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The Parish of Great Harwood
in the County of
-- Lancashire --

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Great Harwood

Is a manufacturing town of considerable importance, 5 miles N.E. from Blackburn. Since the opening of the loop-line from Blackburn to Rose Grove, about eight years ago, it has advanced very rapidly, and new streets are springing up in various directions.

The population of the township in 1718 is estimated to have been 700, while at the beginning of the present century it had risen to 1,659. In 1811 it had increased to 1,676, and in 1821 it had increased to 2,104. In 1831 it was 2,436; 1841, 2,273; 1851, 2,548; 1861, 4,070; 1871, 4,907; and 1881, 6,281; and the rateable value is £22,566.

Since the formation of the Local Board, in 1863, great improvements have been effected. The streets are well paved and have a clean appearance. The building used as the Local Board Office is situate in Curate street. It is an airy commodious building, and cost in its erection £1,500.

The town is supplied with gas and water by the Accrington Gas and Water Works Company. The gasworks were completed at the beginning of this year (1884). The gasometer is capable of containing 520,000 cubic feet of gas, and there are 86 retorts. The town is lighted by 120 lamps.

Like other towns in the district, Great Harwood is mainly dependent upon the cotton trade for its prosperity. Coal is found to a considerable extent in the township. The area is 2,863 acres, and James Lomax, Esq., D.L., is the lord of the manor and principal landowner.

The Church, dedicated to St. Bartholomew, is an ancient fabric with square tower. It is known to have existed in 1389; and most probably is of still more ancient date. It was rebuilt in the reign of Henry VII., and the roof was renewed about the middle of the 16th century. In 1865 considerable repairs were effected in the interior of the building. It contains 370 sittings, of which 70 are free. The benefice is a vicarage, of the annual value of £300, in the patronage of the vicar of Blackburn, and held by the Rev. William Maude Hazlewood, B.A.

The Catholic Church, dedicated to Our Lady and St. Hubert, was opened in November, 1859. It is an elegant structure, designed by the late E.W. Pugin, and built by James Lomax, Esq., at a cost--including schools and presbytery--of £11,000. Recently a guild-hall has been added to the group of buildings. The Church consists of nave, aisles, transepts, chancel, and Lady chapel, with a spire rising to a height of 126 feet.

The high alter of Caen stone is of beautiful workmanship, having carved upon it several emblematic devices. In the wall of the Lomax chapel is a fine specimen of modern brass, having upon it carved representations of the donor of the church and his wife. The Catholic population is about 1,200. It is under the pastoral charge of the Very Rev. William Canon Dunderdale.

The Independent Chapel, Queen Street, was built in 1837, but a chapel was in existence before this, which dated from 1812. Rev. E.A. Hytch, minister.

The Wesleyan Chapel, Chapel Street, was erected in 1852-3, and enlarged in 1857. Another Wesleyan Chapel was erected this year (1884), at a cost of £2,300, including site. It is situated in Commercial Street.

The Primitive Methodist Chapel, Mercer Street, was erected in 1860,and in 1864 the United Methodist Free Church, Cattle Street, was built to supersede the old Butts Chapel, built in 1822.

The school accommodation consists principally of the National School, which possesses a small endowment, the Catholic school, and two British schools.

Here are a Reform Club, a Working Men’s Institute, and a Conservative Club.

A Fair is held on August 21st.

From: Directory & Topography of Blackburn, Accrington, Darwen, Clitheroe, Great Harwood, Rishton, Church and Oswaldtwistle, Clayton-le-Moors, and Adjacent Villages and Townships, by P. Barrett & Co., Preston, 1884. pp. 351-352.

Entered here 20 August 2004 by Lynn Ransom Burton.

For more in depth information on Great Harwood, visit ArrodGen, the Genealogy website for Great Harwood.

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