Coordinates: 53°32′43″N 2°24′00″W / 53.5452°N 2.3999°W / 53.5452; -2.3999

Farnworth Town Hall.jpg
Farnworth Town Hall
Farnworth is located in Greater Manchester

 Farnworth shown within Greater Manchester
Population 25,264 (2001 Census)
OS grid reference SD7305
Metropolitan borough Bolton
Metropolitan county Greater Manchester
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BOLTON
Postcode district BL4
Dialling code 01204
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Bolton South East
List of places: UK • England • Greater Manchester

Farnworth is within the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton in Greater Manchester, England.[1] It is located 3.3 miles (5.3 km) southeast of Bolton, 6 miles south-west of Bury (9.3 km) , and 9 miles (14.5 km) northwest of Manchester.

Historically a part of Lancashire, Farnworth lies on the River Irwell and the River Croal, and according to the United Kingdom Census 2001 it has a population of 25,264 people.[2]




Farnworth derives from the Old English fearn, fern and worth an enclosure.[3] Farnworth was recorded as Farneworth and Farnewrth in 1278 and 1279 and Ffornword in a land survey of 1282.[4]

Middle Ages

Farnworth was originally a hamlet in Barton. In the 13th century it was held by the Lords of Barton and Manchester. By 1320 Adam Lever, Richard Hulton and Richard Redford held the manor as tenants. Later the manor was acquired by the Hultons of Over Hulton. In 1666 there were 91 hearths in Farnworth liable to pay tax. The commons were enclosed in 1798. There was a watermill on the River Croal.[4]

Industrial Revolution

The town expanded rapidly in the 18th and 19th centuries around the coal mining industry. The collieries were part of an extensive mine complex, the Worsley Navigable Levels whose underground canals stretched from the Delph at Worsley and linked the mines to the Bridgewater Canal. Other industry included iron foundries and cotton mills.


Lying within the boundaries of Lancashire since the early 12th century, Farnworth constituted a township and chapelry within the ecclesiastical parish of Deane.[1] In 1837 Farnworth became part of the Bolton Poor Law Union which took responsibility for funding the Poor Law in that area.[5] In 1863, a Local board of health was established for the township,[6] and in 1866, it also became a separate civil parish.[7] In 1899, under the Local Government Act 1894, Farnworth became a Urban District. In 1939, the district was granted by a charter to become the Municipal Borough of Farnworth.[6][8] In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, Farnworth became an unparished area of the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton in Greater Manchester.[1][6]

Under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, the Radcliffe-cum-Farnworth constituency was established with one Member of Parliament (MP). The constituency was abolished in 1918 with Radcliffe becoming part of the Heywood and Radcliffe constituency, and Farnworth having its own Parliament constituency. The Farnworth constituency continued until it was abolished in 1983 and became part of the Bolton South East constituency.[9]


Farnworth measures about two miles from east to west, and one from north to south with an area of 1,502 acres (608 ha) on land sloping towards the north-east by the River Croal which forms the boundary. Will Hill Brook forms the northern boundary. The underlying rocks are the coal measures of the Manchester Coalfield. Neighbourhoods in Farnworth include Dixon Green and New Bury. The town has grown along the Manchester to Bolton road, the A666 and the A575 road to Worsley and Eccles. Plodder Lane, the B6199, goes west past the Royal Bolton Hospital.[4]


Population of the chapelry/civil parish of Farnworth
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Sources: (a) Pauline Tatton: Local population statistics.[10] (b) Vision of Britain: Farnworth Ch/CP Total Population.[11] (c) Vision of Britain: Farnworth USD Total Population.[12]
Population of the urban district/municipal borough of Farnworth
Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1939* 1951 1961 1971
Source: Vision of Britain: Farnworth UD/MB Total population.[13]

* The 1939 population is estimated from the National Registration figures.[14] The 1941 census did not take place because of the Second World War.


Farnworth is situated north of junctions 3 and 4 of the M61 motorway. The main roads run through the town are the A666 (Farnworth & Kearsley By-Pass), the A575 (Egerton St/Albert Rd/Worsley Rd), the A5082 (Buckley Lane/Long Causeway), the A6053 (Bolton Rd/Market St/Manchester Rd), and the B6199 (Plodder Lane).

