This page features history and information on each of
For the time being, it will tie in with the mywarrington
Radio Show broadcasts with the same information, so it
will be presented with the latest section added to the
top of each page during the week of the broadcast. So
it will be a work in progress over a 12 month period,
with the first 11 shows having already been broadcast.
I will be adding the notes from shows 7-11 shortly.
||The hamlet of Collins
Green may have medieval origins, suggested by the incorporation of
'green' into its place name. Originally it was agricultural in nature
and characterised by isolated farmsteads, but in the 19th and 20th
centuries the wider district largely became an area of mining and
industry. Information from https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1393557.
||Collins Green is a former pit village between Burtonwood and
Newton-le-Willows. The colliery was closed many years ago (the 1949-1969
map shows it as disused, but I don't know the exact year it closed).
Collins Green is now a quiet residential area, but in the late 1800s the
Collins Green Colliery Company was producing 2,000 tons of coal per day
in the area. It was located west of Collins Green Farm, close to the
railway line west of the station.
to the village from Broad Lane
||The houses of Collins Green are typical of late
19th century to
pre-1914 terraces. The village had
at one time the main post office for the area, with the police station
situated nearby in a terraced house in Forshaw’s Lane.
The village today includes a
children’s play area and a playing field. Arriva
bus service 329 runs from Warrington Interchange via Burtonwood and
Collins Green to St Helens.
The Pear Tree Inn was built in
1883 and extended in 1899, as can be seen from the image on the right.
It is located alongside the
approach road to the former Collins Green railway station.
Lane leads out of the village to Pennington Lane (turn left for St Helens
and right for Newton-le-Willows).
railway line crossing Penkford Lane >
the Warrington/Newton-le-Willows boundary is Penkford Bridge over the
Sankey Brook, with Penkford Canal Bridge further along towards
Newton-le-Willows across the Sankey (St Helens) Canal.
the photographs in this section were taken on 18 Aug 2010
GREEN RAILWAY STATION
|Collins Green railway station
was opened by the Liverpool & Manchester Railway (L&MR) on 15
The station lay on the
L&MR's line between St Helens Junction and Earlestown stations and
was located just east of the point where the railway line passed over
Penkford Lane (B5204).
of the station from Superclean Sandblasting property on 18 Aug 2010
||A short access road from
Penkford Lane linked to the main station building on the south side of
the line. This site is now occupied by Superclean Sandblasting. The L&MR
amalgamated the Grand
Junction Railway on 8 August 1845 and this company became a major
component of the London & North Western Railway (L&NWR) on 16
of the south platform on 18 Aug 2010.
||During July 1922, most
eastbound L&NWR trains stopping at the station on weekdays were
local services from St Helens Shaw Street station to Earlestown or
Warrington Bank Quay station, but three were through trains from
Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Exchange station.
of the north platform on 18 Aug 2010.
The L&NWR's passenger and
goods traffic from Collins Green was taken over by the London Midland
and Scottish Railway (L&MSR) on 1 January 1923. The L&MSR was
nationalised within British Railways on 1 January 1948. Collins Green
station was closed on 2 April 1951.
Some information retrieved from Wikipedia and Disused Stations.
|My special thanks to Superclean Sandblasting on Collins Green Lane for assistance with access for
photographs. Their company is based in the former railway station yard.
Also, thanks to Paul Wright of Disused Stations
(click the link above).
Green is a village close to Winwick and Cinnamon
consists of the Bunter series of the New Red Sandstone, the Pebble Beds
in the northern part, the Upper Mottled Sandstone in the southern.
chiefly in British geology,
is composed of beds of red sandstone and
associated rocks laid down throughout the Permian period
years ago) to the end of the Triassic period
200 million years ago), that underlie the Jurassic-Triassic age Penarth
name distinguishes it from the Old
Red Sandstone which
is largely Devonian in
age, and with which it was originally confused due to their similar
In 1901 the population
of Houghton Green was 214. In 1852 a number
of Civil War notices were found concealed in a cavity in an old
farm-house at Houghton Green.
The manor of Middleton, from which
Houghton Green became separate after 1212, was included in the fee of
Makerfield. Two junior branches of the dominant family were seated at
Middleton and at Houghton Peel. They seem to have descended from Matthew
de Southworth, living in the early part of the reign of Edward III,
who reigned from 1327-1377.
Houghton was sold in 1605 to James Bankes of
Winstanley, and remained
with the Winstanley family till the end of the 18th century, when it was sold; Maire, Claughton, Greenall, and
being successively owners. Henry
Brookfield of Longbarrow in Knowsley had some land here in 1530 and
thanks to British
History Online for permission to reproduce the above notes on the
website. Click the link for more information about the area.
waterworks was established at Houghton Green in the 20th
century. It is still there, with a pumping station close by at Delph Lane.
Guardian report on 27 September 2007 gave some fascinating
information on the area.
Green reservoir seen on
27 Apr 2012
news that United Utilities was to recommence using water from Houghton
Green pool was of particular interest to Alan Sharpe. The
farmer and author from nearby Southworth Hall Farm was producing a book
on the history of Croft and has unearthed fascinating details of the
borders the M62
Sharpe, aged 74, was producing a collection of work aided by his friend
Judith Holden and other contributors. His family has lived in the area
since the 1920s.
said: "The lake at Delph Lane, Myddleton, arises due to the
extraction of sandstone after McAlpine, the M6 contractors, bought the
land from the Robinson family of Middleton Hall Farm in 1960. The area
was grazed by cattle until 1992 when the Winwick water works were
1900 to 1904, when the water tunnel and three shafts were developed from
Dam Lane to Delph Lane, three men were killed, two of whom were buried
in Croft Unitarian Church yard in Lady Lane. When the pumping station
started in 1904, it dried up all the local wells where people had
previously got their water from."
||There is a pub in the village, The Plough, on Mill Lane.
This dates from 1774 and is located on the original road from Liverpool
to Manchester. It was a stopping point for stagecoaches. Close by
was a chapel and this is remembered in the extension to the pub
building, which is shaped like a chapel (left). There was a well close to the pub grounds.
photos were taken on 27 Apr 2012.
||There is a large green space in the village
alongside Mill Lane for sporting activities. Close to Houghton Green
Reservoir there is a pillbox. A pillbox is a type of concrete
and brick dug-in guard post, normally equipped with loopholes through
which to fire weapons. It is in effect a trench firing step, hardened to
protect against small-arms fire and grenades and raised to improve the
field of fire.
The playing field
on Mill Lane
A pillbox on
27 Apr 2012
I don't have
any further information on this pillbox or why it is at this location
close to Houghton Pool, so if you can help with any details then please email me.
If you wish to read more about
pillboxes, see the two websites below.
Pillbox Study Group
Green Mission Room
I found this snippet
from Warrington-Worldwide forum on 18 Apr 2015. A reader had requested information on the
building as he was christened there in the 1950s and his mum used to
teach there (1940s he thinks). "I've met one or two people around
here who remember attending services there - apparently the minister
from St Oswald's used to cycle over after holding mass at Winwick,"
a bit of time in the library a couple of weeks earlier and the only
reference he could find was a closure notice published in the
Warrington Guardian on 4th June 1971. It refered to the St Oswald's
Newsletter of the same month, and the Rector at the time was one Canon J
Lawton. The building was/is on Radley Lane and marked on the OS 25 inch
map 1982-1914 https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side.
The map also shows Houghton Mill, remembered by Mill Close, as well as
the Old Tan Pits.
Fugtifino, Warrington-Worldwide forum.
