CHORLEY, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district in Lancashire. The town stands on the river Yarrow, the Leeds and Liverpool canal, and the Preston and Bolton railway, 9 miles SSE of Preston. Its site is high ground. Its appearance is that of a seat of cotton manufacture; and its environs abound in gentle eminences, and afford many charming views. The town hall is a neat structure of 1802; and the market house was erected in 1826. St. Lawrence, or the parochial church, is Norman and early English; has a massive pinnacled tower, of the time of Edward VI.; and includes two aisles of 1862. St. George's church is a structure of 1825, in pointed architecture, with pinnacled tower; and cost £11,845. St. Peter's church was built in 1851. There are two Independent chapels, two Methodist, a Baptist, a Unitarian, and two Roman Catholic; a grammar-school, alms-houses, and other charities, with £129; a dispensary and a workhouse; a head post office, a railway station with telegraph, and three chief inns. A weekly market is held on Tuesday; and fairs on 26 March, 5 May, 20 Aug., 4 Sept., and 21 Oct. The town is a seat of petty sessions and a polling-place; it has eleven cotton factories, two printworks, five weaving-sheds, and extensive bleaching-works; and it carries on much trade in connection with neighbouring mines and quarries. It is regarded as conterminate with the parish. Pop., 15,013. Houses, 2,748. The parish comprises 3,571 acres. Real property, £43,100; of which £1,200 are in gas-works. The property is much subdivided. Astley Hall and Gillibrand Hall are chief residences. Two chapelries, St. George and St. Peter, were constituted, the former in 1835, the latter in 1852. Pop. of St. G., 9,619; of St. P., 2,207. Houses in St. G., 1,731; in St. P., 402. The mother parish, or St. Lawrence, is a rectory, and St. George and St. Peter are vicarages, in the diocese of Manchester. Value of St. Lawrence, £1,022;* of the others, £300* and £200.* patron of St. Lawrence, the Rev. J. S. Master; of the others, the Rector. The sub-district contains also four townships of Standish parish, and one of Leyland. Acres, 10,859. Pop., 18,027. Houses, 3,301. The district comprehends likewise the sub-district of Brindle, containing the parish of Brindle, and three townships of Leyland; the sub-district of Leyland, containing five townships of Leyland parish; the sub-district of Rivington, containing two townships of Bolton-le-Moors parish, and three of Standish; and the sub-district of Croston, containing four townships of Croston parish, and two of Eccleston. Acres, 52, 213. Poor-rates, in 1862, £10,292. Pop. in 1841, 38,836; in 1861, 41,678. Houses, 7,841. Marriages, in 1860, 352; births, 1,437, of which 125 were illegitimate; deaths, 802, of which 350 were at ages under 5 years, and 16 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 2,879; births, 14,342; deaths, 8,575. The places of worship in 1851 were 16 of the Church of England, with 9,851 sittings; 4 of independents, with 1,290 s.; 2 of Baptists, with 150 s.; 2 of Unitarians, with 440 s.; 11 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 2,783 s.; 1 of Primitive Methodists, with 284 s.; 2 of the Wesleyan Association, with 356 s.; and 8 of Roman Catholics, with 3,463 s. The schools were 35 public day schools, with 3,500 scholars; 19 private day schools, with 576 s.; 51 Sunday schools, with 9, 061 s.; and 6 evening schools for adults, with 80 s. There are two workhouses; the one in Chorley, the other in Brindle.
John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)