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MIDDLETON, a market town and municipal borough in the Middleton parliamentary division of Lancashire, England, on the Irk, near the Rochdale Canal, and on the Lancashire & Yorkshire railway, 6 m. N.N.E. from Manchester. Pop. (1901), 25,178. The church of St Leonards is of mixed architecture, with a low square tower. The oldest portion of the building (the tower arch) dates from the 12th century, but the main portion from 1412, and the south aisle from 1524. Two chapels in it contain memorials of, and are named after, two ancient Lancashire families, the Asshetons and the Hopwoods. The Queen Elizabeth grammar-school, a building in the Tudor style, was founded in 1572 by Nowell, dean of St Paul's, London. There are a handsome town-hall and municipal technical schools. An extensive system of tramways and electric light railways connects the town with its suburbs and adjacent industrial centres. The prosperity of the town dates from the introduction of manufactures at the close of the 18th century. The staple trade is the spinning and weaving of cotton, and the other industries include silk weaving, calico-printing, bleaching, dyeing, iron-founding and the manufacture of soap and chemicals. There are collieries in the neighbourhood. The town was incorporated in 1886, and the corporation consists of a mayor, 6 aldermen and 18 councillors. Area, 4775 acres.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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