Blackburn
Overview
 
Blackburn is a large town in Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

, England. It lies to the north of the West Pennine Moors
West Pennine Moors
The West Pennine Moors cover an area of approximately of moorland and reservoirs in Lancashire and Greater Manchester, England.The West Pennine Moors are separated from the main Pennine range by the Irwell Valley. The moorland includes Withnell, Anglezarke and Rivington Moors in the extreme west,...

 on the southern edge of the Ribble
River Ribble
The River Ribble is a river that runs through North Yorkshire and Lancashire, in northern England. The river's drainage basin also includes parts of Greater Manchester around Wigan.-Geography:...

 Valley, 9 miles (14 km) east of the city of Preston, 27 miles (43 km) north-northwest of the city of Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

. and is 13 miles (21 km) north of the border with Greater Manchester. Blackburn is bounded to the south by Darwen
Darwen
Darwen is a market town and civil parish located within Lancashire, England. Along with its northerly neighbour, Blackburn, it forms the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen — a unitary authority area...

, with which it forms the unitary authority area
Unitary authorities of England
Unitary authorities of England are areas where a single local authority is responsible for a variety of services for a district that elsewhere are administered separately by two councils...

 of Blackburn with Darwen
Blackburn with Darwen
Blackburn with Darwen is a unitary authority area in Lancashire, North West England. It consists of Blackburn, the small town of Darwen to the south of it, and the surrounding countryside.-Formation:...

, Blackburn being the administrative centre.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
Blackburn is a large town in Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

, England. It lies to the north of the West Pennine Moors
West Pennine Moors
The West Pennine Moors cover an area of approximately of moorland and reservoirs in Lancashire and Greater Manchester, England.The West Pennine Moors are separated from the main Pennine range by the Irwell Valley. The moorland includes Withnell, Anglezarke and Rivington Moors in the extreme west,...

 on the southern edge of the Ribble
River Ribble
The River Ribble is a river that runs through North Yorkshire and Lancashire, in northern England. The river's drainage basin also includes parts of Greater Manchester around Wigan.-Geography:...

 Valley, 9 miles (14 km) east of the city of Preston, 27 miles (43 km) north-northwest of the city of Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

. and is 13 miles (21 km) north of the border with Greater Manchester. Blackburn is bounded to the south by Darwen
Darwen
Darwen is a market town and civil parish located within Lancashire, England. Along with its northerly neighbour, Blackburn, it forms the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen — a unitary authority area...

, with which it forms the unitary authority area
Unitary authorities of England
Unitary authorities of England are areas where a single local authority is responsible for a variety of services for a district that elsewhere are administered separately by two councils...

 of Blackburn with Darwen
Blackburn with Darwen
Blackburn with Darwen is a unitary authority area in Lancashire, North West England. It consists of Blackburn, the small town of Darwen to the south of it, and the surrounding countryside.-Formation:...

, Blackburn being the administrative centre. At the time of the UK Government's 2001 census
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

, Blackburn had a population of 105,085, whilst the wider borough of Blackburn with Darwen had a population of 140,700.

A former mill town
Mill town
A mill town, also known as factory town or mill village, is typically a settlement that developed around one or more mills or factories .- United Kingdom:...

, textiles have been produced in Blackburn since the middle of the 13th century, when wool was woven in people's houses in the domestic system. Flemish
Flemish people
The Flemings or Flemish are the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Belgium, where they are mostly found in the northern region of Flanders. They are one of two principal cultural-linguistic groups in Belgium, the other being the French-speaking Walloons...

 weavers who settled in the area during the 14th century helped to develop the woollen cottage industry in the region. James Hargreaves
James Hargreaves
James Hargreaves was a weaver, carpenter and an inventor in Lancashire, England. He is credited with inventing the spinning Jenny in 1764....

, inventor of the spinning jenny
Spinning jenny
The spinning jenny is a multi-spool spinning frame. It was invented c. 1764 by James Hargreaves in Stanhill, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire in England. The device reduced the amount of work needed to produce yarn, with a worker able to work eight or more spools at once. This grew to 120 as technology...

, was a weaver in Blackburn. The most rapid period of growth and development in Blackburn's history coincided with the industrialisation and expansion of textile manufacturing
Textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution
The industrial revolution changed the nature of work and society. Opinion varies as to the exact date, but it is estimated that the First Industrial Revolution took place between 1750 and 1850, and the second phase or Second Industrial Revolution between 1860 and 1900. The three key drivers in...

. Blackburn was a boomtown
Boomtown
A boomtown is a community that experiences sudden and rapid population and economic growth. The growth is normally attributed to the nearby discovery of a precious resource such as gold, silver, or oil, although the term can also be applied to communities growing very rapidly for different reasons,...

 of the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

, and amongst the first industrialised
Industrialisation
Industrialization is the process of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial one...

 towns in the world.

Blackburn's textile sector fell into a terminal decline from the mid-20th century. Blackburn has subsequently faced similar challenges to other post-industrial
Post-industrial society
If a nation becomes "post-industrial" it passes through, or dodges, a phase of society predominated by a manufacturing-based economy and moves on to a structure of society based on the provision of information, innovation, finance, and services.-Characteristics:...

 northern
Northern England
Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North or the North Country, is a cultural region of England. It is not an official government region, but rather an informal amalgamation of counties. The southern extent of the region is roughly the River Trent, while the North is bordered...

 towns, including deindustrialisation, economic deprivation and housing issues. Since the 1950s the town has experienced significant levels of migration, particularly from India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, and consequently has the third highest proportion of Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s (c.25%) in England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

 and the highest in the United Kingdom outside London. Blackburn has had significant investment and redevelopment in the past 60 years through government funding and the European Regional Development Fund
European Regional Development Fund
The European Regional Development Fund is a fund allocated by the European Union.-History:During the 1960s, the European Commission occasionally tried to establish a regional fund. Only Italy ever supported this, however, and nothing came of it. Britain made it an issue for their accession in...

.

Toponymy

The name of the town first appears as Blacheborne, in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

 compiled from a survey completed in 1086. The origins of the name are uncertain. It has been suggested that it may be a combination of an Old English word for bleach, together with a form of the word "burn", meaning stream, and may be associated with a bleaching process. Alternatively, the name of the town may simply mean "black burn", or "black stream".

Prehistory

There is little evidence of prehistoric settlement in the Blakewater
River Blakewater, Lancashire
The River Blakewater is a river running through Lancashire, giving its name to the town of Blackburn.The Blakewater rises on the moors above Guide near Blackburn as Knuzden Brook and runs through the hamlet of that name, before taking the name Blakewater near the village of...

 valley, in which Blackburn later developed. It is generally thought that most human activity in East Lancashire during this period occurred on hilltops. Evidence of such activity during the Bronze Age has been discovered in the form of urn burials, two examples of which have been found in the hills around Blackburn. In 1879, a cinerary urn was discovered beneath a tumulus
Tumulus
A tumulus is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Tumuli are also known as barrows, burial mounds, Hügelgrab or kurgans, and can be found throughout much of the world. A tumulus composed largely or entirely of stones is usually referred to as a cairn...

 at Revidge, north of the town. Another was excavated at Pleasington Cemetery, west of the present town, by gravedigger Grant Higson in 1996. The presence of a possible sacred spring
Holy well
A holy well, or sacred spring, is a small body of water emerging from underground and revered either in a Pagan or Christian context, often both. Holy wells were frequently pagan sacred sites that later became Christianized. The term 'holy well' is commonly employed to refer to any water source of...

—perhaps in use during the Iron Age
British Iron Age
The British Iron Age is a conventional name used in the archaeology of Great Britain, referring to the prehistoric and protohistoric phases of the Iron-Age culture of the main island and the smaller islands, typically excluding prehistoric Ireland, and which had an independent Iron Age culture of...

—provides evidence of prehistoric man's activity in the area now occupied by the town centre, at All Hallows Spring on Railway Road.

Roman era

Blackburn stands at the site where a Roman military road
Roman road
The Roman roads were a vital part of the development of the Roman state, from about 500 BC through the expansion during the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Roman roads enabled the Romans to move armies and trade goods and to communicate. The Roman road system spanned more than 400,000 km...

 crossed the river Blakewater. The road linked Bremetennacum Veteranorum
Bremetennacum
Bremetennacum was a Roman fort which is now the village of Ribchester in Lancashire . The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The first Roman activity on the site was the establishment of a timber fort believed to have been constructed during the campaigns of Petillius Cerialis around AD 72/3...

 (the modern-day village of Ribchester
Ribchester
Ribchester is a village and civil parish within the Ribble Valley district of Lancashire, England. It lies on the banks of the River Ribble, northwest of Blackburn and east of Preston.The village has a long history with evidence of Bronze Age beginnings...

) and Mamucium (a Roman fort
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 which was located in what is now the Castlefield
Castlefield
Castlefield is an inner city area of Manchester, in North West England. The conservation area which bears its name is bounded by the River Irwell, Quay Street, Deansgate and the Chester Road. It was the site of the Roman era fort of Mamucium or Mancunium which gave its name to Manchester...

 area of the City of Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

). The route of the Roman road passed to the east of the site of Blackburn's modern-day cathedral
Blackburn Cathedral
Blackburn Cathedral, officially known as the Cathedral Church of Blackburn Saint Mary the Virgin, is a cathedral situated in the heart of Blackburn town centre, in Lancashire, England...

 and probably crossed the river at Salford (just east of the modern-day town centre). However, it is not clear whether the Roman road or the settlement came first.

George C. Miller in his Blackburn – the Evolution of a Cotton Town says:
The ancient military way from Mamucium (Manchester) to (Bremetennacum
Bremetennacum
Bremetennacum was a Roman fort which is now the village of Ribchester in Lancashire . The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The first Roman activity on the site was the establishment of a timber fort believed to have been constructed during the campaigns of Petillius Cerialis around AD 72/3...

) (Ribchester), passing over Blacksnape, plunges on its unswerving course through Blackamoor, over the scarp at Whinney Heights, to pass across the Blakewater in the vicinity of Salford. This fact alone presents a reasonable argument for the existence of a British oppidum or walled village on the site, it being customary for such primitive communities to cluster in the vicinity of a ford or bridge.


All Hallows Spring was purportedly excavated in 1654 and was found to contain an inscribed stone, allegedly commemorating the dedication of a temple of Serapis
Serapis
Serapis or Sarapis is a Graeco-Egyptian name of God. Serapis was devised during the 3rd century BC on the orders of Ptolemy I of Egypt as a means to unify the Greeks and Egyptians in his realm. The god was depicted as Greek in appearance, but with Egyptian trappings, and combined iconography...

 by Claudius Hieronymus, legate
Legatus
A legatus was a general in the Roman army, equivalent to a modern general officer. Being of senatorial rank, his immediate superior was the dux, and he outranked all military tribunes...

 of Legio VI Victrix
Legio VI Victrix
Legio sexta Victrix was a Roman legion founded by Octavian in 41 BC. It was the twin legion of VI Ferrata and perhaps held veterans of that legion, and some soldiers kept to the traditions of the Caesarian legion....

.

Middle Ages

Christianity is believed to have come to Blackburn at the end of the 6th century, perhaps in 596 (there is a record of a "church of Blagbourne" in that year) or 598 AD. The town was certainly important during the Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

 era. It was during this period that Blackburnshire Hundred
Blackburnshire
Blackburnshire was a hundred, or ancient division of the county of Lancashire, in northern England. It was centred on Blackburn, and covered an area approximately equal to modern day East Lancashire....

 came into existence, probably as a territorial division of the kingdom of Northumbria
Northumbria
Northumbria was a medieval kingdom of the Angles, in what is now Northern England and South-East Scotland, becoming subsequently an earldom in a united Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England. The name reflects the approximate southern limit to the kingdom's territory, the Humber Estuary.Northumbria was...

.

