The major events in Westhoughton’s history in chronological order
The presentations in this initial list are focussed on the main historical events that have occurred in Westhoughton. It is recommended that you start with the Timeline, which places the major events in the History of Westhoughton in their historical context. You can then view presentations of the major events in more detail.
In summary, the Timeline of Westhoughton illustrates the town’s development from an agricultural livelihood when most land was owned by the Cockersand Abbey up to 1553 and then in the late 1700’s coal mining and silk then cotton weaving developed. Westhoughton was the largest district by area in Lancashire and from the 1950’s until the present has been a consistent target for housing development largely because of its good communications to Manchester etc.
Start here The Timeline of the History of Westhoughton presentation shows many details of the places, people and events in the town’s history in context around the major events. The subsequent presentations tell the story of each of the major events.
1 . . The beginnings of Westhoughton in the early middle ages under the control of Cockersand Abbey, Lancaster.
2 . . The Battle of Westhoughton Common in 1642 was part of the civil war between the Royalists and Parliamentarians. It was won by the Royalists who vastly outnumbered the latter.
3 . . The Burning of Westhoughton Mill by Luddites in 1812. This cotton weaving mill with its powered looms was located on land opposite the White Lion pub.
4 . . The Peterloo Massacre, 1819 – Westhoughton people’s part in this tragic event in Manchester.
5 . . The construction of the Bolton – Leigh railway in 1828. This was the first public railway in Lancashire and operated two years before the famous Liverpool – Manchester railway.
6 . . The Pretoria pit disaster in 1910 when 344 men and boys were killed at 7.50am on 21st Dec. This was the largest mine disaster in Lancashire.
7 . . The Manchester Overspill. During the 1960s – 70s, Manchester was seeking locations to expand its population (the “Overspill” proposal), which would have seen massive development in Westhoughton. Whilst scaled back, some of this did indeed happen.