This Township contains a large manufacturing village, 2 ½ miles E.N.E. from Blackburn. It is a station on the Lancashire and Yorkshire line of railway, and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal also passes through. It is in the parliamentary division of Accrington, and in the Hyndburn county council division. Under the Local Government Act, 1894, an Urban District Council was formed, consisting of nine members. In addition to the cotton mills, there are in the township collieries, stone quarries, fire-brick works, a paper mill, and various other trades. Here is also a reservoir belonging to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Company.
The village is supplied with water and gas by the Accrington District Gas and Water Board.
The township contains 2,981 acres, mostly of the property of G. E. A. Petre, Esq., who is also lord of the manor; and its population in 1841 was 916; 1851,800; 1861, 1,196; 1871, 2,577; 1881, 4,056; 1891, 6,010; and 1901, 7,031. Rateable value, £35,360.
The Church, dedicated to S. S. Peter and St. Paul, is a substantial Gothic edifice, consisting of nave, chancel, aisles, and transepts, the foundation stone of which was laid on May 24th, 1873, the consecration taking place on Jane 16th, 1877. The design included a tower, which, however, was only built to a height of 42 feet, until 1904, when it was completed. The tower is now 100 feet high, and has accommodation for a full peal of bells. The Church contains 574 sittings, all of which are free. The benefice is a vicarage, of the annual value of £310, in the patronage of five trustees, and held by Rev. Henry West, B.A.
The Wesleyans have a chapel in High Street, erected in 1862. The Primitive Methodist Chapel is in School Street; the United Methodist Free Church is in Mary Street; and the Congregationalists have a neat chapel in Derby Street, built in 1863, at a cost of £1,600.
There are in the village a National school, a Wesleyan school, and a Methodist Free Church school. The Catholic School- Church, dedicated to St. Charles, is situated in Station Road, and was opened November 8th, 1896. The mission was established in 1886, and service was held in the building formerly known as the Hermitage up to the opening of the new church, which, along with the presbytery, cost over £5,000. It is built of brick and terra cotta, with dormer windows glazed with cathedral tint glass. Four beautiful stained-glass windows, by Mayer & Co., have been presented to the church by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Seed and Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Smith. A side altar of carved oak, dedicated to St. Joseph, in memory of the late Mr. B. Smith, has recently been given by his widow and family. Over the principal entrance is a bell turret. The church will accommodate about 500, and the schools about 500 children, and the whole makes a very picturesque and pleasing block of buildings. The Rev. James Higgins is the rector, and the Catholic population is about 750.
The Conservative Club, Cliff Street, is a large stone building, in the Elizabethan style of architecture. In addition to the club proper, which consists of reading room, library, two billiard rooms, two smoke-rooms, committee room, card-room, steward’s room, and other offices, there is a concert and lecture hall on the ground floor capable of seating 300. A bowling green occupies a large proportion of the site, which contains nearly 3,000 square yards. Messrs. J. O. Howard Sandbach and J. Parker were the architects. There are also in the village a Liberal Club, a Working Men’s Club, and a Free Gardeners’ Club.
A Police Station was erected in 1893, at a cost of £1,500.