The name of the town first appears in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

 as Blachebourne, a royal manor during the days of Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

 and William the Conqueror. Archaeological evidence gleaned during the demolition of the medieval parish church on the site of the present cathedral in 1820 suggests that a church was built during the late 11th or early 12th century. A market cross was also erected nearby in 1101. The manor came into the possession of Henry de Blackburn, who divided it between his two sons. Later, one half was granted to the monks of Stanlow Abbey
Stanlow Abbey
Stanlow Abbey was a Cistercian abbey situated on Stanlow Point on the banks of the River Mersey in the Wirral Peninsula, Cheshire, England ....

. This moiety
Moiety title
Moiety title is legal term describing a portion other than a whole of ownership of property. The word derives from Old French moitié meaning "half" , from Latin medietas "middle", from medius....

 was later granted to the monks of Whalley Abbey
Whalley Abbey
Whalley Abbey is a former Cistercian abbey in Whalley, Lancashire, England. After the dissolution of the monasteries, the abbey was largely demolished and a country house was built on the site. In the 20th century the house was modified and it is now the Retreat and Conference House of the...

. However, during the 12th century, the town's conjectured importance declined as Clitheroe
Clitheroe
Clitheroe is a town and civil parish in the Borough of Ribble Valley in Lancashire, England. It is 1½ miles from the Forest of Bowland and is often used as a base for tourists in the area. It has a population of 14,697...

 became the regional centre. In addition to the settlement in the town centre area, there were several other medieval domiciles nearby.

Industrial Revolution and textiles

Textile manufacturing in Blackburn dates from the middle of the 13th century, when wool produced by local farmers was woven by local people in their homes. Flemish weavers who settled in the area in the 14th century helped to develop the industry. By 1650 the town was known for the manufacture of "Blackburn checks", blue and white in colour, with "Blackburn greys" becoming famous not long afterwards. By the first half of the 18th century textile manufacture
Textile industry
The textile industry is primarily concerned with the production of yarn, and cloth and the subsequent design or manufacture of clothing and their distribution. The raw material may be natural, or synthetic using products of the chemical industry....

 had become Blackburn's main industry. From the mid-18th to the early 20th century Blackburn evolved from a small market town into "the weaving capital of the world", with the population increasing from less than 5,000 to over 130,000.

John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles provides a profile of Blackburn in 1887:

Blackburn. parl. and mun. bor., par. and township, NE. Lancashire, 9 miles (14.5 km) [14 km] E. of Preston and 210 miles (338 km) [340 km] NW. of London by rail – par., 48,281 ac., pop. 161,617; township, 3681 ac., pop. 91,958; bor., 6974 ac., pop. 104,014; 4 Banks, 2 newspapers. Market-days, Wednesday and Saturday. It is one of the chief seats of cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 manufacture, besides producing calico
Calico (fabric)
Calico is a plain-woven textile made from unbleached, and often not fully processed, cotton. It may contain unseparated husk parts, for example. The fabric is less coarse and thick than canvas or denim, but owing to its unfinished and undyed appearance, it is still very cheap. Originally from the...

, muslin
Muslin
Muslin |sewing patterns]], such as for clothing, curtains, or upholstery. Because air moves easily through muslin, muslin clothing is suitable for hot, dry climates.- Etymology and history :...

, &c., there being over 140 mills at work. There are also factories for making cotton machinery and steam-engines
Steam engine
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

. B. has been associated with many improvements in the mfr. of cotton, among which was the invention (1767) of the "spinning jenny
Spinning jenny
The spinning jenny is a multi-spool spinning frame. It was invented c. 1764 by James Hargreaves in Stanhill, Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire in England. The device reduced the amount of work needed to produce yarn, with a worker able to work eight or more spools at once. This grew to 120 as technology...

" which was invented in nearby Oswaldtwistle
Oswaldtwistle
Oswaldtwistle is a town within the Hyndburn borough of Lancashire, England. It lies on the course of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, east-southeast of Blackburn and is contiguous to Accrington.-History:...

 by James Hargreaves
James Hargreaves
James Hargreaves was a weaver, carpenter and an inventor in Lancashire, England. He is credited with inventing the spinning Jenny in 1764....

, who died in 1770. There are several fine churches and public buildings. A Corporation Park
Corporation Park, Blackburn
Corporation Park is a traditional Victorian park in Blackburn, Lancashire, England. It was landscaped by William Henderson and opened in 1857. Corporation Park is regarded as the main formal park in Blackburn and is used mainly by local people for general recreation, walking and dog walking, as...

 (50 ac.
Acre
The acre is a unit of area in a number of different systems, including the imperial and U.S. customary systems. The most commonly used acres today are the international acre and, in the United States, the survey acre. The most common use of the acre is to measure tracts of land.The acre is related...

 in area) is on the outskirts of the town. Several lines of railway converge here, and pass through one principal station belonging to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Ry. Co. B. returns 2 members to Parliament.


From around 1750, cotton textile manufacturing expanded rapidly in Blackburn. Supplied with cotton by the town's cotton merchants, and paid by the piece, cottagers had spun the cotton into thread and woven it into cloth. The merchants had then arranged for the cloth to be bleached and dyed. After 1775 however, spinning
Spinning (textiles)
Spinning is a major industry. It is part of the textile manufacturing process where three types of fibre are converted into yarn, then fabric, then textiles. The textiles are then fabricated into clothes or other artifacts. There are three industrial processes available to spin yarn, and a...

 mills began to appear in the town. Though early examples were warehouse conversions, the first purpose-built spinning mill was constructed in 1797, and By 1824 there were 24 . The number of spindles
Spindle (textiles)
A spindle is a wooden spike used for spinning wool, flax, hemp, cotton, and other fibres into thread. It is commonly weighted at either the bottom middle or top, most commonly by a circular or spherical object called a whorl, and may also have a hook, groove or notch, though spindles without...

 in Blackburn reached 2.5 million  by 1870, with spinning mills still being constructed up to that time  – 24  since 1850. Spinning declined in the town between 1870 and 1900 as the sector transferred to South Lancashire.

In 18th century Blackburn, weaving
Weaving
Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making and felting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling...

 was primarily undertaken by handloom
Loom
A loom is a device used to weave cloth. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads...

 weavers working from their own cottages. However, as powerlooms began to be introduced into local mills from 1825, the percentage of the workforce employed as handloom weavers began to decline. This occurred more rapidly in areas closer to the centre of Blackburn, with handloom weavers continuing to make up a sizeable portion of the workforce in outlying rural areas. Nevertheless, the last handloom shop in Blackburn closed in 1894. Improvements to the powerloom in the early 1840s, together with the construction of the first railway line into Blackburn in 1846, led to much greater investment in powerlooms in the town in the second half of that decade. The railway brought opportunities for expansion of the cotton trade, with subsequent decades seeing many new mills constructed: 68 weaving-only and 4 combined weaving and spinning mills were built between 1850 and 1870, and 9 weaving mills were built per decade between 1870 and 1890.
Improvements in powerloom efficiency meant that weaving, which had been the primary source of wealth and income for handloom weavers, began to transfer from the cottage to the factory. This led to high rates of unemployment: according to figures published in March 1826, some 60% of all handloom weavers in Blackburn and nearby Rishton
Rishton
Rishton is a small town in the Hyndburn district of Lancashire, England, about west of Clayton-le-Moors and north-east of Blackburn. It was an urban district from 1894 to 1974....

, Lower Darwen
Lower Darwen
Lower Darwen is a village in the unitary borough of Blackburn with Darwen, in the town of Darwen, in the county of Lancashire. It is located between the towns of Blackburn and Darwen. Nearby places include Ewood and Blackamoor. It is situated in the valley of the River Darwen...

 and Oswaldtwistle
Oswaldtwistle
Oswaldtwistle is a town within the Hyndburn borough of Lancashire, England. It lies on the course of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, east-southeast of Blackburn and is contiguous to Accrington.-History:...

 were unemployed. High unemployment in turn led to the Lancashire weavers' riots. At 3:00 pm on 24 April 1826 a mob arrived in Blackburn after attacking powerlooms in nearby Accrington
Accrington
Accrington is a town in Lancashire, within the borough of Hyndburn. It lies about east of Blackburn, west of Burnley, north of Manchester city centre and is situated on the mostly culverted River Hyndburn...

. Proceeding to Bannister Eccles' Jubilee Factory on Jubilee St in the town centre, the mob destroyed 212 powerlooms in the space of 35 minutes. They then turned their attention to John Houghton and Sons' Park Place factory, located nearby, and destroyed another 25 looms, before continuing on in search of more machinery to attack. The crowd began to disperse at around 6:00 pm, troops having arrived as early as 3:30 pm to try to quell the rioting.

Decline of the cotton industry

In 1890, Blackburn's Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of commerce
A chamber of commerce is a form of business network, e.g., a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community...

 recognised that the town was over-dependent on the cotton industry, warning of the dangers of "only having one string to their bow in Blackburn". The warning proved to be prophetic when, in 1904, a serious slump hit the cotton industry, and other industries dependent on it such as engineering, brewing and building. A few years later, in 1908, another slump saw 43 mills stop production and a quarter of the town's looms idle.
Suspension of trade with India during the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 resulted in the expansion of India's cotton industry at the expense of Britain's, and the imposition of an 11% import tariff by the Indian Government led to a dramatic slump in 1921; a situation which worsened in 1922 after the Indian Government raised the tariff to 14%, which led the number of stopped mills to increase to 47, with 43,000 looms idle. Two years into the slump, the Foundry and Limbrick mills became the first in the town to close permanently. Not long afterwards, in 1926, the General Strike
1926 United Kingdom general strike
The 1926 general strike in the United Kingdom was a general strike that lasted nine days, from 4 May 1926 to 13 May 1926. It was called by the general council of the Trades Union Congress in an unsuccessful attempt to force the British government to act to prevent wage reduction and worsening...

 saw production suspended at half of the town's mills and 12,000 unemployed. There was another slump in 1928, and then another strike in 1929 after employers requested a 12% wage cut; 40,000 cotton workers went on strike for a week and eight more mills closed, making it 28 closures in six years. By the start of 1930, 50 mills had shut down and 21,000 people were unemployed. A sharp financial crisis late in 1931 led to 24,000 unemployed, with 1,000 houses and 166 shops lying empty in the town. A total of 26 mills closed down between 1930 and 1934.

The industry experienced a short post-war boom between 1948 and 50, during which sales increased, industry training methods improved, and new automatic looms were introduced; allowing a single weaver to control 20 to 25 looms. Loom sheds were often rebuilt using new building techniques to make them more open-plan so that they could house the new, larger looms. Despite the post-war boom, the cotton industry continued to decline, and only 25% of the town's population were employed in textiles by 1951: it had been 60% up to the beginning of the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, in 1929. Furthermore, in 1952 the number of weavers in the town fell from 10,890 to 9,020. By 1955 more cloth was being imported from India than was being exported there, and between 1955 and 1958 another 16 mills closed. In 1959, due partly to the re-organisation of the textile industry resulting from that year's Textiles Act
Act of Parliament
An Act of Parliament is a statute enacted as primary legislation by a national or sub-national parliament. In the Republic of Ireland the term Act of the Oireachtas is used, and in the United States the term Act of Congress is used.In Commonwealth countries, the term is used both in a narrow...

, another 17 mills closed. By 1960 there were 30 mills left operating in Blackburn.

Closures continued in the 1960s with, for example, the Parkside, Fountains, Malvern and Pioneer Mills shutting in 1964. In 1967 the Eclipse Mill at Feniscowles closed, unable to compete with imported cloth sold at nine pence cheaper per yard than the mill could produce it. By the end of that year there were 26 mills left operating in Blackburn. The 1970s saw further closures, and the number of textile workers in Blackburn reduced to 6,000 by January 1975, the year in which the Albion and Alston mills also stopped production with the loss of a further 400 jobs. The following statistic gives some idea of the rate of decline of Blackburn's cotton industry: in 1976 there were 2,100 looms still operating, from a peak of 79,405 in 1907.

