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In 1848 the East Lancashire Railway Company's extension from Accrington linked the town to the nation's nascent railway network for the first time.This was another significant boost to the local economy and, by 1851, the town's population had reached almost 21,000.

Gorple Road (running east from Worsthorne) appears to follow the route of a Roman road that may have crossed the present-day centre of town, on the way to the fort at Ribchester.

It has been claimed that the nearby earthworks of Ring Stones Camp ( are of Roman origin, but little supporting archaeological information has been published.

Following the Roman period, the area became part of the kingdom of Rheged, and then the kingdom of Northumbria.

Local place names Padiham and Habergham show the influence of the Angles, suggesting that some had settled in the area by the early 7th century; some time later the land became part of the hundred of Blackburnshire.

In the second half of the 18th century, the manufacture of cotton began to replace wool.

Burnley's earliest known factories – dating from the mid-century – stood on the banks of the River Calder, close to where it is joined by the River Brun, and relied on water power to drive the spinning machines.

James Batt, who had had come to Burnley specifically to deal drugs on a daily basis, was arrested on July 7th, 2017 after members of the Burnley Neighbourhood Team executed a warrant at an address on Branch Road in the town, with the Bradford-born Mr. Mr Batt, who was unknown to Burnley officers prior to the warrant, was found to be in possession of 121 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine and on January 12th, 2018 he appeared before Burnley Crown Court and was sentenced to six years in prison."Thanks has to go to the local community for their patience and assistance and hopefully this sentence will send out a clear message that the Burnleywood Policing Team will not tolerate this activity within the community and will act on information and concerns," read a statement from police.

It is 21 miles (34 km) north of Manchester and 20 miles (32 km) east of Preston, at the confluence of the River Calder and River Brun.

There is no definitive record of a settlement until after the Norman conquest of England.

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