The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868
"BLACKPOOL, formerly a chapelry in the parish of Bispham, hundred of Amounderness, in the county palatine of Lancaster, but recently constituted a district parish under Lord Blandford's Act, except a small portion on the north side, which still belongs to Bispham, is 4 miles to the S.W. of Poulton, and 48 miles from Manchester by the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway, with which it is connected by a short branch line from Poulton Junction. A new line has lately been completed direct to Lytham, and a handsome pier is in course of construction, which will be opened in 1863. It is situated on the coast of the Irish Sea, between the estuaries of the Wyre on the north and the Ribble on the south, and has taken its name from a dark boggy pool near the old seat of the Tildesleys, at the south end of the village. Up to the middle of the last century it remained an insignificant place, but has now become a favourite watering-place, frequented every summer by thousands of visitors, from the busy towns and factories and workshops of the great manufacturing province. Blackpool stands on ground considerably elevated, and enjoys the advantage of a remarkably pure, keen, and bracing air. The prospect in clear weather embraces the mountains of Westmoreland, Cumberland, and North Wales. The Isle of Man is occasionally discernible. There is a fine sandy beach, firm, and sloping gently from the town. A noble range of houses extends along the parade for nearly a mile. There are large and good hotels, assembly-rooms, library, and newsroom. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Manchester, of the value of £350, in the patronage of trustees. The church, dedicated to St. John, was erected in 1821. It has twice been enlarged, and now contains 800 sittings. The population of the district attached to it is estimated at 2,000, but new houses are continually being built, and the population is rapidly on the increase. The reserved portion, which is still in the parish of Bispham, contains about 250 inhabitants, for whom an iron church has been provided. There are chapels belonging to the Roman Catholics, Independents, Baptists, and Wesleyan Methodists, also National and infant schools. The sea has encroached on the coast to a great extent, and the cliffs near the town, which consist chiefly of clay, are gradually broken away. A large stone, called the Penny Stone, lying on the sands about half a mile from the shore, is said to mark the former site of a public-house."