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History of Hindley

History of Hindley
  • council: Wigan Council
  • population: 24, 000
  • phone code: 01942
  • postcode area: WN2
  • county: Greater Manchester

Hindley town centre is steeped in character and full of surprises for the first time visitor. It has survived changing shopping patterns and is emerging as a popular location for an increasing number of people who prefer a local shopping destination with free and convenient parking and a range of quality shopping opportunities.

Market Street forms the hub of the towns shopping district with two beautiful churches gracefully marking the Northern and Southern quarter.

There are a further two churches along the main street, one of which now houses the renowned North West Angling Centre 'Tackle Empire' on Chapel Street. Attracting anglers from all over the country, the magnificent display of 8,500 square feet of tackle, literally crammed to the rafters, is a sight worth seeing for any visitor to the town.

Over one hundred business in this bustling centre provide a wide range of goods and services catering for every shopping need.

The town boasts several large, well, established independent retailers providing quality goods and services including furniture and furnishings, carpets, DIY, household electrical goods and ladies fashion. Hindley also has a significant health and beauty sector with several gyms, solaria, hairdressers and beauty salons.

Hindley also holds a thriving outdoor market every Friday, attracting shoppers from around the North West. On Sundays the regular car boot sale is equally popular.

With plenty of free parking and welcoming places to eat and drink, Hindley is a town you simply have to visit.

The earliest surviving documentary reference to Hindley dates from the year 1212. All Saints Church, built by public subscription in 1641 and rebuilt in 1766, was, from the time of its founding, a centre of Puritanism.

Colonel Nathaniel Eckersley lived at Laurel House in the 19th Century and served with the Duke of Wellington. His great nephew, also Nathaniel, was a wealthy Wigan mill-owner who built the library and local park with money left by his friend, local scholar and landowner John Leyland.

Until the 19th Century a tourist attraction in the shape of two 'burning wells' existed in Hindley, caused by the natural seepage of inflammable coal gas through water. Until 2001, Hindley was also home to one of the last surviving clog making businesses in the country, Walter Hurst. Whilst the shop has now closed, Walter can still be found at Wigan Pier.

Remains of strip farming can be seen in the nearby attractive Boresdane Wood which is now a local nature reserve.
See essential Town Centre Services Directory

Acknowledgements: Wigan Borough Guide, Wigan Council (see Links)
Local History Collections are available at the History Shop, Library Street, Wigan (01942) 828020 or Leigh Library (01942) 404559

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