Immigration

Since the first influx of Commonwealth
Commonwealth
Commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Historically, it has sometimes been synonymous with "republic."More recently it has been used for fraternal associations of some sovereign nations...

 immigrants
Immigration
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

 to Britain in 1948, Blackburn has seen a significant number of immigrants settle in the town. Whalley Range in the north of the town was a popular destination for Asian
British Asian
British Asian is a term used to describe British citizens who descended from mainly South Asia, also known as South Asians in the United Kingdom...

 immigrants, who now make up the majority of the district's population, in particular. Perhaps surprisingly, the town did not fall victim to any of the race riots which blighted parts of northern England, including nearby Oldham
Oldham
Oldham is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies amid the Pennines on elevated ground between the rivers Irk and Medlock, south-southeast of Rochdale, and northeast of the city of Manchester...

 and Burnley
Burnley
Burnley is a market town in the Burnley borough of Lancashire, England, with a population of around 73,500. It lies north of Manchester and east of Preston, at the confluence of the River Calder and River Brun....

, over the summer of 2001.

Blackburn since 1930

Blackburn suffered badly in the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 of the early 1930s
1930s
File:1930s decade montage.png|From left, clockwise: Dorothea Lange's photo of the homeless Florence Thompson show the effects of the Great Depression; Due to the economic collapse, the farms become dry and the Dust Bowl spreads through America; The Battle of Wuhan during the Second Sino-Japanese...

, with unemployment reaching record levels as many of the town's mills were shut down. However, public amenities improved and thousands of new council houses had been built by the outbreak of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in 1939, to replace town centre slums.

Unlike many other industrialised towns and cities in England, Blackburn avoided serious bomb damage in World War II. However, the continuing decline of the town's old industries saw the town's population fall to a low of just over 100,000 by 1971. However, the town then was revived by a regeneration of the town centre and an expansion of the local engineering industry.

The town enjoyed a return to international media and public spotlight in the 1990s
1990s
File:1990s decade montage.png|From left, clockwise: The Hubble Space Telescope floats in space after it was taken up in 1990; American F-16s and F-15s fly over burning oil fields and the USA Lexie in Operation Desert Storm, also known as the 1991 Gulf War; The signing of the Oslo Accords on...

 with the success of the town's football team Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers F.C.
Blackburn Rovers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the town of Blackburn, Lancashire. The team currently competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football....

, beginning with the takeover of the club by local steel baron Jack Walker
Jack Walker
Jack Walker was a British industrialist and businessman, from Blackburn, Lancashire. Walker invested tens of millions of pounds in Blackburn Rovers football club after amassing a personal fortune of £600 million...

 in 1991. The club's Ewood Park
Ewood Park
Ewood Park is a football stadium in the English town of Blackburn, Lancashire, and is the home of Blackburn Rovers Football Club — one of the founder members of the Football League and Premier League. Rovers have played there since they moved from Leamington Street in the summer of 1890. The...

 stadium was completely rebuilt between 1987 and 1995, but radical changes also took place on the pitch as Walker's extensive financial backing attracted some of the nation's finest players to the club, helping them win promotion to the new FA Premier League
FA Premier League
The Premier League is an English professional league for association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with The Football League. The Premier...

 in 1992, ending 26 years outside the top flight of English football. The pinnacle of the football club's revival came in 1995 when the league title was won for the first time since 1914, ending a major trophy drought which had begun with their 1928
1928 FA Cup Final
The 1928 FA Cup Final was contested by Blackburn Rovers and Huddersfield Town at Wembley Stadium. Blackburn won 3–1, with goals from Jack Roscamp and Tommy McLean...

 FA Cup
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

 triumph. However, the club has failed to sustain that level of success, their only major honour since then being a Football League Cup
Football League Cup
The Football League Cup, commonly known as the League Cup or, from current sponsorship, the Carling Cup, is an English association football competition. Like the FA Cup, it is played on a knockout basis...

 triumph in 2002.

Governance

This section describes the organisation of government in the area. For information on party politics and local issues see the section on politics below

Blackburn is administered by Blackburn with Darwen
Blackburn with Darwen
Blackburn with Darwen is a unitary authority area in Lancashire, North West England. It consists of Blackburn, the small town of Darwen to the south of it, and the surrounding countryside.-Formation:...

 unitary authority
Unitary authority
A unitary authority is a type of local authority that has a single tier and is responsible for all local government functions within its area or performs additional functions which elsewhere in the relevant country are usually performed by national government or a higher level of sub-national...

, which encompasses Blackburn and the small town of Darwen
Darwen
Darwen is a market town and civil parish located within Lancashire, England. Along with its northerly neighbour, Blackburn, it forms the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen — a unitary authority area...

 to the south. The town sends one Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 (MP) to the House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

.

Local government

The council has been elected "by thirds" since 1996, with one councillor from each of the three-member wards being elected every year; those representing 2-member wards are elected in alternative years. Every four years there is a year with no elections, In its 2007 Comprehensive Performance Assessment
Comprehensive Performance Assessment
In the UK the Comprehensive Performance Assessment , conducted by the Audit Commission, assessed the performance of every local authority and the services that they provide for local people.The Audit Commission first introduced CPA in 2002...

 (CPA), the Audit Commission
Audit Commission
The Audit Commission is a public corporation in the United Kingdom.The Commission’s primary objective is to improve economy, efficiency and effectiveness in local government, housing and the health service, directly through the audit and inspection process and also through value for money...

 described the council as "improving well" and gave it the highest "four star" overall performance rating.

Although children’s services, adult social care and GCSE results were praised, the commission did highlight "significant health problems" and increased "levels of repeat victims of domestic violence" as causes for concern. Despite generally good performance, overall user satisfaction levels with the council are below average and not improving. The borough was awarded Beacon Council
Beacon Council
A Beacon Council is a local authority in England which has been recognised for its excellence and innovation. The scheme attempts to disesminate best practice in local government. Beacon Councils are given greater autonomy from central government...

 status and shares its best practice in education policy with other councils as part of the scheme.

Parliamentary representation

The historic constituency of Blackburn
Blackburn (UK Parliament constituency)
Blackburn is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The town currently elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election. It has elected Labour MPs since its re-creation in 1955.-Boundaries:The constituency...

 was created for the 1832 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1832
-Seats summary:-Parties and leaders at the general election:The Earl Grey had been Prime Minister since 22 November 1830. His was the first predominantly Whig administration since the Ministry of all the Talents in 1806-1807....

 and sent two MPs
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 to Westminster. It was abolished in 1950
United Kingdom general election, 1950
The 1950 United Kingdom general election was the first general election ever after a full term of a Labour government. Despite polling over one and a half million votes more than the Conservatives, the election, held on 23 February 1950 resulted in Labour receiving a slim majority of just five...

 and replaced for one parliamentary term by two new single-member constituencies, Blackburn East
Blackburn East (UK Parliament constituency)
Blackburn East was a parliamentary constituency in the town of Blackburn in Lancashire. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post system....

 and Blackburn West
Blackburn West (UK Parliament constituency)
Blackburn West was a parliamentary constituency in the town of Blackburn in Lancashire. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post system....

. At the 1955 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1955
The 1955 United Kingdom general election was held on 26 May 1955, four years after the previous general election. It resulted in a substantially increased majority of 60 for the Conservative government under new leader and prime minister Sir Anthony Eden against Labour Party, now in their 20th year...

, Blackburn East and Blackburn West were merged into the modern-day constituency
Blackburn (UK Parliament constituency)
Blackburn is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The town currently elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election. It has elected Labour MPs since its re-creation in 1955.-Boundaries:The constituency...

, returning a single MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

 of the former Blackburn Borough Council has many distinctive emblems. The blazon
Blazon
In heraldry and heraldic vexillology, a blazon is a formal description of a coat of arms, flag or similar emblem, from which the reader can reconstruct the appropriate image...

 of the arms is: Argent a Fesse wavy Sable between three Bees volant proper on a Chief Vert a Bugle stringed Argent between two Fusils Or. On the crest
Crest (heraldry)
A crest is a component of an heraldic display, so called because it stands on top of a helmet, as the crest of a jay stands on the bird's head....

, a Wreath of the Colours a Shuttle Or thereon a Dove wings elevated Argent and holding in the beak the Thread of the Shuttle reflexed over the back and an Olive Branch proper.
The Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 motto
Motto
A motto is a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottoes of governments...

 of the town is Arte et Labore, correctly translated as "by art and by labour" but often translated as "by skill and hardwork".

The motto, granted on 14 February 1852 to the former Borough of Blackburn, is poignant as Blackburn, once a small town, had risen to importance through the energy and enterprise of her spinners and manufacturers, combined with the skill and labour of her operatives. The Borough of Blackburn was formed by the amalgamation of the County Borough of Blackburn, the Borough of Darwen, part of the Turton Urban District and the parishes of Yate and Pickup Bank
Yate and Pickup Bank
Yate and Pickup Bank is a civil parish in the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen, Lancashire, England. The parish contains two hamlets, Bank Fold and Pickup Bank, and part of the village of Belthorn, which is on the boundary with Hyndburn. It has boundaries with the parish of Eccleshill to the...

, Eccleshill
Eccleshill, Lancashire
Eccleshill is a civil parish in the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen, Lancashire, England. It contains the hamlets of Eccleshill, Grimshaw and Waterside. Located within the parish is Shaws of Darwen, a manufacturer of sinks and architectural terracotta...

, Livesey
Livesey
Livesey is a civil parish in the unitary borough of Blackburn with Darwen, in the ceremonial county of Lancashire, England.Lying to the south west of Blackburn, Livesey contains most of the suburb of Cherry Tree, including its railway station and the majority of the village of Feniscowles...

, Pleasington
Pleasington
Pleasington is a village and civil parish in the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen, Lancashire, England. It had a population of 467 in the 2001 census.It is a rural village set on a hillside above the River Darwen...

 and Tockholes
Tockholes
Tockholes is a village and civil parish which forms part of the Blackburn with Darwen unitary authority in the North west of England. Tockholes consists of the village of Tockholes itself and the Hamlet of Ryal Fold, and has a population of 454...

 from the Blackburn Rural District.

Politics

Blackburn council and its successor have been predominantly controlled by the Labour Party since 1945 and continuously for 19 years until May 2007 when it fell into no overall control
No overall control
Within the context of local councils of the United Kingdom, the term No Overall Control refers to a situation in which no single party achieves a majority of seats and is analogous to a hung parliament...

. UKPollingReport characterises the constituency of Blackburn as "a mix of deprived inner-city wards dominated by Muslim voters, white working class areas and Conservative voting suburbs". The sitting MP is former Secretary of State for Justice and former Foreign Secretary
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, commonly referred to as the Foreign Secretary, is a senior member of Her Majesty's Government heading the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and regarded as one of the Great Offices of State...

, Jack Straw
Jack Straw
Jack Straw , British politician.Jack Straw may also refer to:* Jack Straw , English* "Jack Straw" , 1971 song by the Grateful Dead* Jack Straw by W...

. Previous MPs for Blackburn include former Labour cabinet minister Barbara Castle
Barbara Castle
Barbara Anne Castle, Baroness Castle of Blackburn , PC, GCOT was a British Labour Party politician....

, who represented the town in Westminster from 1945 to 1979.

Far right

In the 1970s Blackburn experienced its first significant wave of Asian immigration, and became a focus for far-right politics. In 1976, two National Party
National Party (UK, 1976)
The National Party was a short-lived British far right political party formed on 6 January 1976 and which dissolved before the 1979 general election...

 councillors were briefly elected, including John Kingsley Read
John Kingsley Read
John Kingsley Read was chairman of the British National Front from 1974 to 1976 and a founder of the National Party.A former member of the Conservative Party and chairman of the Blackburn Young Conservatives, Read left to join the NF in 1973 having addressed a rally against the arrival of Ugandan...

