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Wigan (wĭgˈən) [key], metropolitan borough (1991 pop. 88,725), N England, located in the Manchester metropolitan area on the Douglas River. Wigan has a wide variety of industries, including electrical engineering, food processing, mail order, and the manufacture of paper, glass, fiber products, and textiles.

Wigan is thought to have been the site of the Roman station Coccium. In the Middle Ages, it was an important market town. It was long noted for the manufacture of pottery and pewter and for bell founding. There were ironworks in the 19th cent. Its Church of All Saints has a Norman tower.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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