Makerfield is a town in Greater Manchester, England. It is
part of the
Metropolitan Borough of Wigan and is 4.2 miles
(6.8 km) south of the town centre of Wigan. In 2001 it had a
population of 28,505, increasing to 28,762 at the 2011 Census.
Historically a part of Lancashire, Ashton-in-
Makerfield was anciently
a township in the parish of
Newton-in-Makerfield (as Newton-le-Willows
was once known), Winwick and hundred of West Derby. With neighbouring
Makerfield was a chapelry, but the two were split
in 1845. The place has long been a centre for the manufacture of locks
and hinges, but also sits on the
Lancashire Coalfield, and so was a
coal mining district.
1.2 Religious history
1.3 Coal mining and heavy industry
4 Railway transport
5.1 Population change
6 Present day
8 Notable people
9 See also
11 External links
The name Ashton derives from
Old English and means the "farmstead
where the ash-trees grow"; it is a common name and is found locally in
Ashton upon Mersey
Ashton upon Mersey in Trafford. The
town's name was recorded as Eston in 1212. Later, the suffix
"in-Makerfield" was added, which relates the name of the old district
Makerfield of which Ashton was a part;
Makerfield derives from the
Celtic for a wall or ruin and the
Old English word feld, meaning "open
St Thomas' Church of
England parish church on Warrington Road has
ancient origins although the present building is barely over 120 years
old. The graveyard is the resting place of many of the
189 victims of the Wood Pit explosion (at
Haydock on Friday 7
June 1878), the worst coal-mining disaster in
Lancashire at the time.
Hope Church on Heath Road was founded by Protestants from St Thomas'
opposed to the
High Church ideals brought in by a new Vicar in the
1880s. His introduction of
Anglo-Catholic worship caused riots on
Gerard Street and he was initially evicted from the town by a mob of
miners. He returned backed by troops from Liverpool. Banned from
worshipping in the form they had always done, many left and continued
a simpler form of worship in a barn off Ashton Heath. Word of their
plight reached a Miss Catherine Cave-Browne in
London who sent money
for a Protestant Mission to be built. The church was built with the
official title of Cave-Browne Protestant Institute (Christchurch).
Park Lane Chapel (see Unitarianism),
Wigan Road, Bryn, dates back to
1697, although its congregation was founded in 1662. It is the oldest
non-conformist chapel and congregation in the district. By the 19th
century Park Lane was only one of nine non-conformist chapels in the
area. There was a Baptist,
Congregational church (Hilton Street),
Evangelical (Heath Road), Independent, Independent Methodist (Downall
Green Road), Primitive Methodist, Welsh Wesleyan Methodist and English
Wesleyan Methodist chapel.
The Catholic Church of St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith, constructed
in 1935, houses the hand of St
Edmund Arrowsmith (1585–1628).
Coal mining and heavy industry
Makerfield was part of the St. Helens Area of the South
Lancashire Coalfield. The St Helens Area lay to the South West of the
Wigan area and occupied around 60 square miles (160 km2),
skirting Wigan, Warrington, Widnes and to within eight miles
(13 km) of Liverpool.
In 1867 there were 13 collieries in the district of
Ashton-in-Makerfield. Others followed including
Bryn Hall Colliery,
owned by Edward Frederick Crippin, the Mains and Park Lane Collieries.
Park Colliery and some of those open in 1867 (e.g.
remained productive until the 1950s.
A number of Ashton's coal miners made a significant impact on modern
British history, including: Stephen Walsh M.P.; William Kenealy, V.C.
and Lance-Corporal in the 1st
Lancashire Fusiliers; and Joe Gormley,
President of the National Union of Mineworkers in the 1970s and 1980s.
In the late 19th century, the district was described by one observer
as having "extensive collieries, cotton mills and potteries", and
famed for the manufacture of "hinges, locks, files and nails".
Mills such as the Record Mill (Spinning), situated in York Road, and
Makerfield Mill (the 'Weaving Shed'), in Windsor Road, took over
from home-working. Similarly, Thomas Crompton & Sons in Gerard
Street, which would eventually employ around 1,200 workers,
superseded the subcontracting system that sustained substantial
numbers of locally based blacksmiths and other craftsmen.
As recently as the 1970s the district of Ashton-in-
Makerfield had one
of the highest proportions of derelict land, mainly in the form of
spoil tips, left over from coal mining. Major land reclamation
schemes have since completely transformed the area.
Makerfield Town Hall (demolished in 2017)
Before 1894 Ashton-in-
Makerfield was a township in the parish of
Winwick, part of the West Derby Hundred of Lancashire. By an Act in
1845 and the division of the Parish of Winwick, Holy Trinity Church,
Downall Green, was made the principal parish church and St. Thomas'
made a parish church in the same Act, both being part of the Diocese
of Liverpool. By the
Local Government Act 1894
Local Government Act 1894 Ashton-in-Makerfield
was made an urban district.
