In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Lathom like this:
LATHOM, a township, two chapelries, and a sub-district, in Ormskirk district, Lancashire. The township is in Ormskirk parish; lies on the river Douglas, the Leeds and Liverpool canal, and the Southport and Manchester railway, 4 miles ENE of Ormskirk; contains a considerable village of its own name, which was once a market-town; and contains also the hamlets of Westhead and Newburgh, the latter of which has a station on the railway. Post-town, Ormskirk. Acres, 8,651. Real property, £20,545; of which £274 are in mines, and £20 in quarries. ...
Pop., 3,385. Houses, 631. The chief landowners are the Earl of Derby and Lord Skelmersdale. The manor belonged formerly to the Lathoms and the Stanleys, ancestors of the Earl of Derby; passed in 1714, by marriage, to the third Earl of Ashburnham; went afterwards, by sale, to Sir Thomas Bootle; and passed again, by marriage, to Richard Wilbraham, Esq., ancestor of Lord Skelmersdale. Lathom Castle, the ancient baronial mansion, had eighteen towers, and was surrounded by a fosse 24 feet wide; gave entertainment to Henry VIII.; was defended for three months, in 1644, by Charlotte, Countess of Derby, with 300 men, against Sir Thomas Fairfax, with 3,000 parliamentary troops; was besieged again, next year, by General Egerton, with 4,000 troops; made such resistance as to destroy about one-half of the besiegers; surrendered finally from failure of ammunition; and was dismantled by order of parliament. Lathom House, the seat of Lord Skelmersdale, was built on the site of the castle, in the middle of last century, after designs by Leoni; is a stately edifice in the Grecian style, 156 feet by 75; was recently improved; and stands in an extensive park. Blythe Hall is the residence of the Hon. Mrs. Wilbraham. There is a mineral spring.The chapelries are Lathom-St. John and Lathom-St. James; and they and the chapelry of Newburgh are aggregately conterminate with the township. Lathom-St. James was constituted in 1860. Pop., 914. Houses, 162. The living of L.-St. John is a donative, and that of L.-St. James is a p. curacy, in the diocese of Chester. Value of the former, £150;* of the latter, £90.* Patron of the former, Lord Skelmersdale; of the latter, the Rev. J. A. Kershaw. The church of St. John and ten almshouses stand in Lathom Park, and were founded in 1500. The church of L.-St. James is a handsome edifice, in the early English style, with tower and spire. There are a mixed school supported by Lord Skelmersdale, and two endowed national schools with £50 and £40 a-year. The sub-district contains also two other townships. Acres, 11,497. Pop., 4,690. Houses, 875.
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 Lathom has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of West Lancashire. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Lathom and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Lathom in West Lancashire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 24th May 2013
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