Horwich

HORWICH, a chapelry, in the parish of Deane, union of Bolton, hundred of Salford, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 4 miles (W. N. W.) from Bolton, on the road to Chorley and Preston; containing 3773 inhabitants. The ancient forest of Horwich, sloping down the sides of Rivington Pike, long since disappeared. It was sixteen miles in circumference; and from its capacious dimensions, and its abundant supply of timber for buildings and for fuel, it became a manufacturing station at a very early period: as remote as the reign of Henry VIII. we read of yarn spun in Horwich. The chapelry is situated for the most part in a luxuriant valley, gradually rising through the village towards Bolton, and is separated from Anderton by the river Douglas; it comprises 3230 acres. The population is chiefly engaged in extensive bleaching-works and cotton-mills. The bleach-works of Messrs. Joseph Ridgway and Company were commenced about 1781; and the print-works of Messrs. Chippendale and Company, employing 500 persons, about the same time. Of three cotton-mills, the two largest belong to Messrs. W. and W. Bennett, and Peter Gaskell, Esq. A good stonequarry is wrought. Here is a station of the Bolton and Preston railway. The living is a perpetual curacy, with a net income of £240; patron, the Vicar of Deane. The present chapel, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was erected by the Church Commissioners in 1831, at an expense of £5848, in lieu of the old chapel; it is in the early English style, with a square tower, and contains a monument by Westmacott, which cost £1500, to the late Joseph Ridgway, Esq., who was a large proprietor of land here. There are three places of worship for dissenters. Attached to the chapel are, an infants', a Sunday, and a national school. Two heaps of stones on Wildersmoore Hill are intended, it is said, to record the death of two boys in the snow, on going to the grammar school at Rivington.

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

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