18th Century Burnley

During the 1700s Burnley grew into a small market town. By 1800 the population had reached almost 5,000. The woollen industry became increasingly important and the first mills were built. By the end of the century cotton cloth was also being manufactured. Transport was improved by the building of turnpike roads.

Plan of St. Peter’s after 1789

As the town developed, the church had to accommodate a growing congregation. In 1737 a gallery was added to the west end and in 1789 the south aisle was re-built with a gallery.

A Towneley Jacobite

Francis Towneley supported Bonnie Prince Charlie in the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. He was executed and his head placed on Temple Bar. It was eventually brought back to Towneley Hall and was finally buried in the Towneley Chapel in St. Peter’s in 1947.

This plan shows the earliest known factories in Burnley. They included a dye house, cloth mill and fulling mill, built near the Rivers Calder and Brun. Later in the century several handloom factories were opened and a number of spinning mills built.

Keighley Green Chapel

This was the Burnley’s first Wesleyan Chapel, opened in 1788. In that year John Wesley visited Burnley for the third time.

Between 1851 and 1888 the building served as the town’s police station and court.

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