The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868
"ATHERTON, a chapelry in the parish of Leigh and hundred of West Derby, in the county palatine of Lancaster, 2 miles to the N. of Leigh. It is a station on the Bolton and Kenyon Junction railway, a branch of the London and North Western. The Manchester and Wigan canal passes within a little distance of the chapelry The inhabitants are employed in the cotton manufactories, the collieries, and ironworks. Nail-making and machine-making are also carried on. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Manchester, of the value of £100, in the patronage of Lord Lilford. The chapel is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. Atherton Hall, the seat of Lord Lilford, is a modern mansion, near the site of an old hall which was the seat of the Athertons. Fairs are held here on the 29th June and the 29th August."