For comprehensive listings of local facilities in Great Harwood and Rishton, please select any of the links on the right. Contact details and maps are also provided.
Great Harwood is known locally as "snuffy 'Arrod" in reference to the town's history of snuff manufacture. It is thought to have housed a church as early as 1335 and the village as it was then was a thriving agricultural community. However it was during the industrial revolution that the town grew based on coal mining and cotton weaving especially after the arrival of the railway in 1877.
John Mercer is the town's most famous son inventing cotton mercerisation and a number of chemical dyes at the height of the industrial revolution, and his contribution is recognised in the town clock in the market square - a memorial to him. His family provided the town with Mercer Hall, which is now the town's swimming pool. There is a diverse mix of industry and residential areas in the town.
Rishton's name derives from the Saxon ' Risctun' or village amid the rushes. In the mid 17th Century Rishton was noted for its fine quality linen cloth and in 1766 the town made history as the very first place to weave calico.
Today there is a variety of industry but the town is primarily residential. Notable buildings include the parish church of St. Peter and Paul which was completed in 1877 and the Roebuck inn, dating from 1753.
Rishton Cricket Club, part of the Lancashire League, has a proud and ilustrious history and has had household names such as Viv Richards as its professional player in the past.