. The next resurgence of support for the far right came after 2000. Around 20% of Blackburn's population come from ethnic minorities and in recent years the town has witnessed a resurgence in the fortunes of far-right political parties in local elections.

The council until recently had two members for the England First party, Mark Cotterill
Mark Cotterill
Mark Adrian Cotterill is a far right political figure who has been involved in a number of movements throughout his career...

 for Meadowhead ward and Michael Johnson for Fernhurst. Mark Cotterill has since stood down and Michael Johnson joined the For Darwen party. Members of the BNP have previously won a council seat in the town in November 2002 following elections in May which saw three of their colleagues elected in nearby Burnley
Burnley
Burnley is a market town in the Burnley borough of Lancashire, England, with a population of around 73,500. It lies north of Manchester and east of Preston, at the confluence of the River Calder and River Brun....

. The BNP's Robin Evans secured a 16-vote majority in Mill Hill ward with two recounts following a campaign using pub meetings and leafleting.

The incumbent Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

 were pushed into third place behind Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

. Although the plans had been blocked by the time of the poll, proposals to convert a nursing home in the ward into a centre for asylum seekers were seen as a key election issue. Developments in Burnley and Blackburn were regarded as something of a renaissance for the far right in British politics; no such councillors had been elected in the UK since victories in Tower Hamlets
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is a London borough to the east of the City of London and north of the River Thames. It is in the eastern part of London and covers much of the traditional East End. It also includes much of the redeveloped Docklands region of London, including West India Docks...

 nearly ten years before.

Commenting on the elections, Blackburn MP Jack Straw
Jack Straw (politician)
John Whitaker Straw is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Blackburn since 1979. He served as Home Secretary from 1997 to 2001, Foreign Secretary from 2001 to 2006 and Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons from 2006 to 2007 under Tony Blair...

 said: "It is very sad. We had the far right in Blackburn 26 years ago when they won two seats in Shadsworth. But there the whole community decided they wouldn't have it. You can never say they won't put candidates in Blackburn but we will work hard on community relations." Blackburn had two council members from the National Party
National Party (UK, 1976)
The National Party was a short-lived British far right political party formed on 6 January 1976 and which dissolved before the 1979 general election...

 in the 1970s. Although some towns in the North of England
Northern England
Northern England, also known as the North of England, the North or the North Country, is a cultural region of England. It is not an official government region, but rather an informal amalgamation of counties. The southern extent of the region is roughly the River Trent, while the North is bordered...

 suffered race riots in the summer of 2001, the streets of Blackburn remained quiet.

Other political events

In October 2006, comments made by Jack Straw angered some in the Muslim community. Writing in the Lancashire Telegraph
Lancashire Telegraph
The Lancashire Telegraph, formerly the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, is a local tabloid newspaper distributed in East Lancashire, England. It has two separate geographic editions each day – one for the boroughs of Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley, and one for Burnley, Pendle, and...

, the MP said that Muslim women who wear full veils make "better, positive relations" between communities more difficult and that failing to show the mouth and nose was "a visible statement of separation and of difference." Jack Straw apologised for these comments regarding the veil on Sunday, 26 April 2010 at a private hustings organised by Engage
Engage (organization)
Engage is an organisation which publishes materials in opposition to what they see as left and liberal antisemitism, primarily in UK academic institutions. The group is made up of left-wing academic who oppose boycotts of Israel...

 in the build up to the 2010 Elections.

Geography

At 53°44′41"N 2°28′37"W (53.7449°, −2.4769°), and 184 miles (296 km) north-northwest of London, Blackburn stands 401 feet (122 m) above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

, 8.9 miles (14.3 km) east of Preston and 21 miles (34 km) north-northeast of Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

. The Ribble Valley
Ribble Valley
Ribble Valley is a local government district with borough status within the non-metropolitan county of Lancashire, England. Its council is based in Clitheroe. Other places include Whalley, Longridge and Ribchester. The area is so called due to the River Ribble which flows in its final stages...

 and West Pennine Moors
West Pennine Moors
The West Pennine Moors cover an area of approximately of moorland and reservoirs in Lancashire and Greater Manchester, England.The West Pennine Moors are separated from the main Pennine range by the Irwell Valley. The moorland includes Withnell, Anglezarke and Rivington Moors in the extreme west,...

 lie to the north and south respectively. Blackburn experiences a temperate
Temperate
In geography, temperate or tepid latitudes of the globe lie between the tropics and the polar circles. The changes in these regions between summer and winter are generally relatively moderate, rather than extreme hot or cold...

 maritime climate
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

, like much of the British Isles, with relatively cool summers and mild winters. There is regular but generally light precipitation throughout the year.

Although the city of Preston, the administrative centre for Lancashire, is located about 9.2 miles (14.8 km) to the west, Blackburn is the largest municipality in what is known as East Lancashire. The town is bounded on other sides by smaller towns, including Accrington to the east and Darwen to the south.

Blackburn and Darwen together make up Blackburn with Darwen unitary authority. The village of Wilpshire
Wilpshire
Wilpshire is a village and civil parish in the county of Lancashire, England. It is north of Blackburn, and forms part of the town's urban area, although it is in the Ribble Valley local government district...

, is 2.5 miles (4 km) north of Blackburn, and forms part of the Blackburn urban area, although it is in the Ribble Valley
Ribble Valley
Ribble Valley is a local government district with borough status within the non-metropolitan county of Lancashire, England. Its council is based in Clitheroe. Other places include Whalley, Longridge and Ribchester. The area is so called due to the River Ribble which flows in its final stages...

 local government district. Other nearby villages are Langho
Langho
Langho is a small rural village north of Blackburn in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire, England. It is part of the parish of Billington and Langho. The village is linked with Blackburn and Clitheroe by the A666 road and is served by Langho railway station on the Ribble Valley Line. To the north,...

, approximately 1.2 miles (1.9 km) further to the north-east, and Mellor
Mellor, Lancashire
Mellor is a village situated in the Borough of Ribble Valley in Lancashire, England. It is reasonably large in size for a village, with two churches, one Church of England Parish Church and one Methodist, as well as a primary school, three public houses and a hotel...

 to the north west of Blackburn.

The small towns of Rishton
Rishton
Rishton is a small town in the Hyndburn district of Lancashire, England, about west of Clayton-le-Moors and north-east of Blackburn. It was an urban district from 1894 to 1974....

, to the east, and Great Harwood
Great Harwood
Great Harwood is a small town in the Hyndburn district of Lancashire, England, north-east of Blackburn.-History:Great Harwood is a town with a industrial heritage. The Mercer Hall Leisure Centre in Queen Street and the town clock pay tribute to John Mercer , the 'father' of Great Harwood, who...

, to the north east, are both in the local government district of Hyndburn
Hyndburn
Hyndburn is a local government district with borough status in Lancashire, England. Its council is based in Accrington. The district is named after the River Hyndburn....

. 11 miles (17.7 km) further to the east lies the town of Burnley
Burnley
Burnley is a market town in the Burnley borough of Lancashire, England, with a population of around 73,500. It lies north of Manchester and east of Preston, at the confluence of the River Calder and River Brun....

.

Geology and terrain

Located in the midst of the East Lancashire Hills, some areas of the town are characterised by steep slopes. The town centre is located in a depression surrounded by a number of hills. The area of Revidge to the north can be reached via a steep climb up Montague Street and Dukes Brow to reach a peak of 715 feet (218 m) above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

.

To the west, the wooded Billinge Hill in Witton Country Park
Witton Country Park
Witton Country Park is a 480 acre public park in the west of Blackburn, Lancashire. Around half of the park is mixed woodland and parkland, while the rest is either farmland or rough grassland with open access. A visitors' centre features stables with exhibitions of old horse-drawn farm machinery,...

 is 804 feet (245 m) high, while Royal Blackburn Hospital is situated to the east of the town at a vantage point of 663 feet (202 m). These figures can be considered in the context of other hills and mountains in Lancashire, including Great Hill
Great Hill
Great Hill is a hill in Lancashire on Anglezarke Moor, between the towns of Chorley and Darwen. It is part of the West Pennine Moors and lies approximately 3 miles north of Winter Hill, which is the highest point in the area at 456 m ....

 at 1496 feet (456 m), Winter Hill
Winter Hill (Lancashire)
Winter Hill is a hill on the border of the boroughs of Chorley, Blackburn with Darwen and Bolton, in North West England. It is located on Rivington Moor, Chorley and is high...

 at 1496 feet (456 m), Pendle Hill
Pendle Hill
Pendle Hill is located in the north-east of Lancashire, England, near the towns of Burnley, Nelson, Colne, Clitheroe and Padiham, an area known as Pendleside. Its summit is above mean sea level. It gives its name to the Borough of Pendle. It is an isolated hill, separated from the Pennines to the...

 at 1827 feet (557 m) and Green Hill
Green Hill (Lancashire)
Green Hill is a mountain in north west England. Its summit is above sea level. It is located above Cowan Bridge, Lancashire, between Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria and Ingleton, North Yorkshire...

 2060 feet (628 m).

The River Blakewater, which gives its names to the town, flows down from the moors above Guide
Guide, Lancashire
Guide is a village on the edge of Blackburn, in Lancashire. It is located south of the town centre, and the M65 motorway passes around the south and east of the village with junction five situated immediately to the southwest of the village....

 and then through the areas of Whitebirk
Whitebirk
Whitebirk is a suburb in the east of Blackburn, in Lancashire, England. Most of the suburb is in Blackburn with Darwen, a unitary area, with the east of the suburb being in the borough of Hyndburn. Whitebirk is part of the Blackburn urban area....

, Little Harwood, Cob Wall and Brookhouse to the town centre. The river was culvert
Culvert
A culvert is a device used to channel water. It may be used to allow water to pass underneath a road, railway, or embankment. Culverts can be made of many different materials; steel, polyvinyl chloride and concrete are the most common...

ed during the industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 and runs underground in the town centre, under Ainsworth Street and between Blackburn Cathedral
Blackburn Cathedral
Blackburn Cathedral, officially known as the Cathedral Church of Blackburn Saint Mary the Virgin, is a cathedral situated in the heart of Blackburn town centre, in Lancashire, England...

 and Blackburn Bus Station. On the western side of the town centre the Blakewater continues under Whalley Banks and through the Redlam area before joining the River Darwen
River Darwen
The River Darwen is a river running through Darwen and Blackburn in Lancashire.The river was seriously polluted with human and industrial effluent during the Industrial Revolution, up to the early 1970s. The river often changed colour dramatically as a result of paper and paint mills routinely...

 outside Witton Country Park and continuing on to join the River Ribble
River Ribble
The River Ribble is a river that runs through North Yorkshire and Lancashire, in northern England. The river's drainage basin also includes parts of Greater Manchester around Wigan.-Geography:...

 at Walton-le-Dale
Walton-le-Dale
Walton-le-Dale is a village in the Borough of South Ribble, in Lancashire, England. It lies on south bank of the River Ribble, and the south-side of the city of Preston, adjacent to Bamber Bridge.-Toponymy:...

.

