Great Harwood

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Great Harwood
Great Harwood.jpg
Town Hall Square with clock tower and the Town Hall just visible behind (on the right of the picture)
Great Harwood is located in the Borough of Hyndburn
Great Harwood
Great Harwood
Shown within Hyndburn
Great Harwood is located in Lancashire
Great Harwood
Great Harwood
Location within Lancashire
Area0.87 sq mi (2.3 km2[1]
Population10,800 (2011) [1]
• Density12,414/sq mi (4,793/km2)
OS grid referenceSD737318
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtBB6
Dialling code01254
AmbulanceNorth West
UK Parliament
List of places
53°47′10″N 2°24′29″W / 53.786°N 2.408°W / 53.786; -2.408Coordinates: 53°47′10″N 2°24′29″W / 53.786°N 2.408°W / 53.786; -2.408

Great Harwood is a town in the Hyndburn district of Lancashire, England, located 4.5 miles (7.2 km) north east of Blackburn and adjacent to the Ribble Valley. Great Harwood is the major conurbation of the 'Three Towns'; the three towns being Great Harwood, Clayton-le-Moors, and Rishton. In 2001, the town had a population of 11,220,[2] which decreased to 10,800 at the census of 2011.[1]


View of Blackburn Road, Great Harwood, circa 1910
Great Harwood Town Hall, completed in 1900

Great Harwood is a town with an industrial heritage. The Mercer Hall Leisure Centre in Queen Street, and the town clock, pay tribute to John Mercer (1791–1866), the 'father' of Great Harwood, who revolutionised the cotton dyeing process with his invention of mercerisation.[3] The cotton industry became the main source of employment in the town, and by 1920, the Great Harwood Weavers' Association had more than 5,000 members.[4]

The town was once on the railway line from Blackburn to Burnley via Padiham – The North Lancs or Great Harwood Loop[5] of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. The last passenger train ran in November 1957 and goods traffic in 1964. The Martholme Viaduct on the line remains about one mile north east.

Public transport links were further curtailed in 2016, when the direct bus link to Manchester was axed by Harrogate based Transdev.

Great Harwood used to have a lively and bustling market around the town clock in the main square.

Great Harwood has three supermarkets: Aldi, which opened in November 2010, Tesco, which opened in December 2011, and Morrisons, which was previously Co-Op, which originally opened in June 2001, which also opened in 2010. There are two petrol stations, run by Texaco, as well as Morrisons.

In July 2016, Domino's Pizza announced plans to open in Great Harwood, as well as Accrington.[6]

A retained fire station is also located in the town, having opened in 1972.


On Wednesday the 23d Instant; a moft obstinate and hard Match at football was played near Great Harwood in this County, between 7 men of the Village of Ranfe (sic), and the like Number of Great Harwood; which last had challenged the whole Kingdom to match them. The Contest was so great between them, that one of the Harwood's Champions dropp'd down dead on the Spot, whose brother being engaged on the same side, would not leave off till the Decision of the Game, which ended in favour of their antagonists the Ranfe Men.[7]

The town football team, Great Harwood Town, closed in July 2006. Great Harwood Cricket Club, was a member of the Ribblesdale Cricket League, winning the senior division in 2008, and has seven teams, ranging from under-9s through to senior level. In 2016, the club accepted an invitation from the Lancashire League, and played in that league from the season of 2017.

In 1954, and again in 1957, the Great Harwood team won the Roller Hockey National Cup.


Great Harwood is also home to Great Harwood Agricultural Show, an annual show, established in 1857 and held on Spring Bank Holiday Monday. It moved to its present site at the junction of Harwood Lane and Whalley Road in 2009.[8]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Great Harwood Built-up area (1119884003)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  2. ^ Lancashire Profile Archived 8 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - subscription based, accessed 15 June 2011
  4. ^ Marsh, Arthur; Ryan, Victoria; Smethurst, John B. (1994). Historical Directory of Trade Unions. Vol. 4. Farnham: Ashgate. p. 108. ISBN 9780859679008.
  5. ^ Suggitt, Gordon (2003). Lost Railways of Lancashire. Newbury, Berkshire: Countryside Books. pp. 80–82. ISBN 978-1-85306-801-0. OCLC 52565677.
  6. ^ MacPherson, Jon (18 July 2016). "Two new Domino's takeaways set to create 45 jobs". Accrington Observer. Retrieved 21 July 2016.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "London". Ipswich Journal. 3 December 1726. p. 2.
  8. ^ "History of the Society". Great Harwood Show. Retrieved 17 June 2019.

External links[edit]