(Southworth with Croft)
||Croft is a village and civil parish in north Warrington, between
Winwick and Culcheth. The nearby motorway intersection of the M6 and M62
is known as Croft Interchange. According to the 2011 Census, it has a
population of 3,176. It is a rural, residential district. Bronze Age
pottery discovered at Croft suggests the area was inhabited 4,000 years
|The name Croft comes from Old
English and means “a small piece of arable land, a field”. The name
Southworth comes from
two Old English words “sup” meaning South, and “worp” meaning
“homestead” or “enclosure”. The settlement was known as
Southworth with Croft. Mark Olly’s book Celtic Warrington and Other
Mysteries, Book 1 North to East shows photos of the excavation of the Southworth Hall
on the spelling of the area include Suthewrthe, 1212; Sotheworth, 1293;
lord of the manor of Southworth with Croft in 1212 was Gilbert de Croft.
Gilbert de Croft also held Southworth by a rent of 20s. but in 1212 it was, for some reason unknown,
in the king's hands.
before 1219 Gilbert de Croft granted Southworth to Gilbert son of Hugh
de Croft, and this Gilbert, taking the local surname, was the founder of
the Southworth family, which held the manors of Southworth and Croft
until the beginning of the 17th century.
addition, the manors of Middleton, Houghton, and Arbury near Winwick,
adjoining Southworth, were acquired, and some junior branches of the
family settled in them.
to Southworth itself, few records remain. In 1287 and 1292 there
was a settlement of the boundary between Croft and Kenyon by the lords
of the manors. Southworth Hall was home to the de Southworths of Croft from
the 14th century.
manors and lands of Southworth were sold to Sir Thomas Ireland of Bewsey
century later the manor was held by the Gerards of Ince, and bequeathed
in 1743 by Richard Gerard to his brother Thomas. Stonyhurst
College also owned Southworth at one time. Other owners included Thomas
Claughton of Haydock in 1820, Edward Greenall of Warrington and later
Samuel Brooks, a banker, with his sons owning it at the beginning of the
|Croft Community Hall on
Smithy Lane on 2 Jun 2004
A Warrington Guardian report
tells us the house was put up for sale in 2001 by its owner Mark
Fairclough, but it wasn’t the original building.
Mr Fairclough's father, Harry,
bought the Hall in 1930. He demolished most of the old building and
rebuilt it as a replica, except with two storeys instead of three.
"There were rumours the
hall was burnt down," said Mark Fairclough, "but it was just
my father burning the rotten woodwork!"
Still in place is the original
medieval chimneypiece, so even now huge logs burn in the grate as they
would have done 700 years ago, and modern engineering means this can
heat the house.
The Hall also features oak
floorboards and a staircase salvaged from Norton Priory.
||Before St Lewis' RC Church was
built in Croft, it housed a chapel. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth I,
Lord of the Manor Sir John de Southworth was imprisoned for refusing to
accept the reformed church.
||Above, left: Roadside pool outside
Heyfield Hey Farm on Cross Lane on 7 Mar 2012
Left: New Lane on 2 Jun 2004
to the following organisations for assistance with this section include
British History Online and Warrington Guardian.
village of Croft has two churches,
St Lewis Catholic Church, opened on 27 May 1827, and Christ
Church Parish Church (Church of England) on Lady Lane, built in 1833.
Church of St Lewis
|The church of St
Lewis’ was opened in 1827 – two years before The Catholic
Emancipation Act of 1829. [This was the act permitted
members of the Catholic Church to sit in the Parliament at Westminster.] Its founder was Father Louis de Richebec, an exile from
Normandy and who was working with the Jesuits from Southworth Hall
(where Mass had been said for many years, as well as at Culcheth Hall).
Photos taken on 2 Jun
Baptismal records housed in the County Records Office,
Preston, go back to 1795.
Father Louis served
St Lewis’ up to his death in 1845. For the next ten years the parish
was served by the Jesuits. Since 1855 diocesan clergy have served the
parish. During the last century there have been only seven parish
The parish covers a
wide area; Croft, Culcheth, Glazebury and Kenyon. A census made in about
1865 records 210 adults in the parish. Today the estimated Catholic
population is about 700 with a Mass attendance of about 200 each
Their first school
(an all-age school) was an old barn (part of the site purchased in 1825
and adjoining the present church) – the earliest log book dates back to
Numbers were low –
31, 26, 23 were recorded in the post-war years and conditions were very
primitive by present-day standards.
In 1960 part of the
present school, the first three classrooms and assembly hall, was opened
by Archbishop Heenan and the school was completed in 1970.
Their patron, St
Louis, born in 1214, was King of France. He died on a crusade in Tunis in
|Thanks to Father
Gordon Abbs for permission to reproduce these notes from www.stlewis.co.uk/aus
in Lady Lane, Croft. It is an Anglican parish church in
the deanery of Winwick, the archdeaconry of Warrington, and
the diocese of Liverpool. The church was designated by English
Heritage as a Grade II listed building. The church was built between 1832 and 1833 to a design
by Edward Blore, and was consecrated on 29 November 1833 by
the Bishop of Chester.
a Commissioners' church, having received a grant of £1,457 (equivalent to £140,000 in 2018) towards
its construction from the Church Building
Commission. From 1839 until 1892, the rector of Croft with
Southworth was Thomas Penyngton Kirkman, 1806-1895, who in addition
to his ministerial work was also a mathematician, for whom Kirkman
triple systems are named.
a body managing the historic property assets of the Church of England. It was set up in 1948 combining
the assets of Queen
Anne's Bounty, a fund dating from 1704 for the
relief of poor clergy, and of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners formed in 1836.
Christ Church is
constructed in red sandstone with slate roofs. The
tower is square with angle buttresses, a doorway on the east side, lancet
windows on the south and west faces, and bell openings consisting
of twin louvred lancets.
Inside the church is a small west gallery. Also present
are panels inscribed with the Creed, the Ten Commandments, and
the Lord's Prayer.
Information from Wikipedia
The church on 7 Mar 2012
Ariel / RAF Croft
|In the area was an airbase called HMS Ariel, also known as HMS Gosling and RAF Croft.
The Burtonwood Association have a section about it on their website. I visited the site in March 2012 after hearing the site had
been sold to a developer to build houses.
The airbase buildings could be seen on Google maps image but
there was no access from ground level. The house-building project has
since taken place and is on Emerald Drive, close to Croft Cats Cattery
and Kelly’s Kennels off Lady Lane.
See www.derelictplaces.co.uk for more photos.
The images show (above, left) the
original entrance and (below, left) a Google Maps satellite view of the
site on 7 Mar 2012.
||There are two primary schools
(St Lewis’s Primary and Croft Primary) and a large playing field
(left) with a children's play area (the village green). Close by are the
areas of Little Town, Croft Heath and Wigshaw. Other facilities include
a youth centre, horse riding, a golf range and a bowling green.
||The foundation stone for Croft
Memorial Hall (left) was laid by Joseph E. Birchall on 26 April 1965.
The Horse Shoe pub is in the centre of the village, with The General
Elliot on Heath Lane on the western edge of the village. The General
Elliot was built in the 1700's and has always stood as a public house or
||This is the area described as
Croft Heath on the maps. The village no longer has a post office –
this closed in 2004 and was converted into a private house.
Some information from Wikipedia.
The old school at the junction of
Lord Street, Mustard lane and Heath Lane
The Horse Shoe Inn
The General Elliot
The bowling green
on Smithy Lane
Croft playing fields
on Smithy Lane
All photos taken on
2 Jun 2004
APPLETON THORN and HILL CLIFFE
|The present northern
boundary of Appleton is the Bridgewater Canal, but Appleton used to
include the hamlets of Stockton Heath and Wilderspool until the 19th
century. Today it includes Pewterspear,
Cobbs, Wright’s Green, Dudlows Green and Hill Cliffe
Hillcliffe on modern maps - one road is named Hill Cliffe Road). The
population of Appleton was 10,301 at the 2011 census. Estimates suggest
it was 10,045 in 2018.
