"FARNWORTH, a town, a township, a chapelry, and a sub-district in Deane parish and Bolton district, Lancashire. The town stands near the Bolton and Manchester railway, 3 miles SE of Bolton; has a post office under Bolton, and a railway station with telegraph, jointly with Halshaw-Moor, on the railway; publishes a weekly newspaper; is a seat of cotton manufacture, and of the iron trade; is also the place where the late Mr. T. B. Crompton, for some time, carried on one of the largest paper-works in the kingdom; and is regarded, in statistics, as co-extensive with township. Acres of the township, 1, 450. Real property, £26,684; of which £3,249 are in mines, £40 in quarries, and £839 in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 6,389; in 1861, 8,720. Houses, 1,720. The property is much subdivided. The increase of pop. arose from the erection of cotton mills and the establishment of foundries. A public park for Bolton is situated at Farnworth; was presented by T. Barnes, Esq., M. P. for Bolton; was inagurated, in 1864, by Mr. Gladstone; and is estimated to be worth nearly £13,000. The chapelry includes also the township of Kersley; and was constituted in 1828. Pop., 13,723. Houses, 2,714. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Manchester. Value, £300.* Patrons, Hulme's Trustees. The church is modern, in the pointed style, and cost £8,000. A tract, with a pop. of 4,000, was formed, in 1866, into the separate charge of New Bury. There are two Church schools, used as chapels of ease; an Independent chapel, built in 1863, at a cost of £2,500; a Wesleyan chapel, built in 1862, at a cost of £4,000; P. Methodist, Swedenborgian, and Roman Catholic chapels; and a national school. The sub-district is conterminate with the chapelry."
John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)