ADMINISTRATIVE AREAS OF RAMSBOTTOM
Civil parishes arose out of the need to provide support for the poor, welfare services, and other local services. Over much of England a civil parish might have more or less the same area as the ecclesiastical parish with the same name. However in Lancashire many of the ecclesiastical parishes covered a very large area (eg Bury) which would have been unwieldy if covered by a single civil parish. So many ecclesiastical parishes were divided into several "townships" which were equivalent to a civil parish. Enormous changes in the parliamentary franchise and local government took place in the 1800s. In the 1820s towns such as Lancaster and Clitheroe were sending 2 members to Parliament whilst Manchester, Bolton, Blackburn, Rochdale (and Birmingham, Leeds outside Lancashire) had no parliamentary representation. Even in the 1830s the economic importance of Lancaster and Clitheroe had been surpassed by many of the cotton towns. Also note that County Councils were created by an Act of 1888 so that the significance of "Lancashire" as an administrative unit changed at that time.
For much of the 1800s the area lay within two civil parishes - Tottington Higher End and Tottington Lower End. For practical purposes the former consisted of Edenfield and the latter Ramsbottom, Holcombe, Greenmount, Hawkshaw, and Tottington Village. Some parts of Ramsbottom were in Walmersley-with-Shuttleworth. At the beginning of the 19th century the area was part of Bury ecclesiastical parish and Holcombe, Tottington, Edenfield were chapelries within that parish. By 1900 several ecclesiastical parishes had been created within the area and both Tottington Lower End and Tottington Higher End had ceased to exist.
In 1864 Ramsbottom Local Board of Health was formed for the Ramsbottom area within Tottington Lower End township. In 1883 parts of Elton, Tottington Higher End, and Walmersley-with-Shuttleworth townships were added. In 1894 the area of the Local Board became Ramsbottom Urban District. It was in Bury Poor Law Union. In 1933 parts of Bury Borough and Walmersley-with-Shakerley civil parish were added to Ramsbottom Urban District. In 1974 RUD was dissolved; most was included in Bury Metropolitan Borough (within Greater Manchester), the rest in Rossendale District (within Lancashire).
The township of Tottington Higher End was originally in Bury ecclesiastical parish and Haslingden Poor Law union. In 1883 part was incorporated into Ramsbottom Local Board of Health. In 1894 it was dissolved and divided between Ramsbottom Urban District and Rawtenstall and Haslingden Boroughs.
Tottington Lower End was in Bury ecclesiastical parish and Bury Poor Law Union. In 1864 part was split off to become part of Ramsbottom Local Board of Health area. In 1872 part was included in the area of Bury improvement commissioners. In 1894 the remaining area, renamed Tottington, became part of Tottington Urban District together with part of Elton township. In 1993 part of Tottington UD was added to Bury Borough. In 1974 Tottington UD was dissolved and became part of Bury Metropolitan Borough in Greater Manchester.