Leigh shown within Greater Manchester
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Leigh is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, in Greater Manchester, England. Greater Manchester is a Metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 2 In Biology a population is the collection of inter-breeding organisms of a particular Species; in Sociology The British national grid reference system is a system of geographic grid references commonly used in Great Britain, different from using Latitude and Longitude The districts of England are a level of subnational division of England used for the purposes of local government The Metropolitan Borough of Wigan is a Metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, in North West England. Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties are one of the four levels of Subdivisions of England used for the purposes of Local government outside Greater London Greater Manchester is a Metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 2 The region, also known as the government office region, is currently the highest tier of local government sub-national entity of England, with only one North West England is one of the nine official Regions of England. Constituent country is a phrase used often by official institutions in contexts in which a country makes up a part of a larger entity or grouping England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland This list of sovereign states, alphabetically arranged gives an overview of States around the world with information on the extent of their Sovereignty. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located A post town is a required part of all postal addresses in the United Kingdom, and a basic unit of the postal delivery system UK Postal codes are known as postcodes. UK postcodes are Alphanumeric. The, also known as the Wigan postcode area, is a group of postal districts in North West England that are sub-divisions of three Post towns It covers parts The UK Telephone numbering plan, also known as the National Telephone Numbering Plan, is the system used for assigning Telephone numbers in the United There are a number of law enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom. Greater Manchester Police (" GMP " is the Home Office Police force responsible for policing the Metropolitan county of Greater The fire service in the United Kingdom operates under separate legislative and administrative arrangements in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and The Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is the county-wide statutory emergency fire and rescue service for the Metropolitan county of The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust was formed on 1 July 2006 as part of Health Minister Lord Warner's plans to reduce the number of NHS North West England is a Constituency of the European Parliament. This is a list of the 646 constituencies currently represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, as at the 2005 general election Leigh is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. A Gazetteer of place names in the United Kingdom showing each place's County, Unitary authority or council area and its geographical coordinates List of places --> List of cities in the United Kingdom List of towns in England Lists of places This is a partial list of places in Greater Manchester, in North West England. A geographic coordinate system enables every location on the Earth to be specified in three coordinates using mainly a spherical coordinate system. The Metropolitan Borough of Wigan is a Metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, in North West England. Greater Manchester is a Metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 2 England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland It is 11 miles (18 km) west of Manchester, and 6 miles (10 km) south east of Wigan. A mile is a unit of Length, usually used to measure Distance, in a number of different systems including Imperial units United States The kilometre ( American spelling: kilometer) symbol km is a unit of Length in the Metric system, equal to one thousand Wigan is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It stands on the River Douglas, south of Preston, west-northwest of Manchester
Historically a part of Lancashire, Leigh has a population of 44,122 according to the 2001 census. The historic counties of England are ancient subdivisions of England. Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England, bounded to the west by the Irish Sea 
The name Leigh is attributed as deriving from the Old English word lea or the Middle English word of legh. Middle English is the name given by Historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of The meaning of the earliest version of the word, lea, varies between meaning a woodland clearing or a meadow depending on the source of its definition.  See also List of generic forms in British place names for more information. The study of place names is called Toponymy; for a more detailed examination of this subject in relation to British place names please refer to British toponymy.
In the 12th century the town of Leigh was made up of six townships, including Chowbent, Lowton and Pennington, where weekly markets were held and a cattle fair held twice-yearly. In England, township (latin - vill) usually means a village or hamlet
Leigh was divided in its allegiance during the English Civil War, some of the population supporting the Royalists cause while others supported the Parliamentarians. The English Civil War (1642-1651 was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists. Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I during the English Civil War ( 1642 &ndash 1651 A battle was fought in the town on December 2, 1642, when 3,000 Chowbenters beat back and then routed Cavalier troops under the command of James Stanley, the 7th Earl of Derby. Events 1409 - The University of Leipzig opens 1755 - The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire James Stanley 7th Earl of Derby KG ( January 31, 1607 &ndash October 15, 1651) was a supporter of the Royalist cause in The Earl of Derby passed through Leigh again in 1651, when he spent his last night in the King's Arms, before going on to his execution in Bolton. Bolton ( is a large town in Greater Manchester, in the North West region of England.