The geology of the Blackburn area yields numerous resources which underpinned its development as a centre of manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution. Mineable
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

 coal seams have been used since the mid-late 16th century. The Coal Measures
Coal Measures
The Coal Measures is a lithostratigraphical term for the coal-bearing part of the Upper Carboniferous System. It represents the remains of fluvio-deltaic sediment, and consists mainly of clastic rocks interstratified with the beds of coal...

 in the area overlie the Millstone Grit
Millstone Grit
Millstone Grit is the name given to any of a number of coarse-grained sandstones of Carboniferous age which occur in the Northern England. The name derives from its use in earlier times as a source of millstones for use principally in watermills...

 which has been quarried
Quarry
A quarry is a type of open-pit mine from which rock or minerals are extracted. Quarries are generally used for extracting building materials, such as dimension stone, construction aggregate, riprap, sand, and gravel. They are often collocated with concrete and asphalt plants due to the requirement...

 in the past for millstone
Millstone
Millstones or mill stones are used in windmills and watermills, including tide mills, for grinding wheat or other grains.The type of stone most suitable for making millstones is a siliceous rock called burrstone , an open-textured, porous but tough, fine-grained sandstone, or a silicified,...

s and, along with local limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

 deposits, used as a construction material for roads and buildings. In addition, there were deposits of iron ore in the Furness
Furness
Furness is a peninsula in south Cumbria, England. At its widest extent, it is considered to cover the whole of North Lonsdale, that part of the Lonsdale hundred that is an exclave of the historic county of Lancashire, lying to the north of Morecambe Bay....

 and Ulverston
Ulverston
Ulverston is a market town and civil parish in the South Lakeland district of Cumbria in north-west England. Historically part of Lancashire, the town is located in the Furness area, close to the Lake District, and just north of Morecambe Bay....

 districts.

The Blackburn area was subjected to glaciation during the Pleistocene ice age
Pleistocene
The Pleistocene is the epoch from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years BP that spans the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. The name pleistocene is derived from the Greek and ....

, and the sandstone
Sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...

-and-shale
Shale
Shale is a fine-grained, clastic sedimentary rock composed of mud that is a mix of flakes of clay minerals and tiny fragments of other minerals, especially quartz and calcite. The ratio of clay to other minerals is variable. Shale is characterized by breaks along thin laminae or parallel layering...

 bedrock is overlain in much of the area by glacial deposits called till
Till
thumb|right|Closeup of glacial till. Note that the larger grains in the till are completely surrounded by the matrix of finer material , and this characteristic, known as matrix support, is diagnostic of till....

 (which is also called "boulder clay") of varying thickness up to several tens of feet. Glacial outwash (sand and gravel) also occur in small patches, including along Grimshaw Brook.

Demography

According to the UK Government's
Politics of the United Kingdom
The politics of the United Kingdom takes place within the framework of a constitutional monarchy, in which the Monarch is the head of state and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government...

 2001 census
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

, Blackburn, defined as an urban area, had a population of 105,085 and a population density of 11114 /sqmi. According to further statistics from the same census, this time defining Blackburn as a Westminster parliamentary constituency
United Kingdom constituencies
In the United Kingdom , each of the electoral areas or divisions called constituencies elects one or more members to a parliament or assembly.Within the United Kingdom there are now five bodies with members elected by constituencies:...

, the town was 69.22% White British
White British
White British was an ethnicity classification used in the 2001 United Kingdom Census. As a result of the census, 50,366,497 people in the United Kingdom were classified as White British. In Scotland the classification was broken down into two different categories: White Scottish and Other White...

 (national average for England 89.99%) with significant Indian (14.31%) and Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

i (11.45%) ethnic minorities. 12.33% of the population was born outside the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. In terms of religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

, 57.53% of residents were Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 (average for England 71.74%), 25.74% Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 (average for England 3.1%) and 15.98% no religion or not stated.

With regard to the economic activity of those aged 16–74, the 2001 Census indicates that 33.93% were full-time employees (average for England 40.81%), 11.72% were part-time employees, 5.97% were self-employed (average for England 8.32%), and 4.5% were unemployed (average for England 3.35%).

The 2001 census also records the social grade of the constituency's 72,418 people aged 16 and over. Using the NRS social grades system, 10,748 were classed as AB (higher and intermediate managerial / administrative / professional), 17,514 as C1 (supervisory, clerical, junior managerial / administrative / professional), 11,691 as C2 (skilled manual workers), 19,212 as D (semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers), and 13,253 as E (on state benefit, unemployed, lowest grade workers).

Economy

The town centre is currently subject to a new multi-million pound investment, and Blackburn with Darwen Council have already made some refurbishments and renovations of key public places, notably the Church Street area with its Grade II listed art deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

 Waterloo Pavilions complemented by street furniture and sculptures. The Mall Blackburn
The Mall Blackburn
The Mall Blackburn, also known by its former name Blackburn Shopping Centre, is a shopping centre that serves the town of Blackburn, Lancashire England and is owned by The Mall Company.-History:...

 (formerly known as Blackburn Shopping Centre) is the main shopping centre in Blackburn with over 130 shops and 400 further outlets close by. Blackburn Market opened in a new site under the shopping centre in June 2011 and now opens six days a week (Monday to Saturday) . The previous market was based on the other side of Ainsworth Street. It first opened on this site in 1964, where there were a 3-day market (Wednesday, Friday, Saturday) and the Market Hall (Monday-Saturday). The town centre was expanded by construction of the Grimshaw Park retail development (including Blackburn Arena
Blackburn Arena
Blackburn Arena is an Olympic size ice arena in Blackburn, England, and the home of Blackburn Hawks and Lancashire Raptors ice hockey clubs. The arena, which opened in 1991, holds 3,200 people and has an ice pad of ....

) in the 1990s. The adjacent Townsmoor Retail Park and Peel
Peel Group
The Peel Group is a diversified real estate, transport and infrastructure investment company in the United Kingdom. It has assets owned and under management approaching £6 billion...

 Leisure and Retail Park are more recent developments.

One of the town's most well-known shops, the shoe store Tommy Ball's, closed in May 2008 after going into administration
Administration (insolvency)
As a legal concept, administration is a procedure under the insolvency laws of a number of common law jurisdictions. It functions as a rescue mechanism for insolvent entities and allows them to carry on running their business. The process – an alternative to liquidation – is often known as going...

. The town's oldest store, Mercer & Sons, also closed after a decline in sales blamed on the credit crunch
Late 2000s recession
The late-2000s recession, sometimes referred to as the Great Recession or Lesser Depression or Long Recession, is a severe ongoing global economic problem that began in December 2007 and took a particularly sharp downward turn in September 2008. The Great Recession has affected the entire world...

. It opened in 1840 and was originally an ironmonger but the public store converted to selling toys, household goods and hardware. However in January 2009 the directors of the company announced that the shop would close following a 30-day statutory consultation, unless they change their mind or a buyer is found. The company continue to operate their "trade only" outlet on Pump Street. The markets continue to offer a wide range of local produce—Lancashire cheeses, tripe
Tripe
Tripe is a type of edible offal from the stomachs of various farm animals.-Beef tripe:...

, Bowland beef and lamb can all be found. Walsh's Sarsaparilla
Sarsaparilla
is a perennial trailing vine with prickly stems that is native to Central America. Common names include Sarsaparilla , Honduran Sarsaparilla, and Jamaican Sarsaparilla...

 stall decided not to move into the new market development. The market moved into the Mall shopping centre in 2011, and now opens six days a week.

Major employers in Blackburn include: BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

 (Samlesbury Aerodrome
Samlesbury Aerodrome
Samlesbury Aerodrome is a disused airfield at Balderstone near Samlesbury, in the Ribble Valley district of Lancashire. The aerodrome is owned by defence company BAE Systems which uses the site for manufacturing of several aircraft types...

 site, located at Balderstone, northwest of Blackburn); Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council; and the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust is an NHS hospital trust in Lancashire, England, part of the NHS North West strategic health authority. It was formed in 2003 as the result of a locally controversial, cost saving merger of Blackburn Hyndburn and Ribble Valley NHS Trust and Burnley Health Care...

 (based at the Royal Blackburn Hospital).

Transport

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal runs through Blackburn from Feniscowles in the SW to Whitebirk in the NE, skirting the town centre to the east of Blackburn railway station. This important early industrial artery arrived in the town in 1810 and became the chief focus for industrial growth in the 19th century, with raw cotton imported via Liverpool. While it suffered neglect in the wake of the area's industrial decline, the Blackburn stretch has benefited from a number of regeneration projects since the 1990s. British Waterways residential moorings are to be found at Finnington Lane Bridge on the western edge of the Borough.

The M65 motorway
M65 motorway
The M65 is a motorway in Lancashire, England. It runs from just south of Preston through the major junction of the M6 and M61 motorways, east past Darwen, Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley, Nelson and ends at Colne.-History:...

 passes to the south of Blackburn. It runs from Colne
Colne
Colne is the second largest town and civil parish in the Borough of Pendle in Lancashire, England, with a population of 20,118. It lies at the eastern end of the M65, 6 miles north-east of Burnley, with Nelson immediately adjacent, in the Aire Gap with two main roads leading into the Yorkshire...

, about 17 miles (27.4 km) north-east of Blackburn, to a point close to the village of Lostock Hall
Lostock Hall
Lostock Hall is a small suburban village within the South Ribble borough of Lancashire, England. It is located on the south side of the River Ribble, some south of Preston and north of Leyland. It is bordered on its southeastern side by the interchange for the M6, M61 and M65 motorways...

 near Preston, about 12 miles (19.3 km) to the west. Junction six of the motorway is located at the eastern edge of Blackburn, near the Intack area; junctions five and four are located to the south, near the village of Guide
Guide, Lancashire
Guide is a village on the edge of Blackburn, in Lancashire. It is located south of the town centre, and the M65 motorway passes around the south and east of the village with junction five situated immediately to the southwest of the village....

 and the Lower Darwen
Lower Darwen
Lower Darwen is a village in the unitary borough of Blackburn with Darwen, in the town of Darwen, in the county of Lancashire. It is located between the towns of Blackburn and Darwen. Nearby places include Ewood and Blackamoor. It is situated in the valley of the River Darwen...

 area respectively; and junction three is located at the south-western edge of the town, close to the Feniscowles
Feniscowles
Feniscowles is a village in the unitary authority of Blackburn with Darwen, Lancashire, England. It is situated approximately west of Blackburn...

 area. The M65 links Blackburn to the national motorway network, connecting to junction nine of the M61
M61 motorway
The M61 motorway is a motorway in North West England. It runs from the M60 motorway northwest of Manchester and heads northwest past Bolton and Chorley to join the M6 just north of the junction between the M6 and M65 motorways to the south of Preston....

 and junction 29 of the M6
M6 motorway
The M6 motorway runs from junction 19 of the M1 at the Catthorpe Interchange, near Rugby via Birmingham then heads north, passing Stoke-on-Trent, Manchester, Preston, Carlisle and terminating at the Gretna junction . Here, just short of the Scottish border it becomes the A74 which continues to...

.

Other major roads in and around Blackburn include the A666
A666 road
The A666 is a major road in Greater Manchester and Lancashire, England. Known as Manchester Road, Bolton Road, or Blackburn Road, depending on which area it is in, it runs from its junction with A6 and A580 at the Irlams o' th' Height boundary with Pendlebury near Manchester, through Pendlebury,...

 and the A677. The A666 runs from the A59 near the village of Langho
Langho
Langho is a small rural village north of Blackburn in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire, England. It is part of the parish of Billington and Langho. The village is linked with Blackburn and Clitheroe by the A666 road and is served by Langho railway station on the Ribble Valley Line. To the north,...

, approximately 3.7 miles (6 km) to the north-west of Blackburn. It passes through the town centre and continues south through the towns of Darwen
Darwen
Darwen is a market town and civil parish located within Lancashire, England. Along with its northerly neighbour, Blackburn, it forms the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen — a unitary authority area...

 and Bolton
Bolton
Bolton is a town in Greater Manchester, in the North West of England. Close to the West Pennine Moors, it is north west of the city of Manchester. Bolton is surrounded by several smaller towns and villages which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, of which Bolton is the...

 then south-west to the town of Pendlebury
Pendlebury
Pendlebury is a suburban town in the City of Salford, in Greater Manchester, England. It lies to the northwest of Manchester city centre, northwest of Salford, and southeast of Bolton....

