Wigan is one of the oldest chartered boroughs in the north of England, and has a rich and proud heritage. The town played a significant role in the Civil War, and over the years has been an important industrial centre and a place known for its highly skilled watchmakers and clockmakers.
Despite a history which dates back to pre-Roman times, very little evidence of the early town survived the wholesale reconstruction and expansion which came with the Industrial Revolution and turned Wigan into the centre of both the Lancashire coalfield and the Lancashire cotton industry. Today, the town is a lively mixture of old and new, with Wigan Pier becoming one of the country's most successful tourist attractions, as well as one of the most inspired examples of industrial restoration.
The book includes two walking tours of the town which can be used independently of the main text and enable readers to explore the history of Wigan through the streets, buildings and monuments that can still be found there today.
John Hannavy is Professor in Art and Design at Bolton Institute. His interests include photographic history and local history. Over the last thirty years he has written and broadcast extensively on the history of Wigan.