Greater Manchester UK




Townships & Villages of Lancashire

Alphabetical order:


As with many other Lancashire towns,
Accrington grew up during the Industrial Revolution, when it was transformed
from a predominantly rural agricultural setting into an industrial
town where spinning and weaving dominated the local development and
economy. 1792 saw the establishment of its first mill and thereafter
a consistent expansion took place throughout the 19th century. By
1911, Accrington boasted 14000 looms, 166000 spindles and more than
18000 people employed in some capacity in the textiles industry. The
town also manufactured its own spinning and weaving machinery. Its
rapid expansion meant that by 1878 Accrington had been created as
a Borough.
As the textile industry declined in the mid 20th century in the face
of cheaper foreign textile imports, as with many other surrounding
townships, mills gradually closed. Coal Mining survived in the borough
until 1968. In 1929 the borough boundaries were extended to include
Huncoat and since 1974 Accrington has been the administrative centre
of the Borough of Hyndburn.


The township of Bacup is located
835 feet above sea level to the east of the Borough of Rossendale
and has a population of approximately 15,000.
On its eastern edge it forms the Rossendale boundary and the County
of Lancashire boundary with Yorkshire. It was the first town in Rossendale
to have achieved Borough status which it did in 1882. Bacup is close
to the site where Saxons are said to have fought with Danish invaders
in the 10th century.
More recently its main industries have included textiles, coal mining,
quarrying and footwear manufacture. The town centre is designated
as a Conservation Area of special Architectural and Historic interest.


The name of Blackburn dates from the
Dark Ages, and is named after a local stream known for centuries as
Blakewater. It lies on the main south-north Roman road which linked
Manchester with Ribchester. The township has a very long and distinguished
history. Situated as it was in a key position on this road, during
Saxon and Viking times, it became an important stopover town of North
East Lancashire.
During Norman times it appears in the Domesday Survey of 1086 as the
Blackburn Hundred with St. Mary’s Church having stood there since
596 AD. In 1926 St Mary’s became Blackburn Cathedral when the Diocese
of Blackburn was created. The town also has the old Queen Elizabeth’s
Grammar School which was founded in 1509. It’s first Members of Parliament
were elected when the town received its Charter of Incorporation in
1851. At this time, Blackburn had undergone extensive industrialisation,
like many other Lancashire townships and was a major centre for textile
However, the 20th century saw the textile industry in serious terminal
decline and other industries like engineering and electronics have
gradually replaced them.
In 1974, Local Government reorganisation brought Darwen and surrounding
villages into The Borough of Blackburn and in April 1998 the new Unitary
Authority of Blackburn with Darwen achieved independence from Lancashire
County Council.


See Main


See Main


The name of the town of Bootle
comes from the Old English word “botl” (meaning “dwelling
house”) which was, until the beginning of the 19th century, a
quiet little country village of 537 inhabitants. From 1799 its clear
spring water supplied the needs of the City of Liverpool. Bootle was
a fashionable coastal resort, much favoured by the well-to-do. But,
by the middle of the 19th Century the dockhands of Liverpool had spread
northwards and virtually enveloped the town and it soon became intensely
industrialised. Even today it is one of the most important of Merseyside’s
working docks.
Bootle town centre has undergone an extensive programme of urban redevelopment
and renewal over recent years and now includes a traffic-free shopping
precinct with multi-storey parking for 1,000 vehicles. Nearby, the
Stanley Precinct Office Quarter with its numerous office developments
provide employment for over 8,000 people.


