Wigan 1845

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Heritage Cartography - Victorian Town and Village Maps

ISBN 1-903004-89-6
Size 500mm x 549mm
Uncoloured size 600mm x 658mm

Wigan in 1845 was at a pivotal point in its history. The once pleasant market town and spa, one of Lancashire's four ancient boroughs, has been surrounded by coal pits and textile mills and, more importantly, has been recently connected with the early railway system. The old shape of the medieval town, with its long burgess plots behind the houses of Standishgate, is still discernable, and the countryside is only a few hundred yards away from most townsfolk.

The cotton trade was aided initially by the digging of the strategic Leeds to Liverpool canal which can be seen passing closely to the south of the town. Several large chemical works have also been sited along the canal emphasising the diverse trades settling in the town. Coal mining was one of the key industries of the day with pits being sunk close to the town at Scholes and Hardybutts. Extensive tramways slice through the ancient fields linking collieries to the railway and to the canal.

Over the next fifty years Wigan will become another grimy Northern industrial town surrounded, not by fields, but by rows of terraced houses but in 1845 much of the old market and spa town was still to be seen.

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