Haigh

HAIGH, a township and ecclesiastical district, in the parish and union of Wigan, hundred of West Derby, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 2¾ miles (N. by E.) from Wigan; the township containing 1363 inhabitants. This place, the most interesting among the numerous townships of Wigan, was for many generations owned by the knightly family of Bradshaigh, of Haigh Hall, and is now, by marriage with the heiress of that family, the property of the Earl of Balcarres. The township comprises 2198 acres, of which 1633 are arable, 506 pasture, 35 wood, and 24 waste, common, &c.; the land is well cultivated, and rests upon strata rich in mineral produce. Two cotton-factories are in operation, affording employment to 550 persons; and very extensive mines of common coal, together with some rich veins of cannel coal, are wrought with success: there are likewise quarries of stone, for building purposes; and iron-ore is abundant, though it has not been worked for some years. The river Douglas bounds the township on the west; the Leeds and Liverpool canal passes through it, and a branch of the North Union railway affords facility of conveyance. Haigh Hall, the seat of the Earl of Balcarres, is a stately edifice of brick, faced with stone, with three semicircular projections in front, and standing near the summit of a high hill, in a large and well-wooded park: the house commands a view of thirteen counties, the Irish Sea, and the Isle of Man. The church, dedicated to St. David, is a handsome edifice in the later English style, with a campanile turret, erected in 1833, at an expense of £3238: the living is a perpetual curacy; patron, the Rector of Wigan; net income, £166. The tithes of the township have been commuted for £218. 5. A free school is maintained by the rental of a house and some land, the bequest of Miles Turner in 1634, amounting to about £20. A school was also founded in 1639, by the Bradshaigh family, and endowed with property now yielding £50 per annum. An almshouse for twenty men and women was erected in 1770, by Dorothy Bradshaigh, who endowed it with property at present worth £150 a year.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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