Bacup, Lancashire

Historical Description

Bacup, or Bacop, a municipal borough and populous town in Whalley and Rochdale parishes, Lancashire, is situated on the river Irwell, mid-way between Burnley and Rochdale, 7 miles from either place, about 6 SW from Todmorden, nearly 6 NE from Haslingden, 18 N from Manchester, 56 NE from Liverpool, and 204 NW from London. It has a station on the L. & Y.R., by which direct communication with the M.R. is secured. The town was incorporated in 1882, and is governed by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors. It is a seat of petty sessions and county courts, and carries on industry in cotton spinning and power-loom weaving, printworks, Turkey-red dye-works, iron foundries, corn mills, quarries, and coal mining. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office, two banks, a police station, waterworks, a market-hall, built at a cost of £6000, a plain parish church of 1788, rebuilt and enlarged in 1882-83, and two other churches in the Early English and Gothic styles. The livings of the three churches are vicarages in the diocese of Manchester; the respective net values are £260, £320, and £166, with residences. There are numerous dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, Conservative and Liberal clubs, a mechanics' institute, with public hall, library, reading rooms, and a complete chemical laboratory, several public schools, a technical school, and public baths. Markets are held on Saturdays and Wednesdays, and there are also two annual pleasure fairs. At Fairwell, a large cemetery, costing £16,000, has been provided for the town, the management of which is vested in the corporation. Two weekly newspapers are published. The area of the municipal borough is 6116 acres; population, 23,498. The principle of cooperation has been largely developed in Bacup and the surrounding neighbourhood, both in shops and cotton factories. In the vicinity are remains of an ancient Roman or Saxon encampment, called Broad Clough Dykes, consisting of a series of formidable embankments more than 1800 feet in length, situated on the edge of a gentle slope, and commanding the pass between Bacup and Burnley.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient County Lancashire
Civil parish Whalley
Hundred Blackburn
Poor Law union Haslingden

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records, in association with Lancashire Archives, have images of the Parish Registers for Lancashire online.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Bacup from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Lancashire is available to browse.


Online maps of Bacup are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Lancashire newspapers online:

RegionNorth West
Postal districtOL13
Post TownBacup