Cliffe was marked on Saxton’s Map of Cheshire in 1577 as “High clyff
hill” [spelt in lower case on the map]. Hill Cliffe was the location of a battle between Oliver
Cromwell's Parliamentarian Roundheads and the Royalist supporters of King Charles on 20 August 1648.
This came after he had defeated the Duke of Hamilton's forces in
Preston, Wigan, Winwick and Warrington on 16, 17 and 18 August 1648.
While he was in the Warrington area, Cromwell stayed at the General
Wolfe public house on Church Street next to the black and white building
now known as The Cottage restaurant
|Cannonballs and silver
coins have been found along Red Lane and Firs Lane in Appleton. For
more, see Mark Olly's books, Celtic Warrington and Other
Mysteries published by Churnet Valley Books.
The Lyons of
It is recorded in 1781 that Thomas Lyon and Co and Joseph
Parr and Co were in the sugar refining business. Warrington Interchange
stands on the site of two sugar houses.
Appleton Hall was
built in 1820 for Thomas Lyon on land that one time had belonged to the
Warburtons of Arley, between London Road and The Dingle. Thomas Henry
Lyon succeeded in 1859 and was the squire for 55 years until his death
in 1914. In the 1840s and 1850s the family lived with eighteen servants,
but by the end of the century this number had declined to six as the
others were housed in cottages on the estate. The Cheshire Hunt met
regularly at the hall.
The Lyon family left Appleton in 1931 and it then became a
Domestic Training Centre for sixty girls. Before it was demolished in
the 1960s it had also been used as a Home Office Approved School. In
1968 Appleton Hall Grammar School was built on the site, which later
amalgamated with Stockton Heath Secondary Modern School and was renamed as
Broomfield High School. And one other snippet for you: back in the 1980s
Warrington people will remember Eileen Bilton on the TV adverts for
Warrington-Runcorn: the nation's most central location - well, the very
same Eileen went to the grammar school in the 1960s and 70s. The rest of
the land of the Lyon estate is now covered with housing. Part of the
boundary wall to the estate can still be seen along London Road.
London Road follows almost the
same route as the Roman road through south Warrington and was a toll
road from the 12th century called King Street. The original line of the
road is the location of the statue of the Roman god Janus at Owen's
Corner. Janus is the god of
beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways passages,
and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks
to the future and to the past.
month of January is named for Janus, the god of doors and
therefore the opening month of the calendar year we use today. The
monument above can be seen close to the roundabout junction of London
Road and Longwood Road on the A49, known as Owen's Corner. The
pedestrian walkway is on the line of King Street, the original Roam road
through the district.
area of Pewterspear was laid out in a Roman theme to link with the
ancient Roman road of King Street. Link to the community website for
the Stretton end of Appleton, close to St Matthew's church there is an
engraved stainless steel village map. If you are unable to visit the
site, I have made the image above, right, as a high-resolution picture
so you can zoom in and view the content. The map was installed in 1991.
|The Warrington Waterworks Co
was supplying the town with water from Appleton Reservoir when
Warrington became a Municipal Borough in 1837.
Covert Cemetery is on Red Lane and the first burial took place there on 6 October 1961.
My parents are buried there. The cemetery gives good views across the
town (see right).
There is a lot of wildlife on show in the grounds, including rabbits,
foxes, badgers, buzzards, kestrels and sparrowhawks. On the outskirts of
the cemetery there is a path which leads to Walton Hall Gardens and
||Appleton Thorn is a part of the village of Appleton, a civil parish with a
population of 1,324 (2011 census).
Appleton appeared in the Domesday Survey as
"Epletune" which means "the tun (town, place) where the
apples grew". The Domesday Survey also said that Appleton “was
and is waste”.
The Appleton Cross near Pepper Street is a reminder of
a Warrington friar, Richard de Apulton, who was ordained as the
sub-deacon at Colwich, Staffordshire, in 1365. The cross was erected by Adam de Dutton
in the same year as a wayside or ‘weeping’ cross.
inscription on the memorial plaque reads: "This monument (which
originally stood 4 metres to the N.E. of its present position was
restored by Appleton Parish Council in 1973 under the guidance of Mr J.
R. Rimmer, Director of Warrington Museum & Art Gallery. It is
believed to have been a wayside or weeping cross and would probably have
had a wooden upright cross resting in the socket stone.
Venetian soldino ['little shilling'] coin found under the lowest layer
now in Warrington Museum dates the probable erection of the cross
between 1400 and 1420. Such crosses were used as halting places for
funeral processions and this one would be close to an early chapel of
rest at Stretton".
more about the soldino coin here.
Each June, the village hosts
the ceremony of "Bawming the Thorn". The current form of the
ceremony dates from the 19th century, when it was part of the village
"Walking Day". It involved children from Appleton Thorn
Primary School walking through the village and holding sports and games
at the village hall.
The ceremony stopped in the 1930s, but was later
revived by the then headmaster, Mr. Bob Jones, in 1967. "Bawming
the Thorn" occurs on the Saturday nearest to Midsummer’s Day.
"decorating" - during the ceremony the thorn tree is decorated
with ribbons and garlands and the schoolchildren dance around singing
the Bawming song.
According to legend, the hawthorn at Appleton Thorn
grew from a cutting of the Holy Thorn at Glastonbury, which was itself
said to have sprung from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea, the man who
arranged for Jesus’ burial after the Crucifixion. See photos of the
2006 ceremony on the Events page.
||Thorn Cross (HM Prison) is in Appleton Thorn, and opened in
1985 on the site formerly occupied by Royal Naval Air Station (HMS
Blackcap), a wartime aircrew training and aircraft repair airfield. There are a number of graves of aircrew who died at HMS Blackcap, mainly
in flying accidents, in St Cross churchyard, known locally as "the
war graves". Read more in RAF Burtonwood.
Part of the perimeter
taxiway of HMS Blackcap. The M56 is built over the main runway.
The Thorn Inn pub,
left, is on Grappenhall Road close to the
village green. The Village Hall was originally the local school and was
built in the 1880s. The current school is on Arley Road.
Some information from Wikipedia
|St Cross Church, Appleton Thorn has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II
listed building. It is an Anglican parish church in the diocese of
Chester, the archdeaconry of Chester and the deanery of Great Budworth.
Its benefice is combined with that of St Matthew's Church, Stretton. The
church was built in 1886 to a design by Edmund Kirby at the expense of
Rowland Egerton-Warburton of Arley Hall.
|It is built in red sandstone with a red tile roof, in
decorated style, a
style used in England between 1180 until around 1520 featuring
arches, rib vaults, buttresses and extensive use of stained glass. Its
plan is cruciform with a two-stage tower over the crossing. It has a
three-window nave without aisles, a one-window chancel, an
oak-framed north porch on a sandstone plinth, and a baptistery
projecting from the west end. Above the baptistery is a rose window. The
stained glass in the east window is by Harcourt M. Doyle, dated 1970,
and that in the rose window is by Celtic Studios of Swansea, dated 1986.
The organ was built in 1906 at a cost of £220 by E. Wadsworth.
The church has connections with the Royal Naval Association
because during the Second World War a Royal Naval Air Station,
HMS Blackcap, was in the village. Its ensign hangs in the church.
Retrieved from Wikipedia.
London Bridge pub was part of Stockton Quay and served as a passenger
transfer location for the Duke of Bridgewater packet boats. They
would use the Packet Steps, which can still be seen today (above,
leading down to the canal to board the Duchess Countess to Manchester
and Runcorn; the now A49 was then (and still is today) a major route
from London. Behind the Pub
was a smithy and wheelwrights, which served the road and canal.
