Cottontown: Blackburn with Darwen

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Old Town Hall
Weavers hard at work

The “Cotton Town” website and digital archive tells the story of a manufacturing process that started in isolated cottages on the wind and rain swept West Pennines and ended with derelict weaving sheds and the demolition of tall, soot blackened mill chimneys.  In between was the boom time, when Cotton was King and Blackburn was the weaving capital of the world, when millionaire magnates lived in country mansions and the workers made the best of it in overcrowded, uncomfortable, unsanitary conditions.

It’s a journey back in time, made possible by means of maps, manuscripts, photos, books, pamphlets and posters, many thousands of which have been copied scanned and abstracted especially for the Cotton Town site.

If you’re too young to remember the trams, if you never experienced the thrill of riding the clanging cars on their iron rails, then here’s a chance for you to try it out.  The site features a virtual reality tram ride to Darwen with an interactive quiz to test your local knowledge. For those of you who prefer a slower pace, there’s a trip along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in the company of a crew and their horse plying their trade along Blackburn’s waterway in its early days.

If you have any information, recollections and photographs with reference to the area, or just a story to tell, you can contribute.

Also, further work is currently being carried out on the Blackburn and Darwen Heritage Trails project. There are plans to upgrade the Cotton Town website, too.

To find out how you can contribute to the Heritage Trails, Cotton Town or for more information, please contact the organisers in person on the or by email or telephone

This archive entry was last updated on 10/03/2019. Information incorrect or out-of-date?
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