In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Astley Bridge like this:
ASTLEY-BRIDGE, a village and a chapelry in Bolton-le-Moors parish, Lancashire. The village is partly in the township of Sharples; stands near the Bolton and Blackburn railway, 3 miles N of Bolton; and has a post office† under Bolton. The chapelry was constituted in 1844. Rated property, £9,729. Pop., 3,210. Houses, 670. The property is subdivided. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Manchester. Value, £150. Patrons, the Crown and the Bishop alternately. The church was built in 1848. There are Baptist and Wesleyan chapels, and national and British schools.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Astley Bridge, in and Lancashire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 11th December 2013
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