There is also mention of horse changes being made at Stockton
On the opposite side of the canal in Stockton Heath is Thorn Marine, a
stopping place for boat people to stock up on essentials. Read more
about Thorn Marine on the My Warrington
London Bridge Inn.
A popular stopping off
travellers on the Bridgewater Canal.
Photos taken 5 Mar
Appleton Thorn Trading Estate is located alongside the M56
is a civil parish in the north-west area of the
town, which includes Westbrook and Callands. The name Burtonwood will
forever be linked to the former RAF Burtonwood military base, although
Burtonwood village itself is about two miles away from the site of the
former base. Burtonwood's population rose
from 990 in 1861 to 2,408 in 1911 as the mining and brewing industries
Above and below:
over the Sankey
Brook on Alder
Lane 12 Jun 2007
|The parish population leaped
to 8,238 in 1951 when the RAF Air Base personnel were included. but
dropped to 4,899 in 1971. before rising to an estimated 11,265 today as
a result of housing development on the old airbase site.
RAF Burtonwood was mainly used
by the United States Air Force between 1942 and its closure in 1993, and
was the biggest US airbase in Europe. The base itself opened as RAF
Burtonwood in 1940. Read a more detailed account on the RAF Burtonwood page.
is suggested that the name of the village was BURTUN before the Norman
Conquest of 1066, and means the farmstead (tun) by the fortified manor
(burh). It acquired the name
Burtonwood when it was included in the forest by Henry I. The addition
of 'wood' to 'Burton' therefore gives the full meaning of Burtonwood as
‘the wood by the tun, or farmstead, near a fortified place, or
burh in question might have been Warrington, although it is just as
close to St Helens and Newton-le-Willows. Finally, according to John
Ayto’s ‘Dictionary of Word Origins’ (1990), the ton
on the end of an English place name comes from a time when the word
meant ‘farmstead’ and the Old English term for ‘town’ was burg,
ancestor of the modern English word borough.
In the 13th century it was retained in
the king’s forest and eventually the Botelers made use of the land and
animals for food and the timber to build the castle at Mote Hill near to
the Parish Church of St Elphin in Howley.
9 Jul 2012
Community Centre, Green Jones Brow
9 Jul 2012
||Information in the History of Lancashire (Vol 3,
London, 1907) (reproduced on British History Online www.british-history.ac.uk) gives older names for the village, including
Burtoneswod (1228), Bourtonewod (1251), Burtonwode (1297) and Bortounwod
(above and below)
on 9 Jul 2012
|Burtonwood was a chapelry in the ancient parish of
Warrington, in the West Derby Hundred of
Lancashire. A HUNDRED was a subdivision of a county or shire, having its
own court. The village of Burtonwood was a rural settlement until the
late 19th century, characterized by loosely grouped farmsteads and
cottages extending along Clay Lane, Chapel Lane and Phipps Lane. The
countryside was extremely flat, with much reclaimed marsh or mossland,
drained by ‘cuts’ into the Sankey Brook, which flowed from north to
southeast and south and formed the boundary line on that side, with coal
mining areas including Collins Green to the north.
geological formation shows the village is set on top of red sandstone,
with Bradley Old Hall and Collins Green resting on pebble beds and land
west of Collins Green made up of Permian rock and coal (the Permian
period was about 300 million years ago, just before the Triassic age).
Manor of Burtonwood
manor passed to the Earl of Chester in about 1229 with other parts of
the forest going to other noble men. A Robert de Ferrers granted to the
abbey of Tiltey in Essex on 2 October 1251 a dwelling with outbuildings
in Burtonwood with 120 acres of land and wood around it and licence to
make two water mills with weirs on the water of Sankey [Brook].
the year 1264 Robert de Ferrers sold some of the land of the manor to
William le Boteler for 900 marks, paid for in six-monthly instalments of
£10. The rate of exchange for a mark is approximately two-thirds of a
pound, so £10 every six months would take 30 years to pay. The name of the area was called
the manor belonged to Matthew de Southworth, whose descendants also
owned land near Croft. We also see the name DALLUM mentioned in 1416.
1580 Edward Butler sold the manor of Burtonwood to
Richard Bold of Bold. It then passed to Thomas Ireland
sometime after 1581.
acquired the manor of Bewsey and
1,200 acres of land in Burtonwood, meadow and pasture, and 210 acres of moor, moss,
and wood in Bewsey and Dallam.
From this time till the year 1861 the manor descended like
the other Bold family estates to Sir Henry Bold-Hoghton, the representative of that
family in right of his first wife. It was then sold to Mr. Thomas Henry
Lyon of Appleton.
village was later created a civil parish and was part of the Warrington Poor
and then the Warrington
In 1974 it became part of Warrington District and is now part of the
Warrington Unitary Authority. It is still a civil parish (now named
Burtonwood and Westbrook) and thus has its own Parish Council.
of the information in this section is from https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol3/pp324-328
and used with permission. Thank you for your assistance. Reading the
full account is recommended.
Old Hall with its
moat and gatehouse.
||Bradley Old Hall is
an excellent example of a late medieval moated site, situated near
Burtonwood village in Cheshire, not far from St. Helens and Warrington. The manor house,
first built around 1460, then rebuilt in the late 1700s as a Georgian
manor house, still retains a number of features from the original
building, such as the main door and the oak beams. The moat and the
medieval gatehouse still survive and are in good condition.
||Included in the house
is the original Tudor style bed that Richard III supposedly slept in
when he stayed at the Hall in 1482. There have also been many finds
from the Civil War (Cromwell also supposedly stayed there) and there is
an oak timber beam which is inscribed with a Catholic script, as the
Leigh family who lived there were said to be secret Catholics after the
In the book A
Burtonwood Story by J.P. Fogarty, published
in 1986, Bradley Old Hall is mentioned extensively displaying a number
of black and white photos. A mention of the hall by Peter Legh in 1465
is printed, in which it says the hall had:
new chambers and a fair dining room, with a new kitchen, bakehouse and
brewhouse, and also with a new tower built of stone with turrets and a
fair gateway, and above it a stone bastille well defended, with a fair
chapel…also one ancient chamber called the Knyghtes
Chamber…surrounded by a moat with a drawbridge…’
The two coats of arms
displayed at the top of the stairs on the first floor are of Standish of
Standish and Legh of Lyme - both taken from the original Hall, along
with a number of oak doors and beams, such as the one in the front attic
room which displays the legend:
Master doth and Mistress both accorde with godly mindes and zealous
hartes to serve the livinge Lorde. 1597 Henry Wesle’
This seems to suggest
a continuation of the practise of Catholicism by the family.
||The book by Fogarty
also mentions that Peter Leigh supported the Duke of Gloucester (Richard
III) with King Richard III granting Peter Legh £10 per year for life in
consideration for his loyal services. Fogarty mentions that the Duke of
Gloucester was reputed to have stayed at the hall in 1482 when the Duke
was marching through Lancashire to repel the Scots. The King's Bed – a
late medieval oak bed - is still in the hall, and the story of the Duke
staying at the hall seemed to have originated from Lady Legh’s history
of the Legh family.
|Other books which
mention Bradley Old Hall include Warrington
and the Mid-Mersey Valley by G. A. Carter,
published in 1971, which also mentions Peter Legh’s 1485 description,
and the Legh family connection to the
nearby Winwick Church where a number of the family are
buried. The hall, according to Carter, was mentioned as ‘lying
waste’ in 1666, which may be
because of activity during the Civil War where there was nearby the
battle of Winwick in 1648. There has been a cannonball and shot
recovered from the moat which dates to the Civil War period, and there
are local stories of secret tunnels from the hall to the nearby Winwick
Church and that Oliver Cromwell himself stayed at
hall is still privately owned and can be seen from the many public
pathways that run from the Sankey Canal towards Burtonwood.