Burnley probably existed as
a small hamlet as early as 800 AD, but not until 1122 is it first
officially mentioned, in a charter by which one Hugh de la Val granted
the church of St Peters to the monks at Pontefract Priory. Sometime
around 1200 Geoffrey married the daughter of Roger de Lacy and was
granted land to maintain a dwelling in the area. Thereafter the name
of Towneley has closely connected with the Burnley district. (See
Towneley Hall). Burnley
was one of the possessions of the Lacys, a powerful family who were
Lords of Blackburnshire for several generations up to the end of the
13th century. In 1294, Henry de Lacy obtained a charter from King
Edward I granting the right to hold a weekly market at his house in
the manor of ‘Bruneley’ and to have a three day fair once every
year, on the “…eve and morrow of the feast of the Apostle Peter
and Paul”.
In 1559 Burnley Grammar School was founded by Gilbert Fairbank. The
town was once known as the greatest cotton-manufacturing place in
Britain and during its heyday at the end of the 19th century boasted
over 100,000 looms operating within the borough. With 20th century
decline in the textile industry, saw the town fall on hard times,
but now it seems to have fully recovered and to have replaced its
old industries with light engineering and other commercial ventures.


See Main


Carnforth, a small township
lying just North of Lancaster, was originally settled by invading
Danes and as a result many of the place names in the district suggest
Scandinavian origin. Carnforth was once a main crossing over the River
Keer, which probably gave the town its name.
The now famous Carnforth Railway Station was immortalised the classic
1945 Noel Coward film “Brief Encounter” which starred
Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard. The first stage of its refurbishment
was completed in February 2002 and opened is open to the public –
a great tourist attraction. Carnforth the ideal base for a tour of
the area and is regarded as a gateway to the Lake District.


Chorley, located on the very
edge of the West Pennine Moors, is famed for its market, which has
been held in the town since 1498 (albeit then without a Charter),
and this was the source of its early growth and prosperity. It still
is a thriving market town.
Close by are many tourist attractions including
Theme Park
, Hoghton Tower
(where William Shakespeare is reputed to have worked as a teacher),
Astley Hall, and the beautiful countryside at Rivington
and Country Park, which served as host to the Manchester
XVII Commonwealth Games Outdoor Cycling events. . The town boasts
a clean and thriving urban environment with many pretty surrounding
villages like Heskin, Croston and Mawdesley well worth the visit.


Clitheroe is a small ancient
market town and borough in the parish of Whalley and part of the old
Norman Blackburn Hundred which has been represented in Parliament
since Elizabethan times. It is located about 30 miles north west of
Manchester and 20 miles north east of Preston.
Its most distinctive feature is Clitheroe Castle, a Norman edifice
dating from the reign of William the Conqueror, or his son William
Rufus. Otherwise, Clitheroe was of little importance until it developed
in the late 18th and early 19th century as a major centre cotton spinning
and textile power loom manufacturing. Its early mills were water powered
by the River Ribble and later a steam engine added. The banks of the
Ribble were were also a convenient source of natural limestone, and
its ten kilns, supplied quicklime and plaster for mortars and building
use throughout much of the county.

See Also: Mick
Pye’s Local History & Families website at:


Colne is a small old market
town, second largest in the Borough of Pendle with which it has been
combined since Local Government reorganisation in 1974. It has around
19,000 inhabitants. From 1895 Colne had been granted Borough status
in 1895. Its long history dates to pre-Roman times. After Roman withdrawal
from the British Isles, there were various continental invasions of
the region, including the Angles, and this is reflected in local place
names like Trawden and Marsden. Later Scandinavian invasions (Vikings,
Norsemen or Danes), are betrayed by words in placenames like ‘gill’
and ‘slack’.
Viking occupation of the region came to an end when Athelstan, grandson
of King Alfred the Great of Wessex, defeated a combined army of Picts,
Scots, Welsh and Danes to become the first King of all England.
During the Norman period, after 1066, Colne included Great Marsden
and Foulridge, and the Forests of Trawden and of Pendle were created,
so as to afford deer hunting for Norman noblemen. The actual town
of Colne grew up at the top of the hill around the church, built before
1122 AD. It was in the churchyard that the weekly market was held
unofficially, without a Royal Charter, having already grown through
tradition and custom. Textiles production began here in very early
times too, with a town fulling mill in existence in 1296. Even in
Tudor times Colne’s workforce were chiefly occupied in the woollen
manufacturing cottage industry.

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This page last updated 6 Feb 12.