The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868
"ASTLEY, (or East Leigh), a chapelry in the parish of Leigh, hundred of West Derby, in the county palatine of Lancaster, 3 miles to the E. of Leigh. It is a station on the North Western railway; and the Leigh branch of the Bridgwater canal, which joins the Leeds and Liverpool canal at Wigan, passes near the village. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Manchester, of the value of £250, in the patronage of the Vicar of Leigh. The church is dedicated to St. Stephen, and occupies the site of a more ancient one. There is an endowment founded by Adam Mort in 1630, for the instruction of children in this and other townships. There is also a free school, with an endowment of £26 a year, and several other charities, amounting altogether to £150. Many of the inhabitants are employed in the fustian manufacture. In 1849, a highly interesting and successful experiment was made here of extinguishing a fire in one of the mines, by Mr. Gurney's method of forcing a current of artificial "choke-damp " through the mine.