Early history

Lightshaw Meadows

Lightshaw Meadows is within the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan. The Borough was created on 1st April 1974 and includes several towns and villages of the former Lancashire coalfield, including Wigan, Leigh, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Abram, Hindley, Golborne and Lowton.

Until the arrival of the industrial revolution in the 18th century, the area was open countryside dominated by agriculture. The land was generally controlled by Estates, which consisted of a Manor House, occupied by the Lord of the Manor or the landowning family, which would pay tax to the king. The Lord of the Manor would then rent the land to tenant farmers, who would manage the land on behalf of the Estate.

Many agricultural workers would also work as domestic handloom weavers to supplement their income. However, during the 18th Century the growing textile industry put these domestic weavers out of business, and large factories began to urbanise the area.