Blackburn with Darwen

Blackburn with Darwen där´wĭn, dăr´ĕn [key], borough and unitary authority (2001 pop. 109,564), NW England. It was formed as Blackburn in 1974 by the amalgamation of the towns of Blackburn, Darwen, and neighboring areas, and acquired its present name in 1997. Blackburn was formerly a great cotton-weaving center, noted especially for calicoes. Textiles are still produced; other industries produce engineering equipment, electronic components, beer, felt, and carpets. Darwen also was a textile producer. Both Blackburn and Darwen are market towns.

The textile industry started very early—Blackburn checks (a linen product made of Irish flax) were well known about the middle of the 17th cent. When James Hargreaves invented (c.1765) the spinning jenny nearby, the manufacture of cotton goods received a new impetus. The completion of the Leeds-Blackburn-Liverpool Canal in 1816 substantially aided 19th-century economic growth. The English statesman John Morley was born in Blackburn.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish Political Geography