HOLLAND, UP, a township, and formerly a market-town, in the parish and union of Wigan, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 4 miles (W. by S.) from Wigan, on the road to Ormskirk; containing 3113 inhabitants. This ancient and celebrated township has its prefix to distinguish it from Down-Holland, in the parish of Halsall. In the division of territory between de Busli and de Greslet, Up-Holland fell to the latter, by whose descendant, in the reign of Edward I., it was held of Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, the king's brother. Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, among other donations to his favourite secretary, Sir Robert de Holland, conferred upon him vast estates in Lancashire, among which were several manors in West Derby hundred; and in the 1st of Edward II., Sir Robert had a licence to fortify his manor of Holland. The family were in possession of the manor in the 46th of Edward III.; it subsequently passed from them to the Lovells, and was among the lands forfeited by Viscount Lovell, and granted to Thomas, Earl of Derby, in the reign of Henry VII. In 1717 the manor was sold to the Ashhurst family by Maria, Lady Ashburnham, the surviving daughter and heiress of the ninth earl of Derby; and Henry Ashhurst, Esq., sold it, at the same time with the Dalton estate, to Sir Thomas Bootle, from whom it descended to the present Lord Skelmersdale.
The township comprises 4654 acres, of which about 2000 are arable, 2200 pasture, 250 woodland, and 204 common or waste; the surface is beautifully undulated, the soil generally good, and the scenery from the higher parts panoramic. The Dean river separates the township from Orrell, and flows into the river Douglas through a picturesque ravine called Dean Wood; on the north side are the river Douglas, separating the township from Standish, and the Leeds and Liverpool canal. The population is employed in agriculture, in the collieries and quarries here, in making nails, and in hand-loom weaving. Up-Holland is the head of a chapelry including the townships of Dalton and Billinge Higher-End, with parts of Orrell and Winstanley: the living is a perpetual curacy, net income, £165, with a house rebuilt in 1822; patron, the Rector of Wigan, who receives a tithe rent-charge from the township of £275, and certain impropriators one of £642. The chapel, dedicated to St. Thomas à Becket, is an ancient edifice with a fine tower, the nave and aisles being in the early or decorated English style; it has six noble arches, and a handsome east window. This chapel belonged to a priory of Benedictine monks, founded here in the beginning of the fourteenth century, and the revenue of which at the Dissolution was valued at £78. 12.: part of the walls of the priory remain. A grammar school is endowed with £65 per annum left by Peter Wallthew, in 1668.