Lever, Darcy, or Lever-Bridge
LEVER, DARCY, or Lever-Bridge, a township and ecclesiastical parish, in the parish and union of Bolton, hundred of Salford, S. division of Lancashire, 1½ mile (E. by S.) from Bolton; containing about 2700 inhabitants, of whom 1700 are in the township of Darcy-Lever, which comprises 540 acres of land. Darcy-Lever was one of the original seats of the widely extended family of Lever, of whom was Robert Lever, founder of the grammar school at Bolton. It partakes of the local advantages of the district, and is a thriving place. There are several collieries in operation. The Lever-Bridge mills, established in 1790, and belonging to Messrs. William Gray and Sons, employ 400 hands; and the bleaching-works of Ridgway Bridson, Esq., are also on an extensive scale. The river Irwell passes on the south-west; over the valley of the Lever river here is a magnificent viaduct for the Liverpool, Bolton, and Bury railway, and an aqueduct of three arches for the Manchester canal also crosses the river. The parish of Lever-Bridge was constituted in 1844, under the provisions of the act 6th and 7th Victoria, cap. 37, and comprises the township of Darcy-Lever, and part of that of Haulgh. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Crown and the Bishop of Manchester, alternately; income, £150, with a house. The church, dedicated to St. Stephen and all Martyrs, was built on a site given by the Earl of Bradford, at a cost of £3000, of which his lordship contributed £500. It is a cruciform structure of terra cotta, in the decorated English style, with a tower, surmounted by a graceful spire with open tracery; the interior is highly embellished, and has an eastern and a western window of stained glass, the latter with obituary memorials to the Rev. George Langshaw. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; and national schools are arranged for 120 boys and 80 girls.