A LITTLE HISTORY
Darwen, or Over Darwen, as it was called until 1879 was a Municipal Borough until 1974 when it joined into a new Authority with its neighbour, Blackburn.
Over Darwen was incorporated in 1878.
Darwen Market Hall and the Municipal Offices are housed within a Victorian building. The Market Hall was opened in 1871.
Prior to Local Government Reorganisation in 1974, Darwen Council had programmed for the building of a new 3 Day Market.
The modern era of shopping in a covered area had arrived.
In 1975 the final stages were completed. The majority of the food traders from the Open Market moved into a new Annexe which was to be open on more days.
The 3 Day Market food traders who still only wanted to trade on the Market Days and the Drapery and Manufactured Goods traders were to be housed in a new hexagonal building which opened in October 1975.
The modernisation of the Town Hall saw the demise of the Arcade - known as "the glass shed".
The octagonal Jubilee Tower (generally called Darwen Tower) at grid reference SD678215 on Darwen Hill overlooking the town of Darwen in Lancashire, England, was completed in 1898 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee and also to celebrate the victory of the local people for the right to access the moor.
It was opened to the public on 24 September 1898.
85 feet (25.9 m) in height, walkers can climb to the top via the internal staircase to admire the views of North Yorkshire, Morecambe Bay, Blackpool Tower, Cumbria, the Isle of Man, North Wales, Derbyshire, elsewhere in Lancashire, and surrounding moorland.
Packmen, peddlers, farmers and labourers used tracks and moorland paths to go about their business. In the 1870s the Lord of the manor of Over Darwen, the Reverend William Arthur Duckworth, blocked ancient rights of way preventing access to the moor even though he was an absentee landlord. Game rights were a valuable commodity and Duckworth did not wish to have his land devalued by trespassers on the moors.
William Thomas Ashton, manager of Eccles Shorrock's mines at Dogshaw Clough and Entwistle Moss used the moorland footpaths well to deliver coal to farmers and other customers. Whenever Duckworth's gamekeepers blocked his way Ashton cleared the paths.
The struggle led to the courts where Duckworth lost and in September 1896 people resumed walking the moorland footpaths and, as Ashton died in 1884, his sons led a procession onto the moors in celebration.
There is a stone spiral staircase to the first level and slightly above, followed by a smaller metal spiral staircase which leads to the very top. Wind speeds can be very high at the top of the tower, and often mist below will obscure the surrounding views.
In 1947 the original wooden turret built by a crew including apprentice Ernest Brooks of Darwen (who later built the Lytch Gate at Sunnyhurst Wood) on top of the tower was blown off in a gale and was not replaced until 1971 when the tower was crowned once again with a fiberglass dome paid for mainly by fund raising by local people.
The tower was closed to the public for 19 months due to being deemed unsafe for use. The tower was closed to the public in October 2000 to investigate whether the tower was unsafe for the public, and a survey in spring 2001 found that the structure had severe decay in the stone decking. The refurbishment was supposed to take 2-3 months but after delays the tower was re-opened on 9 April 2002.
The tower dome came off during strong winds on the 11 November 2010.
A replacement powder-coated stainless steel dome made by WEC Group of Darwen, which cost more than £35,000, was winched into place by helicopter on 13 January 2012.
Darwen, a small market town, is four miles south of Blackburn and boasts a central market area, redeveloped in 1973, which sits alongside the old Market Hall. Like many other Lancashire towns the traditional skills and industry of the people of Darwen in cotton manufacture has had to evolve and the town now includes paper making, engineering and paint manufacture as its major industries.
Amazing Choice, Quality and Value.
Many Specialist Stalls including: Arts & Crafts, Collectors and Local Delicacies.
Everything for the Home, Family & Fashion.
Close to Darwen's Tourist Attractions.
Freshest Locally Sourced Produce.
Excellent Selection Cafes & Restaurants.
All Areas Accessible. Free Wheelchair Loan.
ABOUT DARWEN - THE MARKET TOWN
Darwen, 4 miles south of Blackburn takes its name from the river which in 1208 was recorded as the "derewent" which means the "river where oak trees grow".
Before a new toll road was built between Blackburn and Bolton the old road went via Blackamoor and entered Darwen at Chapels, continued down Robin Bank, crossed a ford through a stream in Union Street up Wellington Fold down The Green and along Bridge Street and Redearth Road to Sough.
The new road was opened in 1797 following a petition from local landowners and traders to speed up the speed at which goods could be sent to Market. Toll Bars were at Dove Lane, Golden Cup and Ewood and others which lasted until 1877.
By 1907 there were 57 weaving mills and 8 spinning mills which superceded the coal mining, bleaching, printing cloth, farming and stone quarrying. The damp climate aided the development of 10 paper mills within the town as quarrying died out.
Samuel Crompton, of spinning mule fame, rented Spring Vale Works. In fact he built Low Hill House in the Town, living there for 5 years.
In 1931, following India's threat to reduce cotton imports, Darwen was visited by Ghandi to listen to local views.
Darwen Jubilee Tower stands to the west of the Town on the summit of Beacon Hill. Of course it was built to commemorate Victoria's Diamond Jubilee and was completed in 1898.
It stands some 1225 ft above sea level and is 85 ft high.
WOOD'S FRUIT & VEGETABLES