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Having previously been a mill town of the Industrial Revolution, Bacup was once described by English Heritage as the best preserved cotton mill town in England.
In terms of altitude, Bacup is the highest town in East Lancashire (835'/250m above sea level).
Bacup is mentioned in a charter by Robert de Lacey in 1200 where a small village named "Fulebachope" is described. The Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names translates this as "muddy valley by a ridge", which remains a recognisably accurate description. It makes it one of the oldest settlements in the Rossendale Valley.
Bacup is home to one of the few remaining English folk dance troupes who wear black-face - the Britannia Coco-Nut Dancers, or 'Nutters'. They are also the only genuinely old traditional team in existence, 'the most astounding dance occasion in the entire Custom Calendar'.
Bacup is home to the 17 feet long Elgin Street which has the (much disputed) title of 'shortest street in the world' according to the Guinness Book of Records. Another claim to fame for the town is that the 1980s TV police drama, Juliet Bravo was filmed there, also Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, parts of The League of Gentlemen and much of the film Girls' Night.