In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Bolton like this:
Bolton.-- or Bolton-le-Moors, par., mun. and parl. bor., and manufacturing town, SE. Lancashire, on river Croal, 11 miles NW. of Manchester and 194 miles NW. of London by rail -- par., 35,406 ac. (of which 289 ac. are water), pop. 124,763; mun. bor., 2404 ac., pop. 105,414; parl. bor., 2525 ac., pop. ...
108,963; 4 Banks, 7 newspapers. Market-days. Monday and Saturday. The town, which is divided by the river Croal into Great and Little Bolton, is one of the oldest seats of the cotton mfr., its staple industry; about 26,000 tons of raw material are manufactured annually into plain and fancy cotton goods. It has extensive bleaching, chemical, and engineering works, foundries, papermills, &c. Numerous collieries are in the neighbourhood. The bor. returns 2 members to Parliament.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Bolton in Lancashire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 25th April 2017
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