Evidence of prehistoric man in Gt. Harwood was uncovered in 1967 when a Bronze Age axe was dug up in the Greenhill area of the town so it is probable that the area has been hunted, if not farmed, for thousands of years. At Colne, about 10 miles to the north east, Stone, Bronze and Iron Age remains have been found and only 2-3 miles from Gt. Harwood town centre is the Iron Age, Planes Wood, promontory fort at Portfield where a hoard of gold and bronze was uncovered.
Map of Roman roads and forts around Great Harwood.
The Roman occupation saw the main lines of communication missing the area as has happened before and since.
There are two possibilities for the origin of the town's name put forward by E. Elkwall:
Martholme, the name of Great Harwood's Manor House, is thought to be of Danish origin but nothing in particular is known of the area until after William became King in 1066.
Information on these pages is taken from:-
Old Harwood, Louie Pollard and Harry E. Eaton, Great Harwood Civic Society, 1973.
© Great Harwood History Society 2002 - 2017
Great Harwood Appreciation Society