Notes © Dr David
Thanks to David Harrison for copyright
clearance on the Bradley Old Hall notes.
village is also known for its brewery, which brewed the Burtonwood ales.
The brewery was founded in 1867, and built up a large estate of pubs. It
was registered as the Burtonwood Brewery Co. Ltd in 1910 and was
re-registered as above in April 1949. It was owned by the Gilchrist side
of the Forshaw family, who were also involved with Hook Norton Brewery
Co. Ltd. Some of the public houses were sold to Higson's Brewery Ltd in
1925 and a further 23 houses went to Tetley Walker Ltd in 1949.
an arrangement with Eldridge, Pope & Co. Ltd, they
also brewed their beers as Thomas Hardy Brewers. When Allied Breweries'
estate was broken up, Burtonwood acquired many former Allied pubs.
1964 Burtonwood Breweries became a public company, but retained its head
office in the village. In 1998 the company formed a joint venture with
Thomas Hardy Holdings, known as Thomas Hardy Burtonwood. The
pub side of the business (approximately 460 pubs at the time) was sold
to Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries Ltd (later Marston's) in 2004.
At one time
Burtonwood had five public houses.
Hotel was located on what was Cow Lane, now Burtonwood Road, built in
1911 and demolished in the early 1940s because the pub was too close, to
the (fully operational) Burtonwood Air Base and runway.
The Bridge House
Inn was located in Phipps Lane and built in the early 1900s. The Elm
Tree Inn was located on the corner of Phipps Lane and Chapel Lane, built
around 1885. The Bridge House Inn and the Elm Tree Inn were both owned
by the Marston's Group, and were demolished in 2014.
Bridge House Inn
on Phipps Lane
9 Jul 2012
Elm Tree pub
on Phipps Lane
13 Jun 2006
on Chapel Lane
as seen on
13 Jun 2006
|The two public
houses currently in the village are the Chapel House and the Fiddle i'th
Bag Inn on the road to Winwick, which was called simply Fiddle Inn on
the 1913 OS map. Incidentally, the section of Alder Lane north of the
Fiddle Inn that goes over the Sankey Canal and the railway line to link
up with Hollins Lane today didn't exist in 1913. The way back to
Warrington was via the original Alder Lane over Causey Bridge to Watery
Lane at Winwick. Try https://maps.nls.uk/
for side by side maps of old and current places in the UK. Great for
on Chapel Lane
as seen on
9 Jul 2012
i'th Bag Inn on Alder Lane as seen on 27 Jun 2012
|There are three social clubs
(Burtonwood Catholic Club on Clay Lane opened on 30 July 1955).
Bewsey is one of the oldest parts of Warrington and is located in
the north west of the town. The name Bewsey comes from 'beau
see', meaning beautiful site. The street names in the council estate of Bewsey, such as
Lilford Avenue and Troutbeck Avenue, are named after people who lived in
the area in the 15th and 16th centuries. Bewsey in linked with Whitecross
for the borough council’s ward information, and the population for the
ward is given as 11,451 for 2017.
From the 13th to the 17th centuries the land of Bewsey
belonged to the Lords of the Manor of Warrington who lived at Bewsey Old
Hall. The hall following
the destruction by fire of his original house, which was located nearer
the current town centre on the Mote Hill (near to the site of the parish
church, St Elphin). The date of the fire is not recorded exactly but is
believed to be between the years 1256 and 1259. In order to build the
house, Boteler obtained lands in Burton Wood (later Burtonwood) from his
feudal Lord, Earl Ferrar, in 1260 and from Prince Edmund in 1270. A
monastic grange, owned by the monks of Titley Abbey, in Essex,
previously occupied the site of Bewsey Old Hall.
Sir John Boteler,
Lord of Warrington, was murdered in his bed in 1521 at Bewsey Old Hall,
the murderers allegedly acting on the orders of his brother-in-law, Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby, with whom he had
been on bad terms for some time. Sir Piers Legh and Sir William Savage,
whom Stanley had employed to carry out the deed, bribed the porter at
Bewsey to place a lighted taper in a certain window when the house had
settled down for the evening. They then crossed the moat in a coracle-like
boat and entered Sir John's bed chamber; a struggle with the chamberlain
ensued who was also murdered. They later hanged the treacherous servant
from a tree in the Bewsey estate, so that he could not give evidence
Old Hall passed to Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, in
1586 in settlement of gambling debts when Edward Boteler died without an
heir. Dudley sold the estate to lawyer Thomas Ireland, of Childwall, and
the house remained in the possession of the Ireland family for six
generations until 1675.
||Bewsey Old Hall
as seen on
16 June 2007 (left)
20 May 2013 (right)
hall, a single storey wooden medieval hall, of which nothing now remains
was replaced by a brick building and is largely Jacobean, i.e. built during the reign of James
I of England. This is probably the work of Sir Thomas Ireland and dates
from around 1600. The building has distinctive chimneystacks and stone
mullioned windows (a mullion is a
vertical bar between the panes of glass in a window). Sir Thomas was knighted at Bewsey by King James I in 1617.
The king later stayed the night at Bewsey.
inherited by the Atherton family in 1675, although it was not their main
home, with relatively nearby Atherton Hall, Leigh being their
primary residence. In the mid-18th century they added a new wing to the
building. Legend states that the Stuart prince Bonnie Prince
Charlie stayed the night there, on his retreat from Derby during the Jacobite
rising of 1745.
passed by marriage to the Lilford family in 1797, when the Atherton
estate was inherited by Thomas Powys, Lord Lilford, who preferred
to live at the family seat, Lilford Hall in Northamptonshire.
remaining medieval structures were demolished during the 18th century,
when the hall was extended with a farmhouse and kitchen, and landscaping
works filled in parts of the moat and enlarged others as water features.
In 1863, a 'New
Hall' was built, and Bewsey Old Hall was left in the hands of tenants,
until, in considerable disrepair, it was purchased from Lord Lilford in
also inherited Atherton Hall. However, they considered one property in
Lancashire adequate for their needs and lavished considerable expense on
Bewsey Hall. After failing to sell Atherton Hall, which was less than a
century old, it was demolished in 1824, with some of the furniture and
carpets being sent to Bewsey. They later demolished the 18th century
wing and in 1860-61 a new half-timbered house (Bewsey New Hall) was
built on a different site west of Camp Road for Thomas Powys, 4th
Baron Lilford, as a replacement for the Old Hall, with the original
hall being converted into two farmhouses and let to tenants. The
new building was almost certainly designed by W. G. Habershon
(1818-1891), but Lady Lilford disliked the house so much that she
refused to live in it, and it was largely demolished in the 1940s, apart
from a fragment of the west wing.
Bewsey Lodge on the
approach to Bewsey Old Hall.
Bewsey Lock is 200 metres to the right before you cross the bridge
excavations in the 1980s many artefacts were found, including a medieval
leather shoe, pottery, coins and a seal die from the 14th
In September 2011, the hall was subject to an arson attack, and lost part
of its roof. Despite local campaigns against it, a public inquiry, held
in May and September of 2011, granted permission for seven flats to
occupy the Grade II* listed hall. Development Company 'Next Big
Thing' have now redeveloped the property into a number of apartments.