In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the district was split
administratively with Seneley Green Parish, containing Garswood,
Pewfall and Downall Green, going to the Metropolitan Borough of St
Helens in Merseyside, and the rest going to the Metropolitan Borough
Wigan in Greater Manchester.
The section of Ashton-in-
Makerfield within the Metropolitan Borough of
Wigan creates the
Bryn & Ashton Township, consisting of the six
'neighbourhoods' of Bryn, Ashton, Ashton Heath, Landgate, Stubshaw
Cross and Town Green, and one of the ten areas into which Wigan
Metropolitan Borough has been divided for consultation purposes. Each
township has a forum, with some influence over the provision of
Makerfield consists of the following sections. Town Green,
Stubshaw Cross and Bryn, with
Garswood and Downall Green in the Parish
of Seneley Green.
The west of Ashton-in-
Makerfield is part of St Helens, in Merseyside.
The east section lies in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, in Greater
Manchester. It is wholly included in the Liverpool Urban Area.
Makerfield railway station, which was situated off Lodge
Lane in neighbouring Haydock, opened in 1900 as part of the Great
Central Railway and closed in 1952. The town is now served by two
Bryn railway station and
Garswood railway station, both on
the line between
Wigan North Western railway station and Liverpool
Lime Street railway station.
Bryn station is closer to Ashton than
other stations in the
United Kingdom which have been (and are)
"labelled" as serving their towns, such as
Tring railway station
Tring railway station which
is between one-and-a half and two miles from the centre of Tring.
Further information: Demography of Greater Manchester
Population growth in Ashton-in-
Makerfield since 1901
Source: A Vision of Britain through Time
Ashton Market, Ashton-in-Makerfield
A market is held on the market square off
Garswood Street on Tuesdays
Ashton's local semi-pro football clubs are
Ashton Athletic F.C.
Ashton Athletic F.C. and
Ashton Town A.F.C..
Garswood United F.C. is also nearby.
Crompton's, the hinge and fasteners making factory in
Ashton-in-Makerfield, has closed and is now demolished. A shopping
centre called the Gerard Centre now stands in its place.
The Hingemaker's Arms public house, on Heath Road, is the only one in
the world known to carry that name. It was run by the Corless family
for decades until Walter Corless' retirement in 2006. The Hinge, as it
is known by its clientele, is now owned and operated by a consortium
of local businessmen.
The site now occupied by Byrchall and St
Edmund Arrowsmith high
schools was the location of a
Second World War
Second World War P.O.W. camp, Camp 50.
Makerfield has three secondary schools: Cansfield High
Byrchall High School and St
Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High
In November 2008,
Wigan council released proposals to merge Cansfield
High and Byrchall High into one school.
People either born or brought up in Ashton-in-Makerfield, or have had
some significant connection with the town during their life, include:
June Croft, Ashton-born swimmer, won silver and bronze medals in the
1980 and 1984 Olympics respectively
Joe Gormley, president of the National Union of Mineworkers,
Ian Gregson, Paralympic athlete 1984 & 1988, author
Harold Wood, runner at the Olympic Games in 1928, 1932 and 1936
Helen Don-Duncan, Attended
Cansfield High School and went on to win a
Bronze Medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and competed at the 2000
AJ Makin, Ashton-born Actor, featured in The Hooligan Factory
Kym Marsh, member of the band
Hear'Say and subsequently Coronation
Les Hart, footballer and football manager, born 1917. Served Bury
Football Club in several capacities starting as player and club
captain, for 44 years. In 2010
Bury F.C. renamed their south stand at
Gigg Lane the
Les Hart Stand in his honour.
Greater Manchester portal
List of mining disasters in Lancashire
Listed buildings in Ashton-in-Makerfield
Wigan Core Strategy 2013 (PDF),
Wigan Council, 30 September 2013,
retrieved 12 February 2014
^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 9 January 2016.
^ Mills, A.D. (2003), A Dictionary of British Place-Names: Ashton,
Oxford: Oxford University Press,
ISBN 0-19-852758-6 (subscription required)
^ source: Coal Mining History Resource Centre
^ Bartholomew, John (1887), Gazetteer of the British Isles,
^ source: Longman Atlas of Modern British History (1978)
^ "Census 2001 Key Statistics - Urban area results by population size
of urban area", ons.gov.uk, Office for National Statistics, KS01 Usual
resident population , 22 July 2004, retrieved 22 September 2009
James, Gary (2005), The Official
Manchester City Hall of Fame, Hamlyn,
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ashton-in-Makerfield.
Makerfield Community Information
The history of Coal-mining in Ashton-in-Makerfield
Ceremonial county of Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester Portal
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See also: List of civil parishes in Greater Manchester
Parliamentary constituencies and Members of Parliament
Population of major settlements
Grade I listed buildings
Grade II* listed buildings