In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Birtle like this:
BIRTLE, a township, a chapelry, and a subdistrict, in the district of Bury, Lancashire. The township bears the name of Birtle-cum-Bamford; is in Middleton parish; and lies near the Manchester and Rosendale railway, 2½ miles NE of Bury. Acres, 1,388. Real property, £7,909,-of which £300 are in mines. ...
Pop., 2,350. Houses, 404. The inhabitants are employed chiefly in cotton and woollen manufactures, and in calico printing. The chapelry consists of part of this township and part of Bury parish, and was constituted in 1848. Pop., 2,135. Houses, 353. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Manchester. Value, £180. Patron, the Rector of Middleton. The church was built in 1849. There are three dissenting chapels.-The subdistrict comprises parts of two parishes. Pop., 4,758.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Birtle, in Rochdale and Lancashire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 25th March 2017
Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time , and maybe some references to other places called " Birtle ".