Sankey Canal opened in 1757, four years before the Bridgewater Canal.
||The Sankey Navigation on the the St Helens Canal, was the first industrial
canal in England. The original Act of Parliament was to make the Sankey
Brook navigable. Instead, the engineer Henry Berry took advantage of a
clause in the act that states, 'cuts and trenches could be made where
necessary' and built a completely new watercourse following the line of
the Sankey Brook.
||The canal passes through Bewsey on its journey from St Helens to
Spike Island at Widnes. The image of the lock, left, was taken on 25 Sep
2012, and the image of Sankey Valley Park at Old Hall was taken on 2 Dec
2006. Fishing rights are by way of a licence.
|The Sankey Canal Restoration
Society and Warrington Borough Council have produced information
panels on the history of the canal at various locations along the canal.
Bewsey Lock is approached from the pathway leading from Lodge
Lane/Lilford Avenue junction. Walk across the stone bridge and turn
right before the second bridge with the black and white cottage in the
distance. From Old Hall, cross the bridge opposite the cottage and turn
The story of Bewsey Lock from the
mywarrington does not own the
copyright for text or images contained in these photographs.
Looks like a photo
finish for second place
in the Sankey
Valley Swansong Olympics!
more about the Sankey Canal in On the
Bewsey Road viewed
south towards town centre featuring Greenings wire factory buildings on
|Bewsey Road runs from
the junction of Lovely lane, Folly Lane and Lodge Lane towards Tanners
getting on a bus in the old days could ask for Bewsey Bridge and the
driver would have known where to stop. It was the closest stop to get to
Burtonwood Air Base where the officially named Bewsey Bridge crosses the
Sankey Brook at the bottom end of Lodge Lane.
The Imperial Hotel
on Bewsey Road.
The pub was built in 1894 by Greenalls,
the Warrington brewer.
|Locals used to call the railway bridge Bewsey Bridge, as
this is where the Cheshire Lines Committee railway crossed the roads of
Lovely Lane and Folly Lane. The bridge is long gone (see a photo below,
||St Rocco’s charity shop occupies the former Cross Bar pub
building, seen in the photo, right. The image, left, belongs to P.
Spilsbury and shows the same scene in the 1970s. Other shops are built
on the site of the railway embankment, with a car dealership diagonally
|The 1844 map shows Bewsey Villa on the site of the modern
car dealership, which is just visible on the far right of the image
above, right, whilst Bewsey Cottage is shown at the junction of Folly
Lane and Longshaw Street.
Bewsey Road was the location of some of the town’s biggest
industrial sites, including Greenings Wire, British Steel, Lancashire
Steel and Sterling Cable. Nathaniel Greening set up his first wire
factory on Bridge Street in the town centre and later went into
partnership with John Rylands. A Greenings advert tells us they were the
oldest wire drawing and wire-weaving firm in Warrington, established
1799. They set up the factory on Church Street but eventually Greening
and Rylands went their separate ways, with Greening moving to the
Britannia Works on Bewsey Road.
Greenings during demolition
10 June 2003
Wire from Greenings was exported all over the world. The
company was famous for the works buzzer which sounded five minutes
before work was due to start (7.25 a.m. and 12.55 p.m.) and could be
heard all over the district. The factory had a branch line to the West
Coast Main Line railway. The factory closed in 1980 and the land has now
become a housing estate. Bolton steeplejack Fred Dibnah was given the
task of bringing down the factory chimney on Sunday 17 April 1994, which
he completed at 11.55 a.m. - five minutes before the Imperial pub opened
across the road - exactly as he planned. There is a photo of Fred’s
steam traction engine in Peter’s Gallery.
image, left, from Grace's
Guide mentions agate steel. Reader A Hickson provides additional
information on this product.
Screening, specially prepared for gold mining by N. Greening and Sons,
Limited, Warrington, England. Nothing can surpass their screens for
regularity of mesh, and the heavy qualities are remarkably substantial
and enduring. The firm in question make all descriptions of battery
screening, ranging from 100 holes per square inch up to 40,000 holes per
|The old wire and steel factories
have all gone, but Gap Steel has now set up on the same site of
Lancashire Steel at the town centre end of Bewsey Road, from where other
smaller business units also operate.
|Two other businesses lost from Bewsey include
Marsden Vanplan, formerly Marsden Coachbuilders on Longshaw Street, In
the 24 January 1981 edition of Commercial Motor I found this snippet
under the headline Marsden's vans have got style:
FUEL savings are claimed by
Warrington based coachbuilder Marsdens Ltd with the introduction of a
new aerodynamically-styled van body.
The new design feature
controlled radius panels and total reassessment of roc leading edge
sections to produce minimal drag.
Improved safety features
include a larger windscreen, achieved by reducing the cab base scuttle
area, while the interior cab layout has been designed to minimise driver
Read more at http://archive.commercialmotor.com
The company, with
their registered address in Leicestershire, was dissolved on 16
September 2014. The Bewsey site is now a housing estate on Calgarth
site on 18 Jan 2007 (left) and during demolition on 16 Jun 2007 (centre
long-standing firm was George Howard Ltd recycling centre on Folly Lane.
The company started out as a second-hand furniture store on Froghall
Lane in the 1890s. In 1914 the company moved to Folly Lane and became
George Howard Ltd in 1921.
In the 1950s the family operated the Royal Court Theatre on
Rylands Street in the town centre until it closed in 1957. The Folly
Lane site operated until 21 January 2010 when the land was repossessed
under the Law of Property Act 1925. Interestingly, the new housing estate on the site of
Howard's is called Folly Farm Close, but I cannot see anything on the
maps that indicate a farm once stood on this site. They only
indicate fields before the industrial sites came into existence. Close to Howard’s site is Hawthorne Business Park on
Howard recycling site 9 Aug 2007
Folly, a private house, is marked on the
1844 map near Folly Lane, suggesting how the street was named. A car
dealership operates for Peugeot on Folly Lane. This is where The Folly
stood. From the 1960s the car showroom was operated by Syd Hall
Motors until it went into administration on 14 January 2009 with the
loss of 40 jobs. The dealership has since reopened under different
management. Also on Folly Lane is the Villaggio hotel and restaurant,
but it will be more famous to locals as Tyrol House. Further along
Folly Lane over the railway bridge was Longford Wire - another lost
industry - the site is now taken up with Gateway 49 business park.
Sid Hall Motors as
it was 23 Jan 2009.
There are two primary
schools, Bewsey Lodge Primary on Lodge Lane and St Albans Catholic
Primary on Bewsey Road. From 1934 to 1993, Bewsey Secondary Modern
(later High) School was next to the junior school with access from
Clapgates Road and Lodge Lane. This building was later used by the
council’s Social Services department who had moved there when the
lease for Priestley House (now Bank Quay House) on Sankey Street ran
out. The road leading to the old school building from Lodge Lane in
Bewsey is called Lockton Lane and it was suggested the old school
building be renamed Lockton House, but after public pressure the name of the
school was retained in part (called Bewsey Old School). I don’t know
the significance (if any) of the name Lockton to any part of Bewsey’s
history. The building was demolished in May 2013. Read more about Bewsey
Lodge Primary in The Bewsian.
Alban's Catholic Primary School
Clapgates Road is named after Clap Gates Farm which once
stood close by. Next to the site of the old senior school is St
Rocco’s Hospice, which was originally on Orford Avenue. The Bewsey
school field was once known as The Towers and is now a housing estate.
Towers Court is one of the local street names (off Lodge Lane).
