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== Parish History ==
BLACKBURN St Mary, '''a parish''', fourteen miles in length and ten in breadth, was formerly&nbsp;part of Whalley Parish. Blackburn is&nbsp;the head of a union, in the Lower division of the hundred of Blackburn, N. division of the County of Lancaster; comprising the market-town and newly-enfranchised borough of Blackburn, which includes the chapelries of Balderston, Billington-Langho, Brownhill, Over Darwen, Salesbury, Samlesbury, and Tockholes, and the townships of Clayton-leDale, Cuerdale, Lower Darwen, Dinkley, Eccleshill, Great and Little Harwood, Livesey, Mellor, Osbaldeston, Pleasington, Ramsgrave, Rishton, Walton-le-Dale, Wilpshire, and Witton, 31 miles southeast by south&nbsp;from Lancaster.<ref>''[[A Topographical Dictionary of England]]'' by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 270-275. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50805 Greatly adapted. Date accessed: 25 June 2010.</ref>. Researchers may view a [[Comprehensive List of Blackburn Chapelries and Parish|Comprehensive List of Chapels in Blackburn St Mary Parish]]. A chapel also dedicated to St Clement has been erected; and the Vicar likewise presents to the incumbencies of Balderstone, Bamber-Bridge, Billington-Langho, Lower and Over Darwen, Feniscowles, Great Harwood, Mellor, Mellor-Brook, Salesbury, Samlesbury, Tockholes, Walton, and Witton. In the town are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Warrenites, also a Scottish kirk and a Roman Catholic chapel; and in the rural parts of the parish are various other meeting-houses for different denominations. The union of Blackburn comprises the entire parish, with the exception of the townships of Cuerdale, Samlesbury, and Walton, which are in the union of Preston; together with four townships of the parish of Whalley.
==== Blackburn Cathedral<br> ====
With the creation of the Diocese of Blackburn in 1926 (taken from the Diocese of Manchester) the impressive parish church of St Mary the Virgin was raised to cathedral status. The church, which was built in 1826 and designed by architect John Palmer, now forms the cathedral's nave.
The North transept contains eight misericords dating from the 15th century. It is not known at what time they arrived at the Cathedral, but they are believed to have originated at Whalley Abbey. This could mean that they were removed to a builder's yard after the Dissolution, but with the cathedral not being built until the 19th century, this allows for the possibility that they had lain unused for some 300 years.
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The Diocese of Blackburn is a Church of England diocese, covering much of Lancashire, created in 1926 from part of the Diocese of Manchester. The Diocese includes the towns of Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, and the cities of Lancaster, and Preston, as well as a large part of the Ribble Valley.<br>  ==== Blackburn's Marrying&nbsp;Chapels ==== Most of Lancashire' chapelries (nearly 90 percent) were not granted permission to marry couples prior to 1837. However, the following chapelries (chapels of ease) ''were'' granted sanction to marry couples within the parish boundary of St Mary Blackburn--besides the ancient parish of St Mary's itself: #Bamber-Bridge St Saviour's - 1761#Great Harwood St Bartholomew - 1547#Samlesbury St Leonard the Less - 1634#Walton le Dale St&nbsp;Leonard- 1609
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