Before the Industrial Revolution, Leigh was famed for its dairy industry and production of Lancashire cheese - reputed to be the best toasting cheese in the world. The Industrial Revolution was a period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when major changes in agriculture manufacturing and transportation had a profound effect on the Lancashire cheese, a crumbly English cow's-milk Cheese, is considered one of the premier products of the county The marooned pirate Ben Gunn, a character in the Robert Louis Stevenson novel Treasure Island, craved Leigh Toaster during his three-year exile. Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (13 November 1850–3 December 1894 was a Scottish novelist poet and travel writer, and a representative of Neo-romanticism in Treasure Island is an adventure Novel by author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of "pirates and buried gold"
In the 18th century Leigh had a thriving domestic textile industry, mostly as a result of the large number of by hand-loom weavers manufacturing in their own homes, however one or two factories also existed. This article describes textile weaving For other senses of this word see Weaving (disambiguation. Over time more factories opened, so that by the latter part of the 19th century there were at least a dozen mills in the town. Silk and rope-manufacture were also among local industries. Silk is a natural Protein Fiber, some forms of which can be woven into Textiles The best-known type of silk is obtained from cocoons A rope is a length of Fibers twisted or Braided together to improve strength for pulling and Connecting.
It is a tradition in the town that a local man, Thomas Highs, was the inventor of a spinning jenny and the water frame in the 1760s, the latter invention being pirated by Richard Arkwright, who subsequently made a fortune from the patent royalties. Thomas Highs (1718 – 1803 was a talented English reed-maker and Inventor known for his creation of the Spinning jenny, the throstle (a machine The spinning jenny is a multi- Spool Spinning wheel. It was invented circa 1764 by James Hargreaves in Stanhill, near Blackburn The water frame is the name given to the Spinning frame, when water power was used to drive it Sir Richard Arkwright ( Old Style 23 December 1732 / New Style 3 January 1733 – 3 August The link is commemorated in the town's Spinning Gate Shopping Centre and the town centre bypass known as Spinning Jenny Way.
In the second half of the 19th century coal began to be an important industry and coal mining became the largest user of labour after the textile industry in Leigh. Coal mining is the extraction or removal of Coal from the Earth by Mining. Parsonage Colliery was one of the deepest mines in the country going down to over 3,000 ft (900 m). A foot (plural feet or foot; symbol or abbreviation ft or sometimes &prime – the prime symbol) is a non-SI unit The metre or meter is a unit of Length. It is the basic unit of Length in the Metric system and in the International The entire Lancashire coalfield is now closed to deep mining, although several open-cast mining activities are still in operation. In 1974 Parsonage colliery was linked underground to Bickershaw Colliery. All coal was wound up at Bickershaw and Parsonage was used for supplies. The extent of the mining in Parsonage Colliery was increased in the 1960s with the driving of a tunnel (The Horizon Tunnel) which accessed new supplies of coal that had been previously inaccessible to collieries in the surrounding area. The new coal resources were high seams of coal around 6 ft (2 m) high and these were easy to work on compared to the previous seams of coal which were 3 ft (1 m) or less. As Bickershaw had superior winding facilities and Parsonage had access to the coal, the decision was made to link the 2 collieries. The seams were wet and a series of pumps were used to remove the water into underground canals, at Parsonage, on about 3 levels before it was finally pumped into the canal at Leigh. The winding engine at Parsonage was a steam engine, Bickershaw was an electric system. A methane extraction system was used to fuel the boilers which produced the steam for the Parsonage winding engine.
The tractor factory of David Brown Limited was located in Leigh following the acquisition by David Browne in 1955 of Harrison, McGregor and Guest Ltd. David Brown Engineering Limited is a British Engineering company principally engaged in the manufacture of Gears and Gearboxes Their major gear who produced their Albion range of farm machinery products in Leigh.
