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Help and advice for Bury

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BURY, a township, a town, a parish, two subdistricts, and a district in Lancashire. The township lies all within the town's assigned boundaries. Acres, 2,370. Real property, £263,333,-of which £171,785 are in railways, £1,040 in mines, and £80 in quarries. Pop., in 1841, 20,710: in 1861, 30,397. Houses, 5,971. The town lies on the river Irwell, 2 miles above its confluence with the Roach, and 8 NNW of Manchester. A branch canal goes south-westward to the Manchester and Bolton canal; and railways go westward, northward, eastward, and southward. The town has a head post office, two railway stations with telegraph, two banking offices, several chief inns, a weekly market on Saturday, and three annual fairs; is a seat of petty sessions and county courts, and a polling-place; and publishes four weekly newspapers. Woollen manufacture was formerly the main industry; and is still carried on in several large factories. Cotton manufacture, in various departments, is now the staple; received a great impulse from inventions by two natives, John and Robert Kay, and from the enterprise of the late Sir Robert Peel's father; and maintains at present upwards of twelve factories for spinning and weaving, two for printing and bleaching, and two for dyeing. There are also three large iron foundries, several smaller ones, machine-making works, hat-making houses, and other manufacturing establishments.

John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72) more ...


Archives and Libraries

Bury libraries.

Reference & Information Services, Central Library, Manchester Road, Bury, Lancs BL9 0DG - Tel: 0161 253 5871 information[at][dot]uk




There are more than 30 churches identified in this place. Please click here for a complete list.

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Bury area or see them printed on a map.


Church History

"From Dr. V. D. Lipman's inspection of the originals of the census returns of 1851, it is clear that the 'synagogues' at Bury, Lutterworth and Haslingden (and one of those at Leeds) were in fact places of worship of a non-Jewish (though perhaps Judaising) sect who called themselves 'Israelites.' "

from Cecil Roth's history of provincial Jewry published in 1940


Civil Registration

The Register Office covering the Bury area is Bury.


Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Bury which are provided by:



David Greenhalgh has extracted entries from Pigot's 1828 Directory.



Ask for a calculation of the distance from Bury to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.

1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland

  • "BURY, a parish, market town, and parliamentary borough, partly in the hundred of Salford, and partly in the higher division of the hundred of Blackburn, in the county palatine of Lancaster, 9 miles to the N. of Manchester, and 198 miles from London, by the London and North-Western (via Trent Valley), and the Lancashire and Yorkshire railways, on the latter of which it is a station. It is situated in a fertile but partly hilly district, on the banks of the rivers Irwell and Roche, which meet a little below the town. The parish extends over an area of 24,320 acres, and comprises the townships of Bury Coupe with Leach, Newhall-Hey, Hall-Carr, Elton, Heap, Henheads, Heywood, Musbury, Higher Tottington, Lower Tottington, and Walmersley-cum-Shuttleworth. Bury is a very ancient place, and was anciently the site of one of the twelve baronial castles of Lancashire, the last remains of which were destroyed during the civil war of the 17th century. It stood by the Irwell, the course of which has since changed. The site of the fortress is still called Castle Croft. Bury is an important and flourishing manufacturing town. Its original staple was the woollen manufacture, which was first established here in the reign of Edward III., and had attained such importance in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, that an aulnager (or measurer) was stationed here to stamp the cloth produced. This manufacture is still carried on in several large establishments, employing a great number of hands. But the present staple of the town is the cotton manufacture in all its branches. To the ingenuity of the Kays, of this place, several valuable inventions and improvements in the manufacture are owing, especially the picking-peg, or flying shuttle, the drop box, and the card engine. The establishment of the great print-works of Sir Robert Peel, father of the late statesman, gave a great impulse to the trade of the town and neighbourhood. Besides numerous large cotton-mills, there are also extensive print-works, bleach-grounds, several iron foundries, falling-mills, hat and other factories. The district abounds in coal; and good stone for building purposes is quarried in the hills. The town has increased in extent, and been considerably improved during the present century.

    (See more)

Historical Geography

In 1835 the parish of Bury contained the townships of Bury, Tottington Higher End, Tottington Lower End, Walmersley and Shuttleworth, Cowpe, Lench, Newhall Hey and Hall Carr, Elton and Heap.

You can see the administrative areas in which Bury has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

The Workhouse site has an interesting description of Bury workhouse.


Probate Records

For probate purposes prior to 1858, Bury was in the Archdeaconry of Chester, in the Diocese of Chester. The original Lancashire wills for the Archdeaconry of Chester are held at the Lancashire Record Office.


You can also see Family History Societies covering the nearby area, plotted on a map. This facility is being developed, and is awaiting societies to enter information about the places they cover.