In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Bolton like this:
BOLTON, a small town, two townships, and a parish in Wigton district, Cumberland. The town stands on the river Ellen, 6½ miles SSW of Wigton; consists of two parts, High and Low; and has a dingy appearance. A branch railway to it, from the Maryport and Carlisle line, was opened on 26th December, 1866. The townships are High Bolton and Low Bolton or Bolton-wood and Quarry-hill. Acres of H. B., 3,875. Pop., 330. Houses, 62. Acres of L. B., 4,570. Pop., 718. Houses, 149. The parish consists of the two townships; and its Post Town is Ireby under Wigton. ...
Real property, £8,124; of which £740 are in mines. Pop., 1,048. Houses, 211. The property is much subdivided. Coal, limestone, and copper ore are worked. A copper battle-axe was found in a bog. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Carlisle. Value, £512.* Patron, the Earl of Lonsdale. The church is ancient, in tolerable condition; and was alleged by old superstition to have been built by witchcraft.
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 Bolton has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Allerdale. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Bolton and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Bolton, in Allerdale and Cumberland | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 05th May 2016
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