Warrington is Not a New Town: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1831) – a brief history of Warrington 79 – 1812

Warrington is Not a New Town

This is the second in a series of posts attempting to redress the balance against perceptions that Warrington, a town with Roman origins that was already a flourishing settlement by Anglo-Saxon times, came into being in the 1960s following its designation as a New Town.

Warrington has a long history of national and international firsts; its inhabitants and short-term residents artists, scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs whose inquiry and energy drove change and prosperity, for the nation as well as the town, until the decline of its industries in the aftermath of the Second World War. Since then, Warrington appears to have turned its back on both its past history and its past achievements, adopting a Year Zero approach to its 1970s status as a New Town.

By transcribing descriptions of Warrington from earlier times I hope to remind people of what our town once was, with some added suggestions as to what it could be again.


In 1831 Samuel Lewis published the first edition of his popular, and many times revised in that rapidly changing period, ‘A Topographical Dictionary of England comprising the Several Counties, Cities, Boroughs, Corporate and Market Towns, Parishes, Chapelries, and Townships and the Islands of Guernsey, Jersey and Man, with Historical and Statistical Descriptions ; Illustrations by Map of the Different Counties and Islands ; a Map of England … and a Plan of London and its Environs …: in Four Volumes’.

The entry for Warrington in Lewis’s Dictionary describes a town Continue reading

Bridge Street Quarter Regeneration – Warrington Market and the Masterplan Framework

Key Outputs

Executive Summary – Key Outputs

To recap – the Masterplan identifies three phases of development:

Phase One
A food store of 6,800sqm (2,600sqm at mezzanine level); a market of 4,356sqm; retail space of 6,270sqm; offices totalling 1,093sqm. An underground car park with 555 parking spaces (200 for food store). Sixty apartments.

Phase Two
A new hotel/JJB/offices/residential block; additional retail space of 1,425sqm; additional offices totalling 4,353 sqm. An additional eighty-five apartments.

Phase Three
A further ninety apartments.

Analysis – Market 4,356sqm

Warrington has been a market town since 1277: originally held at the crossing point of the town’s four main streets, Market Gate; it moved to a large, open space by the heath to the north-west of the town, sometime before 1465. It remained there for just over 500 years when it was moved to its present site, west of Upper Bank Street, in the 1970s and the Victorian Market halls demolished for the Golden Square indoor shopping centre.

The ‘considerable’ market of medieval times was noted for linen cloth, corn, cattle, provisions, and fish, ‘particularly lampreys’. (This latter strength is still evident today with a Warrington stall holder winning Young Fishmonger of the Year in 2010.)  The modern-day market, based in a 1970s purpose-built Market Hall, contains 200 stalls and 130 independent businesses and is claimed by the council on its website to be one of the largest in the North West.

Continue reading