The ‘straight’ section of the Cheshire
Lines railway used to run alongside the eastern
edge of the Bewsey Primary and Secondary schools. This formed part of
the original planned route through the town, with a station planned for
Warrington on Winwick Road near Longford Street and Kerfoot Street
(where Matalan is now). However, the locals campaigned for a station in
the town centre, resulting in the extra ‘loop’ section to Warrington
Central, which opened in 1873. Parts of the ‘straight’ section
embankment still exist in Orford, mainly because nothing was built on
it. Read more about the school’s history in The Bewsian, and
the railway in Making Tracks 2.
section of the Cheshire Lines Railway where the 'straight' and 'loop'
sections branches off from each other, one to Padgate station via
Winwick Road and along Orford Park, the other to Warrington Central and
then onto Padgate. The 'straight' section covered the spare land in the
foreground of this photo.
On the 1905 map a reservoir is marked between Gladstone
Street and the railway line off Bewsey Road. If you look on the maps of
the time you will see that it was possible to move trains between the
West Coast Main Line and the Cheshire Lines Railway near Froghall Lane
up and down a gradient. Houses now occupy some of the site today, with
The Gullet walkway alongside the railway line still in use.
you know that Bewsey was the location of Warrington's first railway
station? On 15 September 1830, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway
opened, and on 25 July 1831 a branch line from it was opened from Newton
Junction (now Newton-le-Willows) to Dallam Lane in Bewsey. The location
of the station was behind the Three Pigeons pub on Tanners Lane, on the
site now occupied by The Base office block in the photo below, left.
Tradition says the ticket office was located in the pub itself.
Make sure you read
the small print on the board outside the pub, as seen on 24 Apr 2015!
On Bewsey Road stood St
Paul’s C of E church. The
foundation stone was laid on 11 August 1829 and the church was
consecrated in October 1831 by the Bishop of Chester. The church
building was demolished in 1985, but the graveyard still exists. St
Paul’s Court retirement home now stands on the site of the church.
grave of James Smethurst JP, Mayor of Warrington, 1906-07-08. He died 28
Sep 1921 Aged 82
Road Methodist Church opened in 1875 and stood at the junction of Bewsey Road and
Froghall Lane until 1966. The Co-operative funeral parlour now occupies
the site. Warrington library has a copy of the architect's drawing,
which has been reproduced in H. Wells book, Walking into Warrington's Past -
Bewsey Street. Froghall Lane gets its name from Frog Hall, which stood
roughly halfway between the corner of Bewsey Road and Froghall Lane
railway bridge (Cheshire Lines Liverpool to Manchester line).
|Two other churches in the Bewsey area that still stand are St
Alban's Catholic Church on Bewsey Street and Hope
Hall Gospel Hall on Hawthorne Street off Longshaw Street.
parish containing St Alban's church (left) was founded in 1772 by the
Benedictine monks of Ampleforth Abbey, and was the first Roman Catholic
church in the town after the Reformation. The present building
dates from 1823 and was designed by Edward Alcock. In 1893 the
sanctuary, designed by Peter Paul Pugin, was added to the church. The
west façade was refashioned in 1909.
Social Club, left, once stood on the corner of Foundry Street and Back
Dallam Lane, seen here on 9 Nov 2006.
St Alban's Youth Club operated out of
the building on the right. It is now Musclehouse Gym, but started out as
The Grove. It was built at the beginning of the 19th century and also
served as a public house. For more detailed information, see H Wells book
"Walking Into Warrington's Past: Bewsey Street". It is located
on Bewsey Road next to St Alban's Catholic primary School. The photo was
taken on 10 Sep 2006.
Hall Gospel Hall church on Hawthorne Street, off Longshaw Street, which
opened in 1930. The photos were taken on 29 July 2010.
Liberal Club building on Bewsey Street
was built in 1913 on the site of the former home of Peter Rylands. He
was born on 18 January 1820, and was an English wire-manufacturer in
Lancashire and a Liberal politician. He was active in local
government and sat in the House of Commons for two periods between 1868 and 1887. He
in Warrington, the son of John Rylands and his wife Martha
Glazebrook, daughter of the Rev. James Glazebrook, vicar of Belton.
|He was educated at Boteler Grammar School on School
Brow and was Mayor of Warrington from 1853 to 1854. He had
directorships of the Manchester and Liverpool Banking Co., of the
Bridgewater Navigation Co. of Pearson and Knowles Coal and Iron Co.
Limited, and of Rylands Brothers, Limited, wire manufacturers and iron
masters (an iron master is the manager, and
usually owner, of a forge or blast furnace for the processing of iron). He was a J.P. for Cheshire and Lancashire.
Another house he
lived in was Massey Hall in Thelwall,
which he left to the local authority for educational purposes. He died
on 8 February 1887
|Two other photos I would like to show you.
Ring O' Bells pub on Longshaw Street has had various names over its
lifetime, including The Longshaw Bell and The Primrose. It is now
permanently shut down and, I believe, destined for demolition and redevelopment.
The photo, right, was taken on 28 June 2012.
|The second photo shows Revelation Shirts factory
on Bewsey Street before demolition. The photo was taken on 9 November
2006. A Warrington
Worldwide forum discussion brought to light other shirt
manufacturers in the town. One company was MacArthur Beattie on Owen
Street off Winwick Road, with another, Burton's, said to be located on
Knutsford Road/Wilderspool Causeway. If anybody can enlighten me on any
of those names, email me.
Howley is one of the oldest
parts of the town and is linked with Fairfield for local authority
election purposes. The estimated population in 2017 was 11,049, of which
2,128 (19.7%) were children, 7,514 (67.6%) of working age and older
people 65+ at 1,407 (12.7%). The total population of the unitary
authority of Warrington is 209,704.
The name comes from two Old
English words “holh” and “leah” and means “hollow meadow”.
It was in fact the centre of the town in Anglo Saxon times. The main
street is Church Street leading to Manchester Road.
Parish Church of St Elphin (or simply the Parish Church, as it is known locally) was
founded in 642 AD and built out of wood alongside the north to south
Roman road, which crossed the Mersey at this point. It was later rebuilt and enlarged in the 19th century. The
church is dominated by its 281 feet (86 m) high spire.
| The Church of England
traces its roots back to the early church, but its specifically Anglican
identity and its links to the State date back to the Reformation of the
Henry VIII started
the process of creating the Church of England after his split with
the Pope in the 1530s.
Henry was anxious to ensure a male heir
after his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, had borne him only a
daughter. He wanted his marriage annulled in order to remarry. In 1534
after several attempts to persuade the Pope to grant an annulment, Henry
passed the Act of Succession and then the Act of Supremacy. These
recognised that the King was "the only supreme head of the Church
of England called Anglicana Ecclesia". Henry adopted the title
given to him by the Pope in 1521, that of Defender of the Faith. (Information BBC website.)
Close to the Parish
Church was Warrington Castle on Mote
The Mount, as it was also known, was the largest motte and
bailey castle in Lancashire. It was placed about thirty feet above
sea-level and approx. 250 yards from the north bank of the Mersey. It
commanded the ancient ford and routes to it. There is little doubt that
the castle was the residence of the manorial lords of Warrington until
their removal to Bewsey Hall. The castle is mentioned as such in 1228,
when William Pincerna was granted timber for its repair.
At the beginning of the 20th century, only the northern part
of the motte mound and ditch and a vague outline of the ditch of the
bailey on the northeast of the motte remained. Earlier accounts indicate
that the mound was oval, 162 feet NW-SE and 129 feet NE-SE, and nine
feet high, with a flat top, 90 feet in diameter. A ditch, partly water
filled, once surrounded the motte. The bailey was formed by a ditch,
averaging six feet deep in 1908, but as late as 1819 there had been
traces of a substantial rampart-bank. The mound was excavated in 1832.
