In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Birch like this:
BIRCH, or Birch-St. Mary, a chapelry in Bury and Middleton parishes, Lancashire; near the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway, 2 miles WNW of Middleton. It was constituted in 1842; and its Post Town is Middleton, under Manchester. Pop., 3,773. Houses, 747. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Manchester. Value, £150.* Patron, the Rector of Middleton. The church is a Gothic structure, built in 1828, at a cost of £4,000. There is a large national school.
Additional information about this locality is available for Middleton
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 Birch has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Rochdale. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Birch and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Birch, in Rochdale and Lancashire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 11th March 2014
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