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.
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 Bolton. 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 Lancashire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 28th May 2016
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