A short history of Bury In the 1900's and early 20th century Bury was thriving mill and industrial town. It is now part of the conglomeration of Greater Manchester and sits 12 miles north of Manchester and 6 miles east of Bolton.
The town lies on the edge of the West Pennines Moors and is surrounded by open moorland and reservoirs.
The name Bury comes from the Saxon word 'Buri' or Byri' meaning 'a stronghold.' Bury was a small settlement of no consequence until the advent of the industrial revolution. In the 18th century home spun and woven woollen manufacture was the main industry until the arrival of cotton manufacture. Factories for spinning and weaving, printing, bleaching and dyeing cotton became the main industries in the 19th century along with large and small iron foundries, paper making mills, paper making machine works, hat-making houses and a wide variety of other heavy plant manufacturing factories.
Once a 'typical northern mill town' Bury has changed beyond all recognition in the last 40 years. Today Bury is home to a fantastic market, good shopping centre and is home to a well established and growing arts scene with an excellent local arts association and small theatre venue (which is regarded as one of the country's best small arts venues.) And last but not least; Bury black puddings!
Bury's famous sons and daughters include: 1. Indie rock band - Elbow. 2. Film director Danny Boyle (born in Radcliffe in 1956). 3. Richmal Crompton (1890 - 1969) author of the 'Just William' books; she was also a member of the Woman's Suffrage Movement. 4. John Spencer (1935 - 2006) World Snooker Champion in 1969, 1971 and 1977. 5. Sir Robert Peel (1788 - 1850) MP, Prime Minister and founder of the police force (his father's wealth came from the manufacture of cotton). 6. John Kay (1704 - 1780/81) Inventor of the 'Flying Shuttle,' one of the first examples of mechanisation of the textile weaving industry; an invention which incidentally destroyed his life. He died in France in obscurity and probable poverty! 7. Henry Wood (born 1603), a Quaker from Greenmount, (3 miles from Bury) was a victim of religious persecution. He was incarcerated in Lancaster gaol for practicing his Quaker faith. "At one stage in the late 1660s, there were hundreds imprisoned in the castle, usually for non-payment of tythes. Many suffered terrible punishments for their faith including severe beatings such as that of Henry Wood who was beaten so badly that, “blood came out of his eyes”. At the age of 80 years old Henry Wood left England with his son John and set sail for a new life in America where he founded a new community in modern day New Jersey, named 'Woodbury.' Sources: http://www.lancastercastle.com/html/people/tour.php?id=40 & http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/374629 8. Henry Dunster (1609 - 1659) First President of Harvard University.