Place:Upholland, Lancashire, England

Alt namesHoilandsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 156
Up Hollandsource: Family History Library Catalog
Crawfordsource: hamlet in parish
TypeParish, Urban district
Coordinates53.55°N 2.733°W
Located inLancashire, England
See alsoWest Derby Hundred, Lancashire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Wigan, Lancashire, Englandancient parish in which it was located
Skelmersdale and Upholland, Lancashire, Englandurban district 1968-1974
West Lancashire (borough), Lancashire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974

Upholland is a civil parish and village in Lancashire, England, approximately 3 miles east of Skelmersdale and 4 miles west of Wigan. Its basic industry in the 19th century was coal-mining.

Until 1866 Upholland was a township and chapelry in the ancient parish of Wigan in West Derby Hundred. It then became a civil parish independent of its ancient parish. It became an urban district in 1894 with a population of just under 4,500. Its population in 2011 (UK census) was 7,376. Between 1894 and 1968 it was an urban district. In 1968 the urban district merged with that of the neighbouring civil parish of Skelmersdale to become the Skelmersdale and Upholland Urban District. This merger only last 6 years. In the nationwide reorganization of municipalities of 1974 the new urban district was transferred into the West Lancashire District, a district municipality covering a much wider area.


This map illustrating the transition of the Wigan area to the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan of Greater Manchester does not show Upholland. Upholland is located to the west of this area and was transferred to the Borough of West Lancashire in 1974, remaining in Lancashire.

The following description from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72 is provided by the website A Vision of Britain Through Time (University of Portsmouth Department of Geography).

"UPHOLLAND, a village, a township, a chapelry, and a [registration] sub-district, in Wigan parish and [registration] district, Lancashire. The village stands 1 mile NNW of Orrell [railway] station and 4 W of Wigan; and has a post-office under Wigan, and a cattle and horse fair on Easter Monday. The township contains also three hamlets, and comprises 4,452 acres. Real property: £16,912; of which £5,500 are in mines. Population in 1851: 3,359; in 1861: 3,463. Houses: 685.
"The property is much subdivided. The manor belongs to Lord Skelmersdale. Holland Grove is the seat of G. Bolderstone, Esq. A Benedictine priory was founded here, in 1319, by Sir R. de Holland; and has left some remains. Stone and slate are quarried, and fire bricks are made.
"The chapelry is more extensive than the township. Population: 6,091. The living is a [perpetual] curacy in the diocese of Chester. Value, £300. Patron: the Rector of Wigan. The church was the chapel of the priory. A school at Pimbo-Lane is used as a chapel of ease. There are two Methodist chapels, an endowed grammar-school, two national schools, and charities £110."

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Upholland.

Research Tips

  • See the Wikipedia articles on parishes and civil parishes for descriptions of this lowest rung of local administration. The original parishes were ecclesiastical (described as ancient parishes), under the jurisdiction of the local priest. A parish covered a specific geographical area and was sometimes equivalent to that of a manor. Sometimes, in the case of very large rural parishes, there were chapelries where a "chapel of ease" allowed parishioners to worship closer to their homes. In the 19th century the term civil parish was adopted to define parishes with a secular form of local government. In WeRelate both civil and ecclesiastical parishes are included in the type of place called a "parish". Smaller places within parishes, such as chapelries and hamlets, have been redirected into the parish in which they are located. The names of these smaller places are italicized within the text.
  • An urban district was a type of municipality in existence between 1894 and 1974. They were formed as a middle layer of administration between the county and the civil parish and were used for urban areas usually with populations of under 30,000. Inspecting the archives of a urban district will not be of much help to the genealogist or family historian, unless there is need to study land records in depth.
  • Civil registration or vital statistics and census records will be found within registration districts. To ascertain the registration district to which a parish belongs, see Registration Districts in Lancashire, part of the UK_BMD website.
  • The terms municipal borough and county borough were adopted in 1835 replacing the historic "boroughs". Municipal boroughs generally had populations between 30,000 and 50,000; while county boroughs usually had populations of over 50,000. County boroughs had local governments independent of the county in which they were located, but municipal boroughs worked in tandem with the county administration. Wikipedia explains these terms in much greater detail.
  • Lancashire Online Parish Clerks provide free online information from the various parishes, along with other data of value to family and local historians conducting research in the County of Lancashire.
  • FamilySearch Lancashire Research Wiki provides a good overview of the county and also articles on most of the individual parishes (very small or short-lived ones may have been missed).
  • Ancestry (international subscription necessary) has a number of county-wide collections of Church of England baptisms, marriages and burials, some from the 1500s, and some providing microfilm copies of the manuscript entries. There are specific collections for Liverpool (including Catholic baptisms and marriages) and for Manchester. Their databases now include electoral registers 1832-1935. Another pay site is FindMyPast.
  • A map of Lancashire circa 1888 supplied by A Vision of Britain through Time includes the boundaries between the parishes and shows the hamlets within them.
  • A map of Lancashire circa 1954 supplied by A Vision of Britain through Time is a similar map for a later timeframe.
  • GENUKI provides a website covering many sources of genealogical information for Lancashire. The organization is gradually updating the website and the volunteer organizers may not have yet picked up all the changes that have come with improving technology.
  • The Victoria County History for Lancashire, provided by British History Online, covers the whole of the county in six volumes (the seventh available volume [numbered Vol 2] covers religious institutions). The county is separated into its original hundreds and the volumes were first published between 1907 and 1914. Most parishes within each hundred are covered in detail. Maps within the text can contain historical information not available elsewhere.
  • A description of the township of Upholland from British History Online (Victoria County Histories), published 1911
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Upholland. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.