Bury in late Georgian and Victorian Times

created 9 August 2003

The Industrial Revolution

At the start of the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution saw the development of Bury and its surrounding settlements into thriving towns. Bleaching, paper making, printing and above all cotton textiles all helped to make the area grow and thrive.

The Present

The decline of heavy industry after the Second World War has hit Bury and its neighbouring settlements hard. However the resilient spirit of the locals will see them adapt to the challenges of the new millennium.


Two of the oldest licensed houses in the town were/are the'Hare and Hounds' in Bolton Street, and the 'Waggon and Horses' at the top of Clerke Street.

The text below, from a meeting of the inhabitants of Bury, Kersley and Little Lever, held in Bury Parish church vestry March 1795, suggests that the 'Wagon and Horses' was a licensed house as early as 1795.

"Wanted, for the Navy, by the township of Bury, six spirited young men, from 17 years of age to 40, for which a very handsome bounty will be given, as they are immediately wanted. An additional some will be given to the first volunteer that shall enter. Applications to be made to the Deputy Constable, at the Wagon and Horses, in Clerke Street, Bury, March 18th, 1795" (remember this was the time of the rise to power of Napoleon Bonaparte).

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Stage Coaches

At the begining of the 19th century there were stage coach services to Manchester leaving Bury at 7 o'clock in the morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and at 7.30 in the morning on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

A coach also left for Clitheroe each Wednesday and Saturday at 1.30 in the afternoon, coaches to Burnely every day except Thursday, and to Liverpool every day at 1 o'clock in the afternoon. In addition to these, a coach also ran daily to Hull leaving at 12.30 in the afternoon, Sunday excepted.

The absence of coaches on Thursday was probably due to the fact that Thursday was market day in the early 1800s.

Not much later other services to Leeds, York, Skipton and Colne were begun.

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Population of Bury and Elton 1801 to 1821

township of BURY township of ELTON Parish of Bury
YEARpopulation% increasepopulation% increasepopulation
18017,072   2,080   22,300
18118,702 23% 2,540 22% 27,317
182110,583 21.6% 2,807 10.5% 34,335

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An excellent source of information from these times is a book called BURY, A Bygone Era compiled from a collection of articles first published in the 'Bury Guardian' under the title of 'I Remember': Some Notes on Old Bury by Fred Howarth - first published 1917 republished, and obtainable July 2000 from either:

'The Book Clearance Centre' price 2.99
direct from the publisher 'P&D Riley, 12 Bridgeway East, Cheshire WA7 6LD'
price 3.00 + 0.50p p&p


I have no connection with either Fred Howarth, the publisher, or The Book Clearance Centre! (except as a satisfied reader and customer).

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