Darwen

Darwen.png
Darwen is located in Lancashire
Darwen is a market town and civil parish located in Lancashire, England. Along with its northerly neighbour, Blackburn, it forms the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen — a unitary authority area. It is known locally as "Darren" and its residents are known as "Darreners". The main road through Darwen is the A666 towards Blackburn to the north and Bolton to the south, and ultimately at the Pendlebury boundary with Irlams o' th' Height where it joins the A6, about 4 miles (6 km) north-west of Manchester. Darwen's population decreased to 28,046 in 2011 and is made up of five wards.

The town stands on the River Darwen, which flows from south to north and is visible only in the outskirts of the town, as within the town centre it runs underground.

Most authorities trace the name 'Darwen' to the Brythonic derw "oak", 'Derwen' in Welsh, originally applied to the river; an etymology supported by an older form of the name, Derewent (1208).

The area around Darwen has been inhabited since the early Bronze Age, and the remains of a barrow from approximately 2000 BC have been partially restored at the Ashleigh Barrow in Whitehall. Artefacts including a bronze dagger and urns containing human ashes were found, and a small number of these finds are now on display at Darwen Library Theatre. The Romans once had a force in Lancashire, and a Roman road is visible on the Ordnance Survey map of the area. Mediaeval Darwen was tiny; little or nothing survives. One of the earliest remaining buildings is a farmhouse at Bury Fold, dated 1675. Whitehall Cottage is thought to be the oldest house in the town, and was mostly built in the 17th and 18th centuries but contains a chimney piece dated 1557.

Like many towns in Lancashire, Darwen was a centre for textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. Samuel Crompton, inventor of the spinning mule, lived there for part of his life. Rail links and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal arrived in the mid-19th century. The most important textile building in Darwen is India Mill, built by Eccles Shorrock & Company. The company was ruined, however, by the effects of the Lancashire Cotton Famine of the 1860s.

Much of the town was built between about 1850 and 1900; placenames, date stones in terraces, and the vernacular architecture of cellars, local stone, locally-made brick, pipework and tiles and leaded glass, the last now mostly gone, reflect this. It was one of the first places in the world to have steam trams. The arrangement of town hall, market, public transport, eating/hotel facilities and the pre-suburban mixed-size vernacular housing, with local variations according to topography, is very characteristic of Northern England. The year 1900 perhaps represents the peak of Victorian optimism in the area. The working classes were then much more identifiable as masses than now. George Orwell, for example, described the sound of clogs on cobblestones of the large number of female millworkers. The rise of the Labour Party from about 1900 coincided with a decline in the Liberal Party, which followed the Manchester School in economics, increasingly seen as permitting unjustified exploitation. However, Darwen usually voted for the Conservative Party until a Conservative government made unpopular administrative rearrangements in the early 1970s.

This page was last edited on 1 February 2018, at 19:14.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwen under CC BY-SA license.

Related Topics

Recently Viewed