By Tim Lambert
1246 The king gives Wigan a charter allowing it 2 weekly markets
1400 The main industry in Wigan is making wool
1485 The population of Wigan is about 2,500-3,000
1600 The population of Wigan reaches about 4,000
1643 During the Civil War Parliamentary forces occupy Wigan
1644 Royalists occupy Wigan but lose it after the Battle of Marston Moor
1651 A force of Royalists are defeated by Parliamentarians in a fight in Wigan Lane
1725 The population of Wigan reaches about 6,000
1760 Wigan is growing rapidly. There is an industry making pewter goods and a clock making industry.
1764 A waterworks opens in Wigan
1779 The Leeds and Liverpool canal opens as far as Wigan. Coal mining in the area is booming.
1790 An iron works opens in Haigh, near Wigan. Clock making continues to flourish.
1798 A dispensary opens where the poor can obtain free medicines
1801 The population of Wigan is about 11,000
1823 Wigan gains gas light
1851 The population of Wigan is nearly 32,000
1856 A cemetery opens
1867 A new Town Hall opens
1873 Wigan Infirmary opens
1877 A Market Hall is built
1878 Mesnes Park opens. A public library opens.
1901 Electric trams run in the streets of Wigan. The population of Wigan is 60,000.
1937 During a time of severe economic hardship George Orwell writes The Road to Wigan Pier
1974 Wigan and Leigh become part of Greater Manchester
1991 Galleries Shopping Centre opened
2007 Grand Arcade Shopping Centre opens