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Church Kirk

CHURCH, or Church-Kirk, a township-chapelry in Whalley parish, Lancashire; on the East Lancashire railway, 1 mile NNW of Accrington. It has a post office under Accrington, and a r. station. Acres, 620. Real property, £13,452; of which £2,000 are in mines, and £659 in quarries. Pop., 4,753. Houses, 873. The property is much subdivided. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in factories. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Manchester. Value, £650.* Patrons, Hulme's Trustees. The church is good. St. Paul's is a new and separate charge. There are three Methodist chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, and two national schools.

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


Archives and Libraries

Local studies information is held at Accrington library.


Civil Registration

The Register Office covering the Church Kirk area is Blackburn.


Description and Travel

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1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland

  • "CHURCH-KIRK, a parochial chapelry in the parish of Whalley, in the lower division of the hundred of Blackburn, in the county of Lancaster, 4 miles E. of Blackburn. It includes the townships of Church, Oswaldtwistle, and Huncoat, and is intersected by the Leeds and Liverpool canal, and by the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway. Oswaldtwistle adjoins the township of Blackburn, on the E. side; Church being 4 miles, and Huncoat 6 miles distant on the E. from that town. The population has trebled in the last half century, and is still rapidly increasing, being now 13,000. The principal manufactures are cotton spinning, calico printing, dyeing, and chemical works. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Manchester, and was formerly in the patronage of Lord Howe, whose family obtained it at the dissolution of the monastery at Whalley. It was purchased afterwards by the Huhnean Trustees, who must present a clerk who has been on that foundation at Brasenose College, Oxford. The value is £430 per annum, with a very beautiful residence. The church, usually called Church Kirk, is dedicated to St. James, and though a plain building, is very commodious, seating 1,300 persons. It has a very old castellated tower, with two bells. The body of the church was rebuilt and enlarged in 1802, and is now (1863) about to undergo a further enlargement, and improvement in its architectural appearance. A school-room, capable of holding 400 scholars, was erected in 1828, but this was superseded in 1861 by a new one to accommodate 900. In the township of Oswaldtwistle there is a district church, in the patronage of trustees; also schools connected with the church. To each of the Dissenting places of worship (six in number) schools are attached. The charities consist of £60, left by Ellen Darwen, of Cowhill Fold, the interest of which is to be given in bread to poor persons attending divine service at Church Kirk; and of a similar bequest in connection with Immanuel church, Oswaldtwistle, left by the late Messrs. Benjamin and Robert Walmsley."

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Historical Geography

In 1835 Church was a township in the parish of Whalley.

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


Probate Records

For probate purposes prior to 1858, Church Kirk 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.