, near Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

, where the road joins the A6. The A677 runs from the east part of Blackburn, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the centre. It passes through the centre of the town and continues to the western outskirts. It then heads north-west to the village of Mellor Brook
Mellor Brook
Mellor Brook is a village which straddles the borders of the Boroughs of Ribble Valley and South Ribble in Lancashire, England.The village of Mellor Brook is approximately north-west of Blackburn....

 before continuing west again towards the city of Preston. It joins the A59 about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) west of Blackburn, approximately halfway between Blackburn and Preston.

Blackburn's newly redeveloped railway station
Blackburn railway station
Blackburn railway station is a railway station that serves the town of Blackburn in Lancashire, England. It is east of Preston and is managed and served by Northern Rail.-Description:The station is served by two lines...

 is in the town centre, and is served by Northern Rail
Northern Rail
Northern Rail is a British train operating company that has operated local passenger services in Northern England since 2004. Northern Rail's owner, Serco-Abellio, is a consortium formed of Abellio and Serco, an international operator of public transport systems...

. The nearest railway station on the West Coast Main Line
West Coast Main Line
The West Coast Main Line is the busiest mixed-traffic railway route in Britain, being the country's most important rail backbone in terms of population served. Fast, long-distance inter-city passenger services are provided between London, the West Midlands, the North West, North Wales and the...

 is in Preston
Preston railway station
Preston railway station serves the city of Preston in Lancashire, England and is a major station on the West Coast Main Line.It is served by Northern Rail, Virgin Trains, and TransPennine Express services, plus First ScotRail overnight sleeper services between London and Scotland.-Station layout...

. Blackburn's Boulevard bus station
Blackburn Boulevard bus station
Blackburn Boulevard bus station serves the town of Blackburn, Lancashire, England.The bus station is situated adjacent from the Blackburn railway station and the town's Cathedral in the town centre. The main operators from the bus station are Lancashire United; the company acquired the formerly...

 is situated outside the rail station. Blackpool International Airport, about 23 miles (37 km) to the west, is Blackburn's nearest airport. Manchester Airport, the busiest airport in the UK outside London, is about 28 miles (45.1 km) to the southeast of the town.

Cathedral

Blackburn Cathedral
Blackburn Cathedral
Blackburn Cathedral, officially known as the Cathedral Church of Blackburn Saint Mary the Virgin, is a cathedral situated in the heart of Blackburn town centre, in Lancashire, England...

 was formerly Saint Mary's
Mary (mother of Jesus)
Mary , commonly referred to as "Saint Mary", "Mother Mary", the "Virgin Mary", the "Blessed Virgin Mary", or "Mary, Mother of God", was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee...

 Parish Church. St Mary's was consecrated in 1826, by which time it is believed there had already been a church on the site for several hundred years. In 1926 the Diocese of Blackburn
Diocese of Blackburn
The Diocese of Blackburn is a Church of England diocese, covering much of Lancashire, created in 1926 from part of the Diocese of Manchester. The Diocese includes the towns of Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, and the cities of Lancaster, and Preston, as well as a large part of the Ribble Valley...

 was created and the church gained cathedral status. Blackburn was selected above other locations for the 'new wave' of Archbishop Temple's cathedrals because of its then excellent public transport infrastructure – the cathedral stands next to the bus and railway station, both now comparatively reduced. Between the 1930s and 1960s an enlarged cathedral was built using the existing building as the nave. Six of the cathedral's bells were cast in 1737 and are claimed to have been cast from even older bells. An image of the cathedral is used behind BBC interviews held in Blackburn, which are filmed at BBC Radio Lancashire
BBC Radio Lancashire
BBC Radio Lancashire is the BBC Local Radio service for the county of Lancashire, in North West England. It began as BBC Radio Blackburn on 26 January 1971 on 96.4FM, then adding 854 kHz AM in 1972 and changing to its current name on 4 July 1981...

 on Darwen Street, opposite the cathedral.

Ewood Park

Ewood Park stadium has been the home of Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers F.C.
Blackburn Rovers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the town of Blackburn, Lancashire. The team currently competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football....

 football club since they moved there from Leamington Road in 1890. The ground was officially opened on 13 September that year. Work on the current, redeveloped, all-seater stadium got underway in February 1993 when the old Darwen End stand was demolished. This stand, together with the old Blackburn End stand, was then redeveloped before the Nuttall Street stand was also demolished ready for redevelopment in January 1994. Almost two years later, on 18 November 1995, the newly redeveloped Ewood Park was officially opened. With a capacity of 31,367, the facility comprises four sections: the Darwen
Darwen
Darwen is a market town and civil parish located within Lancashire, England. Along with its northerly neighbour, Blackburn, it forms the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen — a unitary authority area...

 End, Riverside Stand (named as such because it stands practically on the banks of the River Darwen
River Darwen
The River Darwen is a river running through Darwen and Blackburn in Lancashire.The river was seriously polluted with human and industrial effluent during the Industrial Revolution, up to the early 1970s. The river often changed colour dramatically as a result of paper and paint mills routinely...

), Blackburn End, and Jack Walker Stand, which is named after Blackburn industrialist and club supporter, Jack Walker
Jack Walker
Jack Walker was a British industrialist and businessman, from Blackburn, Lancashire. Walker invested tens of millions of pounds in Blackburn Rovers football club after amassing a personal fortune of £600 million...

. The stadium also houses conference and banqueting facilities.

Queen Victoria's statue

Blackburn's statue of Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

 is located next to the cathedral grounds overlooking the bus station. Victoria's fourth daughter, Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll
Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll
The Princess Louise was a member of the British Royal Family, the sixth child and fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and her husband, Albert, Prince Consort.Louise's early life was spent moving between the various royal residences in the...

, unveiled the statue on 30 September 1905. It was sculpted by Australian sculptor Sir Bertram McKennal out of white Sicilian marble
Marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

 and stands on a grey granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 plinth
Plinth
In architecture, a plinth is the base or platform upon which a column, pedestal, statue, monument or structure rests. Gottfried Semper's The Four Elements of Architecture posited that the plinth, the hearth, the roof, and the wall make up all of architectural theory. The plinth usually rests...

. The statue is 11 feet (3.4 m) high and weighs 9 long ton, while the plinth is 14 feet (4.3 m) high and weighs 30 long ton.

Town hall

The construction of Blackburn's original, Italian renaissance style
Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance...

 town hall was completed in 1856 at a cost of £35,000, equivalent to about £1.5 million as at 2008. The architect was James Paterson and the contractors were Richard Hacking and William Stones. It originally housed a police station with 18 cells, a large assembly room, and a council chamber. A tower block extension was constructed in 1969 at a cost of £650,000, equal to about £6.6 million as at 2008. The tower block is not strictly an extension to the earlier building: the two buildings are connected only by an elevated, enclosed footbridge. The tower block was 198 feet (60 m) high and the top was 545 feet (166 m) 9 inches (23 cm) above sea-level when built, although it has since been re-clad and these figures may have altered slightly.

Technical school

The foundation stone of the Technical School building was laid on 9 May 1888 by the Prince and Princess of Wales; the building was completed towards the end of 1894. It is built in the Northern Renaissance style and has a slate roof, an attic, a basement, and two intermediate storeys. Made mainly of red brick and yellow terracotta
Terra cotta
Terracotta, Terra cotta or Terra-cotta is a clay-based unglazed ceramic, although the term can also be applied to glazed ceramics where the fired body is porous and red in color...

, it is profusely decorated and features ornate gable
Gable
A gable is the generally triangular portion of a wall between the edges of a sloping roof. The shape of the gable and how it is detailed depends on the structural system being used and aesthetic concerns. Thus the type of roof enclosing the volume dictates the shape of the gable...

s, a round arched entrance with angle turret
Turret
In architecture, a turret is a small tower that projects vertically from the wall of a building such as a medieval castle. Turrets were used to provide a projecting defensive position allowing covering fire to the adjacent wall in the days of military fortification...

s and balcony above, and a frieze
Frieze
thumb|267px|Frieze of the [[Tower of the Winds]], AthensIn architecture the frieze is the wide central section part of an entablature and may be plain in the Ionic or Doric order, or decorated with bas-reliefs. Even when neither columns nor pilasters are expressed, on an astylar wall it lies upon...

 below the top storey with panels depicting art and craft skills. The Technical School is a grade II listed building and is now part of Blackburn College
Blackburn College (Blackburn with Darwen)
Blackburn College is a further and higher education college in Blackburn, in the unitary authority of Blackburn with Darwen, Lancashire, England.It is a large college, with over 15,000 students, around 6,000 of whom are aged 16–19...

.

Other landmarks

The Wainwright bridge was opened in June 2008. The £12 million bowstring arch bridge crosses the East Lancashire
East Lancashire Line
The East Lancashire Line is a railway line in the Lancashire region of England, which runs between Preston and Colne, through Blackburn, Accrington and Burnley ....

 and Ribble Valley
Ribble Valley Line
The Ribble Valley Line is a railway line that runs from Manchester Victoria through Blackburn to the small market town of Clitheroe in Lancashire. Regular passenger services normally only run as far as Clitheroe, but occasional passenger services run along the line through north Lancashire towards...

 railway lines west of the town centre and forms part of the A6078 Town Centre Orbital Route. The bridge is named after Alfred Wainwright
Alfred Wainwright
Alfred Wainwright MBE was a British fellwalker, guidebook author and illustrator. His seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, published between 1955 and 1966 and consisting entirely of reproductions of his manuscript, has become the standard reference work to 214 of the fells of the...

 following a vote by the townspeople. Blackburn Arena
Blackburn Arena
Blackburn Arena is an Olympic size ice arena in Blackburn, England, and the home of Blackburn Hawks and Lancashire Raptors ice hockey clubs. The arena, which opened in 1991, holds 3,200 people and has an ice pad of ....

, which houses an ice rink
Ice rink
An ice rink is a frozen body of water and/or hardened chemicals where people can skate or play winter sports. Besides recreational ice skating, some of its uses include ice hockey, figure skating and curling as well as exhibitions, contests and ice shows...

 and is home to the Blackburn Hawks
Blackburn Hawks
The Blackburn Hawks , are a British ice hockey team based in Blackburn, Lancashire. They are currently members of the ENIHL, and have previously played in the British National League and the English League Premier Division...

 ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 team, opened in 1991.

Blackburn Railway Station
Blackburn railway station
Blackburn railway station is a railway station that serves the town of Blackburn in Lancashire, England. It is east of Preston and is managed and served by Northern Rail.-Description:The station is served by two lines...

 features a 24 feet (7.3 m) mural by Ormskirk
Ormskirk
Ormskirk is a market town in West Lancashire, England. It is situated north of Liverpool city centre, northwest of St Helens, southeast of Southport and southwest of Preston.-Geography and administration:...

-based contemporary artist Stephen Charnock. It depicts eight famous faces associated with the town, including Mohandas Gandhi, who visited nearby Darwen
Darwen
Darwen is a market town and civil parish located within Lancashire, England. Along with its northerly neighbour, Blackburn, it forms the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen — a unitary authority area...

 in 1931. The station was renovated in 2000. BBC Radio Lancashire
BBC Radio Lancashire
BBC Radio Lancashire is the BBC Local Radio service for the county of Lancashire, in North West England. It began as BBC Radio Blackburn on 26 January 1971 on 96.4FM, then adding 854 kHz AM in 1972 and changing to its current name on 4 July 1981...

 has its studios on Darwen Street in the town centre. Thwaites Brewery
Thwaites Brewery
Thwaites Brewery is a regional brewery founded in 1807 by Daniel Thwaites in Blackburn, Lancashire, England. The firm still operates from its original town centre site. A variety of cask ales, draught beers, lagers and ciders are produced in Blackburn or imported from Europe by Thwaites. In 1999,...

, which produces cask ale
Cask ale
Cask ale or cask-conditioned beer is the term for unfiltered and unpasteurised beer which is conditioned and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure...

