In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Great Harwood like this:
HARWOOD (GREAT), a town, a township-chapelry, and a sub-district in Blackburn parish and district, Lancashire. The town stands near the Leeds and Liverpool canal, 1½ mile SW of the river Calder, 2¼ SE of Ribchester r. station, and 4½ NE of Blackburn; is a rising place, well built of native stone; nearly doubled its population in the ten years prior to 1865; is governed by a local board of health; and has a post office‡ under Accrington, a news-room, cotton mills, a national school, a church, and chapels for Independents, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Roman Catholics. ...
The church is ancient, and has a west tower. The Roman Catholic chapel is a handsome edifice of 1860. Pop., in 1861, 3, 294. Houses, 637.The chapelry comprises 2, 510 acres. Real property, £9, 521; of which £75 are in gasworks, and £85 in quarries. Pop. in 1851, 2, 548; in 1861, 4, 070. Houses, 782. The manor belongs to James Lomax, Esq. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Manchester. Value, £200. * Patron, the Vicar of Blackburn.The sub-district contains also two other townships of Blackburn parish, and one of Whalley. Acres, 6, 950. Pop., 10, 220. Houses, 1, 952.
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 Great Harwood has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Hyndburn. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Great Harwood and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Great Harwood, in Hyndburn and Lancashire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 24th May 2013
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