British Insulated Callender's Cables (BICC), formerly Anchor Cables and later renamed Balfour Beatty, also had one of its largest factories in Leigh. Balfour Beatty plc ( is a London -based Construction, Civil engineering and rail services company
In 1875 the Leigh Local board of health was established, consisting of the areas of the former Bedford, Pennington and Westleigh Local Boards of Health; and a Poor Law Union (administering the Workhouse). "Board of Health" redirects here This page describes the defunct bodies in England and Wales which used that name not any modern ones A Poor Law Union was a unit used for local government in the United Kingdom from the 19th century A workhouse, colloquially known as a spike was a place where people who were unable to support themselves could go to live and work In 1894 the area of the Local Board, together with part of Atherton township, became the Leigh Urban District of the administrative county of Lancashire. Leigh was a local government district in Lancashire, England from 1894 to 1974 Administrative counties were a level of subnational division of England used for the purposes of local government from 1889 to 1974 In 1899 the Urban District became a municipal borough. In 1974 the borough was abolished and its former area became part of Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, Greater Manchester. The Metropolitan Borough of Wigan is a Metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, in North West England.
In 1998, an area (Lately Common) was further ceded to the Warrington borough - one of the few parts of England to have been in three different counties in the last 35 years; Lancashire, then Greater Manchester, followed by Cheshire. Warrington is a large town borough and Unitary authority area in Cheshire, England. Cheshire (or archaically the County of Chester) is a county in North West England.
The Bridgewater Canal was extended from Worsley to the middle of Leigh in 1795, and in 1819 the Leigh branch canal was cut from the Leeds-Liverpool Canal at Poolstock, Wigan to meet the Bridgewater at Leigh Bridge, giving access from Leigh to all parts of Lancashire, Yorkshire and the Midlands. The Bridgewater Canal is a Canal in North West England, connecting Runcorn, Manchester, and Leigh. Worsley is a town within the Metropolitan borough of the City of Salford, in Greater Manchester, England. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is a Canal in the north of England, linking the cities of Leeds and Liverpool.
Leigh was the southern terminus of the 7. |}A train station, railway station, railroad station, or station yard is a facility at which Passengers may board and alight from Trains 5 miles (12 km) long Bolton and Leigh Railway. History The company obtained its Act of Parliament on 31 March 1825 to build a line "from the Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal at Bolton to the George Stephenson carried out the survey for the line. George Stephenson ( 9 June 1781 &ndash 12 August 1848) was an English Civil engineer and mechanical engineer It opened for freight on 1 August 1828 and for passengers on June 13, 1831. Events 30 BC - Octavian (later known as Augustus enters Alexandria, Egypt, bringing it under the control of the Roman The year 1828 ( MDCCCXXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap Events 1525 - Martin Luther marries Katharina von Bora, against the Celibacy rule decreed by the Roman Catholic Church for Year 1831 ( MDCCCXXXI) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a The first locomotive on the line was an 0-4-0 called The Lancashire Witch. The Pendle witch trials of 1612 are among the most famous witch trials in English history and some of the best recorded of the 17th century The town station was at West Leigh. Later the line was extended southwards to Pennington. The line was closed to passenger traffic on March 29, 1954, and later closed completely. Events 1461 - Wars of the Roses: Battle of Towton - Edward of York defeats Queen Margaret to become King Year 1954 ( MCMLIV) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1954 Gregorian calendar)
The second railway to serve the town was a branch line from the Manchester - Eccles - Wigan line. Eccles is a town within the Metropolitan borough of the City of Salford, in Greater Manchester, England. Wigan is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It stands on the River Douglas, south of Preston, west-northwest of Manchester It joined the earlier railway at Pennington: there was a station, originally named West Leigh and Bedford to serve the town. It was closed in May 1969, leaving the town without a passenger railway. Numerous freight-only lines crossed the town, but with the closure of the collieries these were no longer required. Coal mining is the extraction or removal of Coal from the Earth by Mining.
Today the nearest railway station is at Atherton, 3 miles (5 km) miles to the north. Atherton is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. It is cogently argued that Leigh (Mansfield in Nottinghamshire having had its station reopened) is the largest town in Great Britain, perhaps Europe, without a railway station, although Corby, Gosport and Peterlee may contend for this "award". See also Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain (Breatainn Mhòr Prydain Fawr Breten Veur Graet Breetain is the larger of the two main islands Corby is an industrial town and a local government district located 13km north of Kettering in Northamptonshire, England. History The Rowner area of the peninsula was known to have been settled in Saxon times mentioned in the Anglo Saxon Chronicles as Rughenor (Rough bank or slope Peterlee is a New town in County Durham, England. Founded in 1948, the town is named after Peter Lee, a prominent local Miner The large bus station is now the town's only public transport link. Services to Manchester (even by limited stop bus services) are painfully slow (up to an hour to Manchester), preventing Leigh becoming a commuter town: a guided bus way has been suggested as a solution: http://www.gmpte.com/content.cfm?subcategory_id=409693.
