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Lancashire

Lancashire (including Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Wyre) is in the North West of England. It has a population of around 1,460,000 and covers approximately 307,000 hectares. Here is a list of nearby or neighbouring counties: Cumbria, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire.

County flag of LancashireLancashire is named after the city of Lancaster, which is its county town, although the county council is in Preston. The area was once home to a Celtic tribe called the Brigantes and during the Roman Period towns such as Lancaster and Manchester were Roman forts. During the following centuries the land formed parts of various kingdoms and counties, until it came into existence as a county in its own right during the twelfth century. The Industrial Revolution began in Britain during the late eighteenth century and Lancashire became an important industrial and commercial region. The counties location, growing population and natural resources, such as fast flowing water and coal mines, fuelled the growth of textile production in the Lancashire Mill Towns and by the 1830s they manufactured more than eighty percent of the worlds cotton. Today visitors to Helmshore Mills Textile Museum can see demonstrations of carding and spinning and learn how raw wool and cotton were made into into yarn, to then be woven into cloth. During the Victorian era and the growth of the railways, the coastal town of Blackpool became a tourist resort for the counties workers and the town remains famous for attractions such as Blackpool Tower, the trams, piers, beaches and the illuminations, which are switched on each autumn. Away from the industrial areas, farming and fishing were important parts of the local economy. Performing arts venues in Lancashire include the Grand Theatre in Blackpool, the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, Lowther Pavilion in Lytham St Annes, Thwaites Empire Theatre in Blackburn, Preston Guild Hall and the Grand Theatre in Lancaster.

Lancashire ports were part of Britains global trade network in raw materials and manufactured goods, but with industrial decline the once busy docks have mostly been converted to none commercial uses and other industries have replaced them. Following boundary changes during the twentieth century, the borders of Lancashire shrank and the county no longer includes cities such as Manchester and Liverpool or areas that are now within Cumbria or Yorkshire counties. The Harris Museum is located in Preston and in addition to housing important local historical and archaeological artefacts and decorative arts, has an art collection which includes works by artists such as Stanley Spencer, George Frederic Watts and Lucian Freud. The artist perhaps most associated with Lancashire is L.S. Lowry, who painted scenes of local life peopled by figures often called matchstick men, though he was born and mostly lived and worked in Manchester which is no longer part of Lancashire. Visitors to Lancashire can also travel along the Irwell Sculpture Trail, which is Englands largest public arts scheme, running for thirty miles from Salford Quays to the Pennines and includes twentyeight works of art created by British and International artists. Other places you might like to visit in Lancashire include Samlesbury Hall, Lancaster Castle, the Museum of Lancashire in Preston, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Astley Hall in Chorley, Pendle Heritage Centre, Gawthorpe Hall, the Ribble Valley and the Trough of Bowland.



Arthur Devis

(Born 1712 in Preston in Lancashire), Painting

Born in 1712 he was an English portrait painter and is known for a type of portrait called a conversation piece. In 1735 his first commission was Hoghton Towers from Duxon Hill, Lancashire. This showed his interest in landscape but two years later he became established as a portrait painter having a studio in Great Queens Street London.