In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Runcorn like this:
Runcorn, seaport town, par., and township, Cheshire, on river Mersey, 12½ miles SE. of Liverpool and 28 SW. of Manchester by rail - par., 18,894 ac. (2140 water), pop. 22,350; township, 1153 ac., pop. 14,812; town, 1490 ac., pop. 15,126; P.O., T.O, 1 Bank, 2 news-papers. Market-days, Tuesday and Friday. Runcom is an ancient place, where a castle was founded in 916, and a priory in 1133, but was a mere fishing village until 1761, when it was made the terminus of the Bridgwater Canal. It has spacious docks, and every requisite for an extensive trade. (For shipping statistics, see Appendix.) The industries include ship-building, ropemaking, tanning, quarrying, and the mfr. of chemicals. Between Runcorn and Widnes the Mersey is spanned by a magnificent railway bridge.
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 Runcorn has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Halton. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Runcorn and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Runcorn, in Halton and Cheshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 10th December 2013
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