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Local History


Lancashire. Birthplace of the textile revolution.  Served by the port of Liverpool, Lancashire became a hotspot for textile production using many of the raw materials from the colonies of the British Empire.


The 18th century saw agricultural reform, a move away from subsistence farming to higher productivity farming practices in order to fuel the ever increasing population - especially in the cities and towns.  As a result, the populace was driven to new occupations such as weaving.  As higher levels of mechanisation developed, more people were drawn to the 'mill towns', and the rural populations found themselves working quarries and mines to supply the towns.


Lancashire was the home to many great engineers and industrialist, such as James Hargreaves, Richard Arkwright , Samuel Crompton, John Mercer and the much forgotten Thomas Highs. (Many others can be found here!)


New canals and waterways were built to bring in raw materials to the towns, and to take away the finished products. New occupations such as navvy, clay puddlers and bargemen appeared.


The 19th Century brought the railways, Stephenson’s Rocket operated on the Liverpool and Manchester railway.  The Bolton and Leigh Railway was the first public railway in Lancashire, opening in 1828. Towns like Horwich became Loco towns