The city was first mentioned as Ffornword in 1282. In 1611 the first coal shaft was put into operation. The city is still industrial today. It has a market, theater and is known for the underground canals that lead from the mines to Worsley .
Farnworth is home to St. Gregory's Catholic Club, known for the television comedy Phoenix Nights .
sons and daughters of the town
- Alan Ball (1945-2007), football player
- Hylda Baker , comedian
- Richard Bancroft (1544–1610), Archbishop of Canterbury
- Frank Finlay (1926-2016), actor
- Tommy Lawton (1919-1996), football player
- Patricia Morris, Baroness Morris of Bolton (* 1953), conservative politician, member of the House of Lords
- David Potts , pop musician
- Michael Pollitt , soccer player