Bacup is one of the oldest settlements in the Rossendale Valley near the border with West Yorkshire. It is 14 miles north of Manchester and 22 miles east of Preston. It is the highest town in East Lancashire at 250m above sea level.
It was a small settlement throughout the Middle Ages and only began to grow during the Industrial Revolution when many cotton mills and associated houses where built. English Heritage once described it as the best preserved cotton mill town in England.
Bacup is mentioned in a charter by Robert de Lacey in 1200 where a small village named “Fulebachope” is described, which translates as “muddy valley by a ridge”.
And further from: A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, Vol.1, London,1831, p.79.
A chapelry in that part of the parish of WHALLEY which is in the higher division of the hundred of Blackburn, county palatine of LANCASTER, 6 miles (E.by S.) from Haslingden.
The population is returned with the parish.
The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Chester, endowed with £200 private benefaction, £1,100 royal bounty, and £1,000 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Whalley.
The chapel was consecrated in 1788.
There are two places of worship for Particular Baptists, and one for Wesleyan Methodists.
The manufacture of baize, and the spinning and manufacture of cotton, are extensively carried on in this chapelry.
Sources of Information on Bacup
The Bacup Natural History Society/Museum has a collection of over 2,000 books, copies of Bacup Newspapers from 1863, over 4,000 photographs of ‘old’ Bacup together with maps.
The museum is open to the public every Thursday evening from 7.30pm.
Another good source of information is: Bacup Times