A FASCINATING flashback to Blackburn over a century ago has been provided by the release of an archive of antique photographs.

The Francis Frith Collection of 250,000 images, made public for the first time, includes rare pictures of Tower Bridge being built in 1890 and Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in 1887.


But it’s the black and white photos of Blackburn that may be the most interesting for East Lancashire residents, showing what the town was like at the end of the 19th Century.

Our examples show a slice of life from 1894 and 1895, including the bustling market stalls with the town hall in the background.

The Grade II listed Blackburn Technical School building is seen in all its imposing glory, complete with ornate street lights and a crowd in period dress.

The collection also features an outside shot of St Mary the Virgin Parish Church, now Blackburn Cathedral.

Some of the most interesting pictures are of Corporation Park, including folk strolling on tree-lined avenues in their Sunday best.

The collection includes photographs taken between 1857 and 2005. It has been released by family history website Ancestry.co.uk