Wigan (GB)

From Stamps of the World

Loading map...

Wigan is a town in Greater Manchester, England, on the River Douglas, 10 miles (16 km) south-west of Bolton, 12 miles (19 km) north of Warrington and 17 miles (27.4 km) west-northwest of Manchester. Wigan is the largest settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan and is its administrative centre. The town has a population of 103,608, whilst the wider borough has a population of 318,100.

Historically in Lancashire, Wigan during classical antiquity was in the territory of the Brigantes, an ancient Celtic tribe that ruled much of what is now northern England. The Brigantes were subjugated in the Roman conquest of Britain during the 1st century, and it is asserted that the Roman settlement of Coccium was established where Wigan lies.

Wigan is believed to have been incorporated as a borough in 1246 following the issue of a charter by King Henry III of England. At the end of the Middle Ages, it was one of four boroughs in Lancashire established by Royal charter.

During the Industrial Revolution Wigan experienced dramatic economic expansion and a rapid rise in population. Although porcelain manufacture and clock making had been major industries, Wigan became known as a major mill town and coal mining district. A coal mine was recorded in 1450 and at its peak, there were 1,000 pit shafts within 5 miles (8 km) of the town centre. Mining was so extensive that a town councillor remarked that "a coal mine in the backyard was not uncommon in Wigan". Coal mining ceased during the latter part of the 20th century.

Wigan Pier, a wharf on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, was made famous by the writer George Orwell. In his book, The Road to Wigan Pier, Orwell highlighted the poor working and living conditions of the inhabitants during the 1930s. Following the decline of heavy industry in the region, Wigan Pier's warehouses and wharves became a local heritage centre and cultural quarter. The DW Stadium is home to Wigan Athletic Football Club and Wigan Warriors Rugby League Football Club.

In 1911 the town was described as an "industrial town ... occupying the greater part of the township, whilst its collieries, factories ... fill the atmosphere with smoke". After the Second World War there was a boom followed by a slump from which Wigan's textile industry did not recover. While the town's cotton and coal industries declined in the 20th century, the engineering industry did not go into recession. The last working cotton mill, May Mill, closed in 1980.

In 1937, Wigan was prominently featured in George Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier which dealt, in large part, with the living conditions of England's working poor. Some have embraced the Orwellian link, as it has provided the area with a modest tourist base over the years. Others regard this connection as disappointing, considering it an insinuation that Wigan is no better now than it was at the time of Orwell's writing.

See also: WIGAN BRANCH OFFICES (GB)

Wigan[edit]

Wigan Sub-Offices[edit]

A letter after the name denoted their Telegraph letter

Birkett Bank[edit]

Chapel Lane[edit]

Darlington Street[edit]

Frog Lane[edit]

Gidlow Lane[edit]

Goose Green, Pemberton[edit]

Greenough Street[edit]

Ince[edit]

Lamberhead Green[edit]

Lower Ince[edit]

Mariebonne / Marylebone[edit]

Name changed to Marylebone

Newtown[edit]

Ormskirk Road[edit]

Pemberton[edit]

Platt Lane[edit]

Poolstock[edit]

Rose Hill, Lamberhead Green[edit]

Scholes (A)[edit]

Spring View[edit]

Swinley[edit]

CWallgate[edit]

Warrington Road[edit]

Wigan Lane (B)[edit]

Woodhouse Lane (C)[edit]