In the late 1700's Bacup had a population of about 1,000 it was however still classed as a village albeit one that was growing rapidly, Market street and St James Street was just agricultural land. Plantation Street being named after the plantation that it was carved from in about 1860. The village of Bacup comprised the districts of Boston and Hempsteads with cottages in the Newgate area. On the hillsides, where farm houses with cottages attached. Travelling was mainly on foot or packhorse. Enclosures in the Midlands and Southern counties had made the landless people look for a place to live and with an abundance of spare land here they began to settle in this area.Wool spinning and weaving had become a growing trade and by 1800 the population had grown from 1,000 to 5,000. By 1840 Bacup had changed considerably with another significant rise in population, and this was mainly due to the changing industry in Bacup. The domestic manufacture of wool by means of small farmers and their families, spinning and weaving in their own homes had now moved to the mass production of the same in the 30 mills and factories that had sprung up along the banks of the river Irwell by 1840. Small local men who had been working in their own homes began to expand by whatever means they could, taking the house next door and adding two or three looms, prospering enough to then go onto rent a part of a mill later perhaps going on to buy the whole mill or building their own. The spin off from the industrial revolution was of course a mass increase in population.
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