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Chorley

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Lancashire  /  Chorley
(3.9/5 based on 1,900+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: shopping, historic sites, nature
Chorley is a market town in Lancashire, in North West England. It is the largest settlement in the Borough of Chorley. Chorley is located 8.1mi north of Wigan 10.8mi south west of Blackburn, 11mi north west of Bolton 12mi south of Preston and 19.5mi north west of Manchester. As in much of Lancashire, the town's wealth came principally from the cotton industry, although it also became a major market town due to its central location between four other towns. As recently as the 1970s the skyline was dominated by numerous factory chimneys, but most have now been demolished: remnants of the industrial past include Morrison's chimney and a few other mill buildings, and the streets of terraced houses for mill workers. Chorley is known as the home of the Chorley cake and inspiration to the characters of "The League of Gentlemen".HistoryToponymyThe name Chorley comes from two Anglo-Saxon words, Ceorl and ley, probably meaning "the peasants' clearing". Ley (also leah or leigh) is a common element of place-name, meaning a clearing in a woodland. Ceorl refers to a person of status similar to a freeman or a yeoman.PrehistoryThere was no known occupation in Chorley until the Middle Ages, though archaeological evidence has shown that the area around the town has been inhabited since at least the Bronze Age. There are various remains of prehistoric occupation on the nearby Anglezarke Moor, including the Round Loaf tumulus which is believed to date from 3500 BC. A pottery burial urn from this period was discovered in 1963 on land next to Astley Hall Farm and later excavation in the 1970s revealed another burial urn and four cremation pits dating from the Bronze Age.
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