In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Littleborough like this:
LITTLEBOROUGH, a village and a chapelry in Rochdale parish, Lancashire. Lithe village stands on the river Roch, the Rochdale canal, the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway, and the Roman road to York, at the foot of Blackstone-Edge, 3 miles NE of Rochdale; is supposed, from its position on the Roman road, and from the discovery of some Roman antiquities in its neighbourhood, to stand on or near the site of a Roman station; is a large place sharing in the manufactures of Rochdale, and practically a suburb of that town; and has a railway station with telegraph, and a post office‡ under Manchester. ...
The chapelry contains also the hamlets of Gale, Shore, Durn, Featherstall, Rake, Chelburn, Smithy Bridge, Calder Brook, Summit, Whitelees, Laneside, and Sladen. Pop. in 1861,4,860. Much of the surface is a fine valley, gemmed with mansions and villas. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Manchester. Value, £300.* Patron, the Vicar of Rochdale. The church succeeded modern edifice; and consists of nave, with tower and spire. There are chapels for Wesleyans, United Free Methodists, and others, an endowed school, and a national school.
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 Littleborough 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 Littleborough and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Littleborough, in Rochdale and Lancashire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 30th August 2014
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