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Blackburn is a town in Lancashire, England. It lies to the north of the West Pennine Moors on the southern edge of the Ribble Valley, 9 miles east of Preston, 20.9 miles NNW of Manchester and 9 miles north of the Greater Manchester border. Blackburn is bounded to the south by Darwen, with which it forms the unitary authority of Blackburn with Darwen; Blackburn is its administrative centre. At the time of the UK Government's 2001 census, Blackburn had a population of 105,085, whilst the wider borough of Blackburn with Darwen had a population of 140,700. Blackburn had a population of 117,963 in 2011, a massive increase since 2001. A former mill town, textiles have been produced in Blackburn since the middle of the 13th century, when wool was woven in people's houses in the domestic system. Flemish weavers who settled in the area during the 14th century helped to develop the woollen cottage industry.
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