, has had a position in the centre of the town since 1870. There is also King George's Hall, which is an arts and entertainment centre, and Thwaites Empire Theatre. A section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal
Leeds and Liverpool Canal
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is a canal in Northern England, linking the cities of Leeds and Liverpool. Over a distance of , it crosses the Pennines, and includes 91 locks on the main line...

 runs through the town.

Parks

Corporation Park
Corporation Park, Blackburn
Corporation Park is a traditional Victorian park in Blackburn, Lancashire, England. It was landscaped by William Henderson and opened in 1857. Corporation Park is regarded as the main formal park in Blackburn and is used mainly by local people for general recreation, walking and dog walking, as...

, to the northwest of the town centre, was built on 50 acre (0.202343 km²) of land purchased from Joseph Feilden, lord of the manor, for £50 per 1 acre (0.404686 ha) in 1855. The park officially opened on 22 October 1857, with shops and mills closing for the day, church bells ringing, and flags flying from public buildings. Railway companies claimed 14,000 people travelled to the town for the opening. A conservatory was opened in the park on 16 May 1900.

The town's Queen's Park was opened in June 1887 having been laid out at a cost of £10,000 on land acquired by Blackburn Corporation from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners
Ecclesiastical Commissioners
Ecclesiastical Commissioners were, in England and Wales, a body corporate, whose full title is Ecclesiastical and Church Estates Commissioners for England. The commissioners were authorized to determine the distribution of revenues of the Church of England, and they made extensive changes in how...

 in 1882. It originally had two bowling green
Bowling green
A bowling green is a finely-laid, close-mown and rolled stretch of lawn for playing the game of lawn bowls.Before 1830, when Edwin Beard Budding invented the lawnmower, lawns were often kept cropped by grazing sheep on them...

s, two tennis courts, a lake of over 3 acres (1.2 ha), a children's paddling pool, a bandstand, and a refreshment room. Two additional bowling greens and a pavilion were added in 1932.

Witton Country Park
Witton Country Park
Witton Country Park is a 480 acre public park in the west of Blackburn, Lancashire. Around half of the park is mixed woodland and parkland, while the rest is either farmland or rough grassland with open access. A visitors' centre features stables with exhibitions of old horse-drawn farm machinery,...

 is a 480 acres (1.9 km²) space to the west of the town. The land was purchased in 1946 and was the ancestral home of the Feilden family. It is the home of Blackburn Harriers and Athletic Club. It is larger than all the town's other parks and playing fields put together.

Roe Lee Park, in the north of the town, was opened on Wednesday 30 May 1923 and was intended to commemorate the visit of George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

. It was originally a 16 acres (6.5 ha) site with five tennis courts and three bowling greens. The borough council's website describes the park as a 17 acres (6.9 ha) "urban fringe park with bowling greens, kick around area and children's playground". In 2007, all four parks described above were winners of Green Flag Awards
Green Flag award
The Green Flag Award is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the United Kingdom. The scheme was set up in 1996 to recognise and reward green spaces in England and Wales that met the laid down high standards...

.

Libraries

Blackburn Central Library is located in the town centre, close to the town hall, and is described as "the seventh most visited library in England." The library has various sections and facilities, including: an information and reference section, a media section, a community history section, a children's library, and a creche. An ICT training suite at the library has been named the "Bill Gates Room". There is also a library at Darwen. Blackburn has smaller libraries serving the Mill Hill, Livesey and Roman Road parts of the town, as well as a mobile library service.

Education

See List of schools in Blackburn


Secondary education
Secondary education
Secondary education is the stage of education following primary education. Secondary education includes the final stage of compulsory education and in many countries it is entirely compulsory. The next stage of education is usually college or university...

 in Blackburn is provided by eight state schools. Private schools in the town include Westholme School
Westholme School
Westholme School is an independent school set on the edge of the countryside to the west of Blackburn, England, providing a caring learning environment for girls aged 2 to 18 and boys aged 2 to 11. There are five separate departments of the school which cater for students from nursery to sixth form...

, Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School
Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Blackburn
Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School is a co-educational independent school in Blackburn, Lancashire, founded in 1509 as a boys' school. The term "school" is usually used to collectively refer to the following:...

 and a few Islamic schools. The town also has a few special schools. The two further education
Further education
Further education is a term mainly used in connection with education in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is post-compulsory education , that is distinct from the education offered in universities...

 colleges in the town are Blackburn College
Blackburn College (Blackburn with Darwen)
Blackburn College is a further and higher education college in Blackburn, in the unitary authority of Blackburn with Darwen, Lancashire, England.It is a large college, with over 15,000 students, around 6,000 of whom are aged 16–19...

 and the sixth-form St. Mary's College
St. Mary's College, Blackburn
St Mary's College on Shear Brow , Blackburn, Lancashire, England was established by the Marist Fathers in 1925. It is now a modern college institute for students aged between 16 and 18...

. The town does not have a university, however some higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 courses are provided by the East Lancashire Institute of Higher Education, part of Blackburn College.

Over £25 million is currently being invested in education initiatives in Blackburn with Darwen, including new schools, city learning centres and children's centres. Over 11,000 adults are in some form of educational programme. Blackburn with Darwen
Blackburn with Darwen
Blackburn with Darwen is a unitary authority area in Lancashire, North West England. It consists of Blackburn, the small town of Darwen to the south of it, and the surrounding countryside.-Formation:...

 council has twice had Beacon Status for education in the "Fostering School Improvement" and "Transforming the School Workforce" categories. 51.3% of pupils achieve grades A*-C in Blackburn with Darwen compared with 56.5% nationally. The average GCE/VCE A/AS and Equivalent Point Score per Student is 649.7 compared with 716.7 nationally.

In 2005, Tauheedul Islam Girls' High School became the first Muslim state school in the North West. It had previously been an independent school. The school has been a success in school league tables, with 82% of pupils gaining five or more GCSEs
General Certificate of Secondary Education
The General Certificate of Secondary Education is an academic qualification awarded in a specified subject, generally taken in a number of subjects by students aged 14–16 in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is equivalent to a Level 2 and Level 1 in Key Skills...

 at grade C or above in 2007, compared to the national average of 46.7%. Although the town's ethnic minority population is below 25%, in some schools the vast majority of pupils are from the ethnic minority population, whilst other schools are almost entirely white. This segregation has been identified as a problem for racial integration within the town.

Independent school sector is represented in the town by Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School
Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Blackburn
Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School is a co-educational independent school in Blackburn, Lancashire, founded in 1509 as a boys' school. The term "school" is usually used to collectively refer to the following:...

 (QEGS) and Westholme School
Westholme School
Westholme School is an independent school set on the edge of the countryside to the west of Blackburn, England, providing a caring learning environment for girls aged 2 to 18 and boys aged 2 to 11. There are five separate departments of the school which cater for students from nursery to sixth form...

. East Lancashire Institute of Higher Education (ELIHE) is for degree students over the age of 18. St Thomas's and Sunnyhurst Pupil Referral Unit educates children who are unable to attend mainstream school for health reasons or other difficulties.

Blackburn Rovers and football

Premier League
FA Premier League
The Premier League is an English professional league for association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with The Football League. The Premier...

 Football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 side Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers F.C.
Blackburn Rovers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the town of Blackburn, Lancashire. The team currently competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football....

 is based at the Ewood Park
Ewood Park
Ewood Park is a football stadium in the English town of Blackburn, Lancashire, and is the home of Blackburn Rovers Football Club — one of the founder members of the Football League and Premier League. Rovers have played there since they moved from Leamington Street in the summer of 1890. The...

 stadium. The club was established in 1875, and in 1888 became a founder member of The Football League
The Football League
The Football League, also known as the npower Football League for sponsorship reasons, is a league competition featuring professional association football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888, it is the oldest such competition in world football...

. In 1890 Rovers moved to its permanent home at Ewood Park
Ewood Park
Ewood Park is a football stadium in the English town of Blackburn, Lancashire, and is the home of Blackburn Rovers Football Club — one of the founder members of the Football League and Premier League. Rovers have played there since they moved from Leamington Street in the summer of 1890. The...

. Until the formation of the Premier League
FA Premier League
The Premier League is an English professional league for association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with The Football League. The Premier...

 in 1992, the majority of Blackburn Rovers' success was pre-1930 when they won the league twice and FA Cup
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

 six times. Blackburn has had a particular strong history of football. Rovers were not the town's only side in the 19th century; rivals included Blackburn Olympic F.C.
Blackburn Olympic F.C.
Blackburn Olympic F.C. was an English association football club based in Blackburn, Lancashire in the late 19th century. Although the club was only in existence for just over a decade, it is significant in the history of football in England as the first club from the north of the country and the...

 (1883 winners of the FA Cup
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

) and Blackburn Park Road F.C.
Blackburn Park Road F.C.
Blackburn Park Road F.C. was a football team formed in 1875. They played in Blackburn, Lancashire, not far from the railway station.For a few years in the 1880s they entered the FA Cup, then known as the English Cup. Despite some good results they were rarely a match for the two major town teams of...

, among others.

In January 1991 Jack Walker
Jack Walker
Jack Walker was a British industrialist and businessman, from Blackburn, Lancashire. Walker invested tens of millions of pounds in Blackburn Rovers football club after amassing a personal fortune of £600 million...

, a life-long supporter who had built a business from humble beginnings in Blackburn, eventually making millions in the steel industry, took control of the club. He lured former Liverpool
Liverpool F.C.
Liverpool Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Liverpool, Merseyside. Liverpool has won eighteen League titles, second most in English football, seven FA Cups and a record seven League Cups...

 legend Kenny Dalglish
Kenny Dalglish
Kenneth Mathieson "Kenny" Dalglish MBE is a Scottish former footballer and the current manager of Liverpool F.C.. In a 22-year playing career, he played for two club teams, Celtic and Liverpool, winning numerous honours with both. He is the most capped Scottish player, with 102 appearances, and...

 as manager and a number of player purchases followed, helping the club to gain promotion back into the first division just before it became the FA Premier League at the end of the 1991–1992 season. Blackburn is one of only a handful of clubs to be founders of both the Football League and the Premier League. In the summer of 1992 the club set a new British transfer record with the purchase of Alan Shearer
Alan Shearer
Alan Shearer OBE, DL is a retired English footballer. He played as a striker in the top level of English league football for Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United and for the England national team...

 for £3.3 million.

After finishing runners-up to arch rivals Manchester United
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

 in 1993–1994, Rovers won the championship the following year. A slump followed in the late 1990s and Blackburn were relegated to League Division One
Football League First Division
The First Division was a division of The Football League between 1888 and 2004 and the highest division in English football until the creation of the Premier League in 1992. The secondary tier in English football has since become known as the Championship....

. But in 2001 the team secured promotion back into the Premier League, and they won the League Cup
Football League Cup
The Football League Cup, commonly known as the League Cup or, from current sponsorship, the Carling Cup, is an English association football competition. Like the FA Cup, it is played on a knockout basis...

 in 2002. They have a rivalry with fellow Lancashire club Burnley
Burnley F.C.
Burnley Football Club are a professional English Football League club based in Burnley, Lancashire. Nicknamed the Clarets, due to the dominant colour of their home shirts, they were founder members of the Football League in 1888...

, located just eleven miles (18 km) east, known as the East Lancashire derby
East Lancashire derby
The East Lancashire Derby is a football match between Blackburn Rovers F.C. and Burnley F.C..The derby is one of the oldest and fiercest derby matches in the game...

 or "Cotton Mills derby" because of the two communities' history as major centres of the cotton industry during the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

. Due to Burnley's absence in top flight over the last three decades, Blackburn has also formed rivalries with other regional Premier League clubs, especially Bolton Wanderers, Manchester United and Manchester City
Manchester City F.C.
Manchester City Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Manchester. Founded in 1880 as St. Mark's , they became Ardwick Association Football Club in 1887 and Manchester City in 1894...

