A Timeline of Wigan

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 is 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