In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Darwen like this:
DARWEN (Over), a town, a township, and three chapelries, in Blackburn parish, Lancashire. The town stands near the Blackburn and Bolton railway, 4 miles S of Blackburn; is a seat of manufacture; and has a post office‡ under Blackburn, a r. station, a market-house, public baths, a mechanics' institute, a lecture-hall, a weekly market, and three annual fairs. The township comprises 5, 010 acres. Real property, £39, 356; of which £6, 082 are in mines, £308 in quarries, and £253 in gas-works. ...
Pop., 16, 492. Houses, 2, 925. There are great cotton-mills, print and bleach works, paper-works, foundries, and machine-works. The chapelries are St. James, Trinity, and St. John; the first two p. curacies, the third a vicarage. Value of St. James, £240;* of Trinity, £300;* of St. John, £150. Patron of the two first, the Vicar of Blackburn; of St. John, the Rev. P. Graham. St. James, church was built in 1829, Trinity in 1829, St. John's in 1864; the last at a cost of £8, 000. There are another church, four Independent chapels, a Baptist, a Wesleyan of 1865, two other Methodist, and a R. Catholic, a cemetery with three chapels of 1861, and seven public schools.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Darwen has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Blackburn With Darwen. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Darwen and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Darwen, in Blackburn with Darwen and Lancashire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 04th March 2015
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