, all located in the nearby Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 2.6 million. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the...

 area.

Ice hockey

Blackburn has an Olympic-sized ice rink housed at the 3,200-seat Blackburn Arena
Blackburn Arena
Blackburn Arena is an Olympic size ice arena in Blackburn, England, and the home of Blackburn Hawks and Lancashire Raptors ice hockey clubs. The arena, which opened in 1991, holds 3,200 people and has an ice pad of ....

. The arena is the home of the Blackburn Hawks
Blackburn Hawks
The Blackburn Hawks , are a British ice hockey team based in Blackburn, Lancashire. They are currently members of the ENIHL, and have previously played in the British National League and the English League Premier Division...

 and Lancashire Raptors
Lancashire Raptors
The Lancashire Raptors are a British Ice Hockey team based in Blackburn, Lancashire. They are currently members of the English National Ice Hockey League, and have play in the North 2 division...

 ice hockey teams, both of which play in the English National Ice Hockey League
English National Ice Hockey League
The English National Ice Hockey League is an amateur ice hockey league below the English Premier Ice Hockey League which is administered by the English Ice Hockey Association. It is split into two conferences, north and south...

.

Cultural references

Blackburn is mentioned in The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 song "A Day in the Life
A Day in the Life
"A Day in the Life" is a song by The Beatles, the final track on the group's 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, the song comprises distinct segments written independently by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, with orchestral additions...

". An article in the Daily Mail
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

about a plan to fill potholes in the town caught John Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

's eye as he was writing the song, giving birth to the lyric "I read the news today, oh boy / 4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire / And though the holes were rather small / They had to count them all / Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall
Albert Hall
Albert P. Hall is an American actor.Born in Brighton, Alabama, Hall graduated from the Columbia University School of the Arts in 1971. That same year he appeared Off-Broadway in The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel and on Broadway in the Melvin Van Peebles musical Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death...

." The title of the unofficial fanzine
Fanzine
A fanzine is a nonprofessional and nonofficial publication produced by fans of a particular cultural phenomenon for the pleasure of others who share their interest...

 of the town's football club, Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn Rovers F.C.
Blackburn Rovers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the town of Blackburn, Lancashire. The team currently competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football....

, is 4,000 Holes. The 2005 British film Love + Hate
Love + Hate
Love + Hate is a 2005 drama film directed by Dominic Savage.-Plot:Love + Hate is a modern love story set across the racial divide in a Northern town. Adam has been brought up in a home and community that fosters racism. Naseema is a girl from the same town...

, directed by Dominic Savage, was shot in Blackburn.

Notable people

People involved in the arts and born in the town include the actress Kathleen Harrison
Kathleen Harrison
Kathleen Harrison was a prolific English character actress best remembered for her role as Mrs. Huggett in a trio of British post-war comedies about a working class family's misadventures. To modern viewers she is better remembered as Mrs...

 in 1892; Alfred Wainwright
Alfred Wainwright
Alfred Wainwright MBE was a British fellwalker, guidebook author and illustrator. His seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, published between 1955 and 1966 and consisting entirely of reproductions of his manuscript, has become the standard reference work to 214 of the fells of the...

, author of the Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells, in 1907; broadcaster Russell Harty
Russell Harty
Russell Harty was an English television presenter of arts programmes and chat shows.-Early life:Born Frederick Russell Harty in Blackburn, Lancashire, he was the son of a fruit and vegetable stallholder on the local market...

 in 1934; the internationally renowned Contemporary artist Ross Eccles
Ross Eccles
Ross Eccles, , is a contemporary English artist and painter. He has been based in Dublin, Ireland since 1971, and exhibits there regularly. He has also exhibited his work in the UK, France and the US.-Life and work:...

 in 1937, many of his paintings feature Blackburn and Lancashire scenes and landmarks; the writer Josephine Cox
Josephine Cox
Josephine Cox, born Blackburn, Lancashire in 1941, is an English author. Her books are frequently best sellers and the UK Public Lending Rights figures often list her in the top three borrowed authors.She also writes under the name of Jane Brindle....

 in 1941 who set many of her novels in Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

; the actor Anthony Valentine in 1939; the actor Michael Billington
Michael Billington (actor)
Michael Billington was a popular British film and television actor....

, star of UFO
UFO (TV series)
UFO is a 1970-1971 British television science fiction series about an alien invasion of Earth, created by Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson with Reg Hill, and produced by the Andersons and Lew Grade's Century 21 Productions for Grade's ITC Entertainment company.UFO first aired in the UK and Canada...

 in 1941; actor Ian McShane
Ian McShane
Ian David McShane is an English actor, director, producer, voice artist, and comedian.Despite appearing in numerous films, McShane is best known for his television roles, particularly the BBC's Lovejoy and HBO's Western drama Deadwood...

 in 1942; rock musician Tony Ashton
Tony Ashton
Tony Ashton was an English rock pianist, keyboardist, singer, composer, producer and artist.-Biography:...

 in 1946; actor Jon Walmsley
Jon Walmsley
Jon Walmsley in Blackburn, Lancashire, England) is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, actor and producer.Walmsley is a veteran of the stage and studio, having worked with many notable artists including Richard Marx, Brian Setzer, David Pack, David Koz, The Doobie Brothers, Michael McDonald,...

 in 1956; film maker Michael Winterbottom
Michael Winterbottom
Michael Winterbottom is a prolific English filmmaker who has directed seventeen feature films in the past fifteen years. He began his career working in British television before moving into features...

 in 1961; actor Steve Pemberton
Steve Pemberton
Steve James Pemberton is an English actor, comedian, writer and performer, most famous as a member of The League of Gentlemen along with fellow performers Reece Shearsmith, Mark Gatiss and co-writer Jeremy Dyson.-Early life:...

 in 1967; actress Wendi Peters
Wendi Peters
Wendi Louise Peters is an English television and theatre character actress. Peters is married to Kenny Linden and they have one daughter together called Gracie who was born in 2000.-Film:...

 in 1968; actor/comedian Lee Mack
Lee Mack
Lee Gordon McKillop is an English stand-up comedian and actor, known by the stage name Lee Mack. He is well known in the United Kingdom for writing and starring in the sitcom Not Going Out, for being a team captain on Would I Lie to You? and for hosting Lee Mack's All Star Cast.-Personal life:Mack...

 in 1968; television host Debbie Travis
Debbie Travis
Debbie Travis is a British television personality, self-taught interior designer, and former fashion model. She is best known as the host of Debbie Travis' Facelift and Debbie Travis' Painted House...

; author Tony O'Neill
Tony O'Neill
Tony O'Neill is a New York-based author. A one time musician with Kenickie , Marc Almond , The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Kelli Ali , O'Neill is also the author of several books including Digging The Vein 2006, Down and Out on Murder Mile 2008 and Sick City 2010.Digging the Vein was a novel...

 in 1978; television presenter and documentary director Michael Gibson
Michael Gibson (TV presenter)
Michael Gibson is a TV presenter and documentary director. He presented the MTV Select television program which aired weekday afternoons on MTV One across Europe....

 in 1980; and singer and actress Diana Vickers
Diana Vickers
Diana Vickers is an English singer-songwriter, stage actress and fashion designer who initially came to public attention as a semi-finalist on the fifth series of British talent show The X Factor in 2008...

 in 1991.

Kathleen Ferrier
Kathleen Ferrier
Kathleen Mary Ferrier CBE was an English contralto who achieved an international reputation as a stage, concert and recording artist, with a repertoire extending from folksong and popular ballads to the classical works of Bach, Brahms, Mahler and Elgar...

, the internationally acclaimed contralto
Contralto
Contralto is the deepest female classical singing voice, with the lowest tessitura, falling between tenor and mezzo-soprano. It typically ranges between the F below middle C to the second G above middle C , although at the extremes some voices can reach the E below middle C or the second B above...

, was born near Blackburn in 1912. The family moved into the town, where she was educated and worked as a telephone operator until her marriage in 1935.

Notable sports personalities born in Blackburn include: rock climber John Sumner in 1936; and England rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 players Will Greenwood
Will Greenwood
William John Heaton "Will" Greenwood, MBE is an English former rugby union footballer of the 1990s and 2000s.-Career:...

 in 1972 and Iain Balshaw
Iain Balshaw
Iain Robert Balshaw, MBE is a rugby footballer who plays on the wing or at full back for Biarritz.-Early life:...

 in 1979. Additionally the motor racing engine designer Keith Duckworth
Keith Duckworth
David Keith Duckworth, , was an English mechanical engineer. He is most famous for designing the Cosworth DFV engine, an engine that revolutionised the sport of Formula One....

 was born here in 1933 and the most successful motorcycle World Superbike champion of all time, Carl Fogarty
Carl Fogarty
Carl 'Foggy' Fogarty is the most successful World Superbike racer of all time in terms of the number of championships and number of race wins...

 (Foggy) was born here in 1965.

Jack Walker
Jack Walker
Jack Walker was a British industrialist and businessman, from Blackburn, Lancashire. Walker invested tens of millions of pounds in Blackburn Rovers football club after amassing a personal fortune of £600 million...

, steel baron and one time owner of local steel company Walkersteel
Walkersteel
Walkersteel is a major steel processing company based in Blackburn, Lancashire. The firm was originally established by the Walker family before sons Fred and Jack Walker turned the business into a major concern....

, was born in the town in 1929 and lived locally until he moved to the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are an archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two separate bailiwicks: the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey...

 in 1974. A lifelong supporter of the town's football club Blackburn Rovers, he owned the club for nearly 10 years until his death in August 2000. His wealth saw the club return to the top flight of English football in 1992 after 26 years away, and after buying some of the most expensive and talented footballers in the English game at the time, he oversaw their FA Premier League
FA Premier League
The Premier League is an English professional league for association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with The Football League. The Premier...

 title triumph in 1995 - the club's first top division title since 1914.

In the political arena, William Henry Hornby, a leading industrialist, the first mayor of Blackburn, and Chairman of the Conservative Party was born in the town in 1805. John Morley, 1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn
John Morley, 1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn
John Morley, 1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn OM, PC was a British Liberal statesman, writer and newspaper editor. Initially a journalist, he was elected a Member of Parliament in 1883...

, OM
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

, PC
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

, Liberal statesman, writer and newspaper editor was born in the town in 1838. The town is also closely linked to Barbara Castle
Barbara Castle
Barbara Anne Castle, Baroness Castle of Blackburn , PC, GCOT was a British Labour Party politician....

 who was an MP in Blackburn for 34 years (1945–1979) as well as holding the positions of Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity, First Secretary of State
First Secretary of State
First Secretary of State is an occasionally used title within the Government of the United Kingdom, principally regarded as purely honorific. The title, which implies seniority over all other Secretaries of State, has no specific powers or authority attached to it beyond that of any other Secretary...

 and Secretary of State for Social Services
Secretary of State for Social Services
The Secretary of State for Social Services was a position in the UK cabinet, created on 1 November 1968 with responsibility for the Department of Health and Social Security...

 during the Labour governments of the sixties and seventies.

Gandhi once paid a visit during his campaign to boycott British textiles, the main purpose of which was to talk to the British people most affected by it. The local workers famously showed him solidarity in his political struggles and he stayed overnight with a local poor cotton-weaving family living in neighbouring Darwen
Darwen
Darwen is a market town and civil parish located within Lancashire, England. Along with its northerly neighbour, Blackburn, it forms the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen — a unitary authority area...

. His visit made a lasting impression and is celebrated in his inclusion with other famous 'Blackburn' faces depicted in a public artwork sited on the platform at Blackburn Railway Station
Blackburn railway station
Blackburn railway station is a railway station that serves the town of Blackburn in Lancashire, England. It is east of Preston and is managed and served by Northern Rail.-Description:The station is served by two lines...

.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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