Leigh once had separate boys and girls grammar schools, which thrived until they were abolished by the then Secretary of State for Education, Shirley Williams in the 1976 Education Act. Shirley Williams Baroness Williams of Crosby PC (born 27 July 1930) is a British Politician and academic Notable pupils include Pete Shelley and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies for whom a mini grand piano was specially purchased. This musician is not to be confused with the 1970s singer Peter Shelley. Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, CBE (b 8 September 1934 is an English Composer and conductor. Bedford High School, which has specialist Business and Enterprise College status, was founded in 1976 by merging Leigh Boys Grammar School with neighbouring co-educational Bedford Secondary Modern School. Bedford High School is a Comprehensive school with specialist Business and Enterprise College status in Leigh, Greater Manchester, Business and Enterprise Colleges (BECs were introduced in 1995 as part of the Specialist Schools Programme in the UK.
In modern times the former site of the Parsonage colliery has been re-developed and a retail estate and supermarket now provide local employment as well as shopping opportunities.
A major development in the town is gradually taking shape with the development of the Leigh Sports Village, which will include a 10,000 capacity stadium to be shared by Leigh RMI and Leigh Centurions, while there will also be a new athletics arena for Leigh Harriers athletics club, new facilities for Leigh East Amateur Rugby League Club, a new college campus along with leisure and business facilities for the community. Leigh Centurions are a semi-professional Rugby league club based in Leigh, Greater Manchester, England.
Leigh has a professional rugby league team – Leigh Centurions – whose main claim to fame is beating Leeds 24-7 in the 1971 Challenge Cup Final. History See also History of rugby league The grass roots of rugby league can be traced to early football history, through the playing of ball games Leigh Centurions are a semi-professional Rugby league club based in Leigh, Greater Manchester, England. Leeds Rhinos, or informally Leeds or Rhinos, are an English professional Rugby league football club based in Leeds The Challenge Cup (as of 2008 known as the Carnegie Challenge Cup for sponsorship reasons is a knockout cup competition for Rugby league clubs across Europe More recently they played in the Super League in the 2005 season. Leigh has amateur rugby league clubs such as Leigh East and Leigh Miners Rangers. It also has a semi-professional football team, Leigh RMI, who play in the Conference North division as of the 2006–2007 season, with both Leigh RMI and Leigh Centurions sharing the town's Hilton Park stadium. Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a Team sport played between two teams of eleven players and is widely considered The Conference North (currently billed as Blue Square North for sponsorship reasons is a division of the Football Conference in England, taking its place Hilton Park is a multi-use stadium in Leigh, Greater Manchester, England. Another football team is Leigh Athletic (see below)
Leigh Athletic  is the premier amateur football club in Leigh and currently play in the Manchester Football League. Structure The league consists of five divisions the Premier Division and Division One are exclusively for first teams while Divisions Two Three and Four consist of reserve and Leigh has an athletics club Leigh Harriers AC , which was founded in 1909 and has been providing athletic opportunities for people from Wigan and Leigh ever since.
There is also a thriving Rugby Union Club at Round Ash Park. Leigh RUFC 1st Team gained promotion in 2007 into the Miller League, NW2 and they are also the current holders of the Lancashire Trophy which they won in May 2008 for the third consecutive year, something that has never been done in its 100+ year history. The club caters for all age groups both male and female. Attached to the club is a crown green bowling section which runs several teams all in local bowling leagues. Bowls (also known as Lawn Bowls or Lawn Bowling) is a precision Sport in which the goal is to roll slightly radially asymmetrical Balls
Leigh also has a cricket club, Leigh Cricket Club, who play in the ECB Premier League Liverpool Competition.
Leigh's notable residents past and present include: