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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 53°45′12″N 2°21′50″W / 53.75337°N 2.36384°W / 53.75337; -2.36384

Accrington Town Hall.jpg
Accrington Town Hall
Accrington is located in Lancashire

 Accrington shown within Lancashire
Population 35,203 [1]
OS grid reference SD761286
    - London  222 miles (357 km) 
District Hyndburn
Shire county Lancashire
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BB5
Dialling code 01254
Police Lancashire
Fire Lancashire
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Hyndburn
List of places: UK • England • Lancashire

Accrington is a town in Lancashire, within the borough of Hyndburn. It lies about 6 miles (10 km) west of Burnley, 20 miles (32 km) north of Manchester city centre and 8 miles (13 km) north of the border of Greater Manchester, and is situated on the mostly culverted River Hyndburn. The town has a population of 35,203 according to the 2001 census and the urban area has a population of over 70,000.

The town is a former centre of the cotton and textile machinery industries. The town is famed for manufacturing the hardest and densest building bricks in the world, "The Accrington NORI" (iron), which were used in the construction of the Empire State Building and for the foundations of Blackpool Tower; famous for its football team and for having Europe's largest collection of Tiffany Glass.

Accrington is commonly abbreviated by locals to "Accy".[2]



There are two derivations for the name of Accrington. Both agree that "ton" means "a town or enclosure of", from Anglo-Saxon; however one derivation states that ring means "the people of" and "accr" is a distortion of a family called alker. Nevertheless there is little evidence of this as it would have been the chief or land owner in the area. The alternative derivation states that "accring" is derived from "acorn ringed" which is plausible due to the numerous oak trees which formerly encircled the town but were lost during the industrial revolution. This is still reflected in the name of the district's largest park, Oak Hill Park.[citation needed] The King's Highway which passes above the town was at one time used by the kings and queens of England when they used the area for hunting when it was one of the four forests of the hundred of Blackburnshire.

For many decades the textile industry was the central activity of the town. Mills and dye works provided work for the inhabitants; but often in very difficult conditions. There was regular conflict with employers, most famously in the 1842 'plug riots' where a general strike spread from town to town. The workers unplugged the boilers needed for the operation of the machinery as thousands of strikers walked over the hills from one town to another to persuade people to join the strike. The strike joined up with the Chartist movement but eventually proved unsuccessful in its aims.


Accrington Pals

One well-known association the town has is with the 'Accrington Pals', the nickname given to the smallest home town battalion of volunteers formed to fight in the first world war. The Pals battalions were a peculiarity of the 1914-18 war: Lord Kitchener, the Secretary of State for War, believed that it would help recruitment if friends and work-mates from the same town were able to join up and fight together. Strictly speaking, the 'Accrington Pals' battalion is properly known as the '11th East Lancashire Regiment': the nickname is a little misleading, since of the four 250-strong companies that made up the original battalion only one was actually composed of men from Accrington. The rest volunteered from other east Lancashire towns such as Burnley, Blackburn and Chorley.[citation needed]

The Pals' first day of action, Saturday July 1, 1916, took place in Serre in the north of France. It was part of the 'Big Push' (later known as the Battle of the Somme) that was intended to force the German Army into a retreat from the Western Front, a line they had held since late 1914. The German defences in Serre were supposed to have been obliterated by sustained, heavy, British shelling during the preceding week; however, as the battalion advanced it met with fierce resistance. 235 men were killed and a further 350 wounded — more than half of the battalion — within half an hour. Similarly desperate losses were suffered elsewhere on the front, in a disastrous day for the British Army.

Later in the year, the East Lancashire Regiment was rebuilt with new volunteers — in all, 865 Accrington men were killed during World War I. All of these names are recorded on a war memorial, an imposing white stone cenotaph, which stands in Oak Hill Park in the south of the town. The cenotaph also lists the names of 173 local fatalities from World War II.

After the Great War and until 1986, Accrington Corporation buses were painted in the regimental colours of red and blue with gold lining. The mudguards were painted black as a sign of mourning.[citation needed]


The 2001 census gave the population of Accrington town as 35,203. The figure for the urban area was 71,224, up 1.1% from 70,442 in 1991. This total includes Accrington, Church, Clayton-le-Moors, Great Harwood and Oswaldtwistle. For comparison purposes that is approximately the same size as Aylesbury, Carlisle, Guildford or Scunthorpe urban areas.

The borough of Hyndburn as a whole has a population of 81,496. This includes Accrington Urban Area and other outlying towns and villages such as; Altham, Baxenden, part of Belthorn, Huncoat, Rishton and Stanhill.


The River Hyndburn and its tributaries flow through the area and the borough and constituency are named after it.


The town has strong local travel links as Accrington railway station lies on the East Lancashire Line serving trains running locally and trains running from Blackpool to York. However, recent changes to the train timetables have been a disservice to Accrington, increasing the journey time to Preston (a vital link to London or Scotland) by up to 1.5 hours. However, there are still buses to Manchester every thirty minutes as well as more frequent services to other towns in east Lancashire. The main road running through the town centre is the A680 running from Rochdale to Whalley. The town is served by junction seven of the M65 and is linked from the A680 and the A56 dual carriageway which briefly merge; linking to the M66 motorway heading towards Manchester. The closest airports are Manchester Airport at 27 miles (43 km), Blackpool Airport at 28 miles (45 km) and Leeds Bradford Airport at 30 miles (48 km).

There was once a rail link south to Manchester via Haslingden and Bury, but this was closed in the 1960s as part of cuts following the Beeching Report. The trackbed from Accrington to Baxenden is now a linear treelined cycleway/footpath.

The small minibus operator M & M Coaches and its main competitor Transdev Lancashire United provide service in Accrington[3], with routes to places such as Blackburn, Oswaldtwistle, Rishton, Burnley and Clitheroe.[4]



Accrington is represented in parliament as a part of the constituency of Hyndburn. Note that the constituency boundaries do not align exactly with those of the district of the same name.

Accrington was first represented nationally after the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 after the 1885 general election by Accrington (UK Parliament constituency). This seat was abolished in the 1983 general election and replaced with the present constituency of Hyndburn (UK Parliament constituency).

Hyndburn consists of 16 wards of 35 councillors. Due to its size Accrington is represented by a number of wards in the Borough of Hyndburn. The town largely consists of the Milnshaw, Peel, Central, Barnfield and Spring Hill wards, although some parts of those wards are in other towns in the borough.

Accrington became incorporated as a municipal borough in 1878. Under the Local Government Act 1972, since 1974, the town has formed part of the larger Borough of Hyndburn including the former Urban Districts of Oswaldtwistle, Church, Clayton-le-Moors, Great Harwood and Rishton.

Accrington Library


The schools of Accrington include:

Rhyddings Business and Enterprise High School, in nearby Oswaldtwistle, also serves the area.

Accrington Acorn PHCC under construction


The local hospital is Accrington Victoria Hospital however, as it only deals with minor issues, A&E is provided by the Royal Blackburn Hospital. Other services are provided at the Accrington Pals Primary Health Care Centre and the Accrington Acorn Primary Health Care Centre. Some wards in Accrington rank amongst the most deprived in terms of healthcare and life expectancy in the country. According to the 1991 census 28% of houses in the borough were considered 'unfit', chiefly those in Accrington and Church. A current urban regeneration scheme, Elevate East Lancashire, is attempting to remedy these problems.


The chief publications in the area are the Accrington Observer, part of MEN media, and the Lancashire Telegraph.


The town's other famous association is with Accrington Stanley F.C.,[5] the butt of many (largely affectionate) jokes. The club's name is often invoked as a symbol of British sport's legion of plucky but hopeless causes (much like British ski-jumping's only ski jumper to compete at the olympic games Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards).

The club entered the Football League in 1921 with the formation of the old Third Division (North); after haunting the lower reaches of English football for forty years, they eventually resigned from the League in 1962, due to financial problems, and folded in 1965. The club was reformed three years later and then worked its way through the non-league divisions to reach the Nationwide Conference in 2003. In the 2005–06 season, Stanley, after winning against Woking with 3 matches to spare, secured a place back in the Football League and the town celebrated with a small parade and honours placed on senior executives of the team. Coincidentally, one of the teams relegated—and thus being replaced by Stanley—were Oxford United, who were voted into the Football League to replace the previous Accrington Stanley. The football stadium is called the Crown Ground. Accrington is the smallest town in England and Wales with a Football League club.[6]

Accrington Stanley Football Club has officially had its own pub in the town, the Crown, since July 2007.[7]

The club was ridiculed during the 1980s with a milk advert on television, in which a young boy boasted that Ian Rush had told him that "if [he] didn't drink lots of milk, when [he] [grew] up, [he'd] only be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley".[8]

An earlier club, Accrington F.C., were one of the twelve founder members of the Football League in 1888. However, their time in league football was even less successful and considerably briefer than that of Accrington Stanley: they dropped out of the league in 1893 and folded shortly afterwards due to financial problems. The town of Accrington thus has the unique "distinction" of having lost two separate clubs from league football.

Tiffany Glass

The Haworth Art Gallery[9] in Accrington contains an outstanding collection of Tiffany glassware presented to the town by Joseph Briggs, an Accrington man who had joined Tiffany’s in the late 19th century and eventually became art director and assistant manager. The Art Nouveau vases are considered to be the most important such group in Europe. One of the most striking items is a glass mosaic exhibition piece, designed by Briggs himself and entitled "Sulphur Crested Cockatoos".

Notable residents

Media and sport

See also


Further reading

  • William Turner. Pals: the 11th (Service) Battalion (Accrington), East Lancashire Regiment. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword, 1998. ISBN 978-0-85052-360-7

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Accrington is an East Lancashire town which developed during the industrial revolution into a mill town. It has a population of just over 70,000, and as well as textiles it's famous for Accrington Brick, renowned as the best bricks in the world. Not necessarily the greatest asset for a tourist destination, but Accrington is characterful and unspoiled in its own way, and is well placed as a base for exploring the surrounding Pennine countryside.

Accrington Market Hall
Accrington Market Hall

Looking down on Accrington from the surrounding hills, one gets a tremendous sense of the enormous expansion of the town that took place during the nineteenth century by looking at the identical rows of workers' houses laid out over the area north of the town centre. Much of this housing is now occupied by families from a Bangladeshi background who originally came to Lancashire in the post-war period to find work in the cotton mills. By comparison the housing to the south tends to be grander and surrounded by parkland - and this was where the middle class and managers built their houses.

The town's other famous association is with Accrington Stanley football club, the butt of many affectionate jokes. The club's name is often invoked as a symbol of British sport's legion of plucky but hopeless causes.

Get in

The town is on the M65 motorway which traverses East Lancashire, and just off the A56/M66 route from Manchester.

There's a railway link on the East Lancashire Line from Blackpool to York, and a regular bus service from Manchester.

Manchester Airport is 27 miles (43 km) south; Blackpool Airport 28 miles (45 km) west; and Leeds Bradford Airport 30 miles (48 km) east of Accrington.

Get around

There are good bus services within the district.


The Haworth Art Gallery contains an outstanding collection of Tiffany glassware presented to the town by Joseph Briggs, an Accrington man who had joined Tiffany’s in the late 19th century and eventually became art director and assistant manager. The Art Nouveau vases are considered to be the most important such group in Europe. One of the most striking items is a glass mosaic exhibition piece, designed by Briggs himself and entitled "Sulphur Crested Cockatoos".

The gallery also has displays about the Accrington Pals[1], famous within the UK as the smallest home town battalion of volunteers servicemen who fought in the First World War. More than half the battalion were killed or wounded within half an hour on the Pals' first day of action.

The centre of Accrington boasts a few grand Victorian civic buildings of which the most magnificent is the Market Hall, built in traditional style in 1868, and also the setting for Jeanette Winterson's novel "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'. There is also the stone railway viaduct that seems to have inspired Accringtonian composer Harrison Birtwistle's 'The Mask of Orpheus', which is structured around a similar 17-arch viaduct.

Gawthorpe Hall (3 Miles) was built between 1600 and 1605 for the Shuttleworth family who had already been at Gawthorpe for over 200 years.

  • Visit the Haworth Gallery (above)
  • Visit the characterful Accrington Market
  • Use a car to tour the beautiful and interesting upland country areas of Pendle Hill area (Lancashire Witch Country), the Forest of Bowland, and the Rossendale hills.


The market is an excellent place to buy Lancashire speciality foods - Lancashire cheese, black pudding, pies, oatcakes, pikelets, tripe and cowheel.


There's the usual collection of fast food outlets, and reasonable Bangladeshi restaurants. The best eateries otherwise will be in the hotels, or in the country pubs and restaurants, especially in the Bowland area.


There are plenty of pubs (some rather dingy) serving good cheap beer. Always ask for cask beer rather than the mass-produced brands; there are many excellent beers available from small local micro-breweries.


Mercure Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa [2] (1 Mile) Set in 17 acres of glorious parkland, this 4 star, 700 year old building with 175 bedrooms has restored original features.

Sparth House Hotel[3] (2 Miles) This splendid Georgian house is set in its own wooded grounds on the edge of The Ribble Valley and is within easy reach of the Lake District and the Trough of Bowland.


Accrington Tourist Information

Get out

Pendle Hill[4] is just a few miles north of Accrington. It is the centre of Lancashire Witch Country, and an important site for Quakers, as the place where, in 1652, George Fox had his vision to propagate his Quaker beliefs.

The Forest of Bowland[5], often called Lancashire's hidden gem, and beyond it, Lancaster.

The Lancashire Pennine hills[6] surround Accrington.

Blackpool - visit the seaside, and see the British on holiday!

The Yorkshire Dales begin half an hour's drive away at Skipton.

Manchester is arguably Northern England's hub city, vibrant with nightlife and architecture, but still with a measure of history to explore.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ACCRINGTON, a market town and municipal borough in the Accrington parliamentary division of Lancashire, England, 208 m. N.W. by N. from London, and 23 m. N. by W. from Manchester, on the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway. Pop. (1891) 138,603; (1901) 43,122. It lies in a deep valley on the Hindburn, a feeder of the Calder. Cotton spinning and printing works, cotton-mill machinery works, dye-works and chemical manufactures, and neighbouring collieries maintain the industrial population. The church of St James dates from 1763, and the other numerous places of worship and public buildings are all modern. The borough is under a mayor, 8 aldermen and 24 councillors. Area 3427 acres.

Accrington (Akerenton, Alkerington, Akerington) was granted by Henry de Lacy to Hugh son of Leofwine in Henry II.'s reign, but came again into the hands of the Lacys, and was given by them about 1200 to the monks of Kirkstall, who converted it into a grange. It again returned, however, to the Lacys in 1287, was granted in parcels, and like their other lands became merged in the duchy of Lancaster. In 1553 the commissioners of chantries sold the chapel to the inhabitants to be continued as a place of divine service. In 1836 Old and New Accrington were merely straggling villages with about 5000 inhabitants. By 1861 the population had grown to 17,688, chiefly owing to its position as an important railway junction. A charter of incorporation was granted in 1878. The date of the original chapel is unknown, but it was probably an oratory which was an offshoot of Kirkstall Abbey. Ecclesiastically the place was dependent on Altham till after the middle of the 19th century.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:





From the Old English æcern and tūn, meaning "where acorns are found".

Proper noun


  1. a town in Lancashire, England.


  • Mills, David [1976]. “Directory of Place Names”, The Place Names of Lancashire. London: Batsford Books. ISBN 0-7134-3248-9.

Simple English

Accrington is a town in Lancashire, England. It is located in the North West. The town had a population of 35,203 in the 2001 census. Accrington is home to the Accrington Stanley Football Club.


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