Farnworth and Moses Gate railway stations are served by Northern Rail who operate services on the Manchester to Preston Line.


Farnworth has nine primary schools and three secondary schools. Harper Green School is home to the Alan Ball Sports Hall,[15] as well as the Peter Kay Theatre.[16] In 2006, Peter Kay filmed a music video at Harper Green with the Scottish band Texas.[16]

School Type/Status OfSTED Website
All Saints C of E Primary School Primary 105238
St. Peters C of E Primary School Primary 105239 website
The Orchards formerly known as Cherry Tree Primary School Primary 105187 website
Highfield Primary School Primary 105182 website
Our Lady of Lourdes RC Primary School Primary 105245
Plodder Lane Primary School Primary 105183 website
Queensbridge Primary School Primary 133925 website
St Gregory's RC Primary School Primary 105244 website
St James C of E Primary School Primary 105208
Harper Green School Secondary 105257 website
Mount St Joseph Business & Enterprise College Secondary 105263 website
St James's C of E School and Sports College Secondary 105266 website


St John the Evangelist Parish Church

The parish church of St John the Evangelist was consecrated in 1826.


Farnworth F.C. is a youth team and is divided into seven sections - U7s Jaguars, U8s Pumas, U9s Lynx, U15s, U16s Lions, U17s Panthers and U18s. The club play its home games at Darley Park, with winter training taking place at Harper Green School.[17]

Farnworth Cricket Club, founded in 1870, plays its home games at Bridgeman Park. It participates in the Bolton Cricket League, as do Farnworth Social Circle.

Community facilities

Farnworth Library

Farnworth has a market and a theatre (Farnworth Little Theatre). A leisure centre is located on the main street. The A666 by-passes the town. Farnworth Park is a park close to the town centre which has undergone redevelopment as part of Bolton Council's Children's Strategy. The library is a Carnegie Library and celebrated its centenary on the 11th April 2011. The Royal Bolton Hospital (formerly Fishpool Institution and then Townleys Hospital) is in Farnworth.

St. Gregory's Catholic Club was used to film television comedy Phoenix Nights.

Notable people


  1. ^ a b c "Greater Manchester Gazetteer". Greater Manchester County Record Office. Places names - D to F. http://www.gmcro.co.uk/Guides/Gazeteer/gazzd.htm. Retrieved 20 June 2007. 
  2. ^ Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas England and Wales. URL accessed 18 June 2007.
  3. ^ Mills(1998),p.135
  4. ^ a b c Farrer, William; Brownbill, J, eds. (1911), "Farnworth", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5 (British History Online): pp. 34–39, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=52995, retrieved 2010-03-19 
  5. ^ Workhouse, workhouses.org.uk, http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Bolton/, retrieved 2010-11-28 
  6. ^ a b c Links in a Chain - Farnworth. URL accessed 12 May 2008.
  7. ^ Farnworth civil parish. Vision of Britain. URL accessed 12 May 2008.
  8. ^ Farnworth UD/MB: Historical Boundaries. Vision of Britain. URL accessed 26 February 2008.
  9. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs URL accessed 19 May 2008.
  10. ^ Pauline Tatton, Local population statistics 1801-1986, Bolton Central Library Archives, Le Mans Crescent, Bolton, BL1 1SE.
  11. ^ Farnworth Ch/CP: Total Population. URL accessed 23 February 2008.
  12. ^ Farnworth USD: Total Population. URL accessed 23 February 2008.
  13. ^ Vision of Britain - Farnworth UD: Total Population
  14. ^ National Registration Act, 1939. Rootsweb.com. URL accessed 8 June 2007.
  15. ^ Harper Green School. URL accessed 22 February 2008.
  16. ^ a b School in tribute to comedian. Bolton Evening News, first published 30 June 2006.
  17. ^ Farnworth F.C.. URL accessed 24 February 2008.
  • Mills, A.D. (1998), Dictionary of English Place-Names, Oxford, ISBN 0-19-280074-4 

External links

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