner's paintings. The church
of St Margaret holds several pre-Norman decorated crosses.
Originally the Parish of Kirkham was one of the largest in the county
of Lancashire and contained 17 townships. In pre-Roman times it was
probably the main settlement of Setantu. Later, it was occupied
by the Romans as temporary site on the Roman military road that ran
through the district on its way from the fort at Ribchester. Hence,
virtually the whole of its main street lies on the Roman road. The
name Kirkham comes from times when Danes occupied the land and
settled in this area. Kirkham's name is a combination of the Danish
"kirk" (meaning "church") and the Saxon
word "ham" (meaning "township" or "settlement").
After the Norman Conquest of 1066 it was in the estate of Amounderness
Hundred. By the Domesday Survey of 1086 the Hundred was recorded as
having three churches, at Kirkham, Preston and Poulton and it here
that settlements grew up in an otherwise sparsely populated landscape.
Kirkham was granted a Royal Charter by King Henry III in 1296, making
it a Free Borough and thereby entitled to hold a market and and a
five day fair twice a year on certain feast days.
By the 14th century a parish committee known as "Thirty Sworn
Men" handled parish affairs. The poor of Kirkham were entitled
to a free education in the grammar school which adjoined the parish
In medieval Kirkham the growing of flax and hemp to produce linen,
rope and coarse cloth was a common occupation. By the 17th century
employment prospects in Lancashire were so poor that outside workers
came to the more prosperous Kirkham to seek employment.
The town still boasts a cobbled market place and so-called Fish
Stones which date back to 1683 - here fish were laid out by traders
on market days.
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