On its top was a circular depression, about a foot deep, filled with carbonised
reeds, straw and brushwood mixed with bones and decayed animal refuse. A
pit of conical form contained ashes and burnt bones. Some distance from
this fireplace, a well was found, lined with wood, and filled with
earth. In the section of animal and vegetable matter at the bottom, were
found early medieval potsherds (ceramic material), part of a horse-shoe,
a curved knife-blade said to be Saxon, a fragment of a quern
simple hand mill for grinding corn),
iron nails, a bronze fibula (a
brooch or clasp)
described as Saxon, Roman amphora sherds (fragments of pottery), an
earthenware button, fused lead and two crude chess pieces of jet. These
latter have attracted a great number of literary references and have
been variously described as the 9th-, 10th- and 12th- centuries, (Arch.
Journal 1852, 1853, 1856) but there is not much evidence for a
pre-Norman dating (VCH 1906).
Above the hollow was a layer of vegetable soil, with
boulder-stones forming a rough pavement on it. A silver penny of Henry
III was associated with this pavement. Above the stones was a layer of
clay, earth and sand, three feet thick containing a number of
17th-century military and other relics. Tradition has always said that
the mound was raised higher by the Parliamentarians besieging the town
in 1643 to place a cannon on it, and these finds confirm it. No evidence
to suggest that stone walling replaced the original wooden palisading
was found. Several massive timber beams and a few squared stones were
found in the mound but their original position is not recorded. In 1841
the site was partly levelled to erect the Clergy Orphan's School and was
further mutilated in 1851 when the school was enlarged. The school was
removed in 1905.
There are no extant remains of the motte and bailey. The
site is occupied by a public park and waste ground marking the area
where the school formerly stood.
A small mound, with stone walling around the base, was
erected at SJ 6162 8851 to mark the site of the motte, by Warrington
Corporation. The finds made in 1832 are stored in Warrington Museum with
the exception of the 'curved knife-blade': Accn. Nos. 1559-85 and 832-3.
A copper boss was found in 1929 in making tennis courts here (F1 RWE
An exploratory excavation to the east of St. Elphin's church revealed
that the motte, composed of sand within a retaining wall of turf backed
with clay, had been destroyed to within one foot of the original peat
ground surface. The ditches, 110ft. wide, had been retained by timber
piling. The wet conditions, the 19th-century destruction and the
overlying build-up rendered the excavations unsatisfactory in terms of
finds and structures (Hill 1972). (PastScape)
about Mote Hill is reproduced from http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/English%20sites/3508.html
inform me that the creator of the Gatehouse passed away in 2018,
and passed the copyright to the castle studies group http://www.castlestudiesgroup.org.uk/.
Reproduction here is as “reasonable
reuse for education purposes”. Please respect that if you re-use the
notes by referencing the source.
A fair had been held at Howley since medieval times. It
included stalls, horse racing and greasy poles, which stayed their
course until 1859 when the fair was banned. Warrington Market first
received its Royal Charter on 20 September 1255 when King Henry III permitted the 7th Baron of Warrington, Sir William Fitz
Almeric le Boteler to hold an annual three-day fair at his manor of Warrington. Every year on the eve, day and morrow of St Thomas the
Martyr. The Charter also granted permission for a market on Wednesdays.
The town in those days was known as Wherington. Charters were granted by
the crown as rewards to barons and landowners for services rendered to
the Sovereign. When the original market started in 1255, the total
population of Warrington was about 600.
On 5 November 1277,
William asked King Edward for permission to hold a Friday market and an
8-day fair on the eve, day and morrow of St Andrew the Apostle (30
November). A third Charter of 1285 gave permission for a weekly market
on Wednesdays and to extend the July fair by five days.
On 3 March 1367, an
application was made to the Black Prince to hold two fairs every year
in the village of Latchford, on the eve and day of St John Before the
Latin Gate (possibly on 5 and 6 May). What it shows is that there was
never really just one market in the town - we had the horse market,
butter market, cattle market, a market on Church Street, etc. Horsemarket
Street and Buttermarket Street are named after the markets held on their
more in the Warrington Market page.
1648 Oliver Cromwell stayed at the Spotted Leopard pub, which stood next
to the black and white building that is now the Cottage Restaurant on
Spotted Leopard was more recently called The General Wolfe, but it has
now been converted into a private residence (image, right).
played a large part in the district’s history. Leather tanning was
first recorded in 1633 and became a major industry in the 19th century,
especially around Bishop’s Wharf alongside the River Mersey where
Riverside Retail Park stands today. Sailcloth was manufactured in the
area. In fact, Warrington cloth was responsible for taking Nelson to
Trafalgar and in 1831 it was said that half of the sailcloth
the British navy originated in Warrington. One of the biggest industries
of modern times was wire making by the Rylands family who started out in
the sailcloth business. By 1840 Rylands was one of the biggest employers
in the town. Sadly, the wire industry in the town is no more, and a
supermarket stands on the site of the Rylands offices today.
of the old mills and buildings from Howley's industrial past, including
to right: Howley Wharf, sculptures depicting the industry and the only
remaining building of Rylands
Two of the oldest pubs on Church
Street are the Bulls Head (1600s) and the Marquis of Granby (c1660). The
Brickmakers Arms pub was built in 1904 and is on School Brow. For a
period of time it was known as the Candy Bar and The Road House, but no
longer serves as a pub. The Howley Hotel pub is to be found on the
corner of Parr Street and Percival Street. Located at the former
Bishop’s Wharf is the Coach House Brewing Company, established in 1991
following the closure of the Greenall Whitley Brewery which had a
presence in Warrington from 1762. The town's brewing heritage has been
continued by ex-employees committed to the brewing and supply of
hand-crafted cask-conditioned fine ales. Coach House beers have enjoyed
considerable success at the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) and at
other beer festivals and competitions throughout the country, which
bears testimony to the quality and popularity of their products. Link to
their website www.coach-house-brewing.co.uk.
Rector Powys founded the National School on Church Street in
1834 when 532 pupils paid one penny a day to be educated. The school
lasted until 1960 and the front of the building has been retained in the
new housing development on the site. The workhouse, where the sick and
poor were housed, stood next to the Bulls Head pub in the 18th century.
The site was eventually occupied by Thomas Locker’s wire factory,
which has now been replaced by an apartment block.
commemorating James Stanley's visit to Warrington during the Civil War
stone of the Parochial Infants school from 1892
|The Star Kinema picture house used to stand where Apple Court nursing home is today. Read
more in At the Flicks page.
It was previously known as The Owl.
on Parr Street
|The Bridewell was the town’s police station on
Irlam Street from 1820 until 1901 when it relocated to Arpley Street,
where it remains today. A roundabout now stands on the site.
St Mary’s Catholic church on
Buttermarket Street was built in the 1870s on the site of a former
cotton factory. The architect of St Mary’s was Edward Welby Pugin
(1834-75), son of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-52) the famous
Victorian Gothic reviver, who designed the Houses of Parliament.
On his death in 1875, the work was finished by his brother
Cuthbert Welby Pugin
(1840–1928) and half-brother Peter Paul Pugin (1851-1904) (“one of
their finest works” according to The
architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner). The
foundation stone was laid in May 1875; the church opened 30th August 1877.
Howley Suspension Bridge links the district with Victoria Park. It
was originally intended that there should be a bridge made out of cast
to a design by
Thomas Telford (who built the Menai Suspension Bridge that connects
Anglesey to mainland Wales). Telford's proposed bridge was meant to be 60 feet wide
and 150 feet long to help with traffic congestion at Bridge Foot, and
cost £12,000, but due to lack of funds, only a footbridge was built,
costing just £600. The
footbridge was begun in February 1912 by David Rowell
& Co., who were prolific builders of many similar steel
suspension footbridges, and was officially opened on 2 August 1912.
It is a grade II listed monument (listed on 4 April 1975).
Each end has two tapering square piers of open ironwork, with round
arches across the pathway.