clgc clock rainbow

20211114 CLHG Report Fasting Ladies

Fasting Girls by Brian Joyce.

On the dull Autumn evening of 11th November 2021, a goodly number of members of Culcheth Local History Group assembled in person in the well ventilated hall of The Village Centre and many kept on their outer coats in the ‘brisk’ atmosphere of the ‘Covid-19 precautions’ to hear a most interesting talk on how some folk, mainly ladies, in Europe claimed to exist without sustenance of normal food of water.

Our speaker developed his subject by telling us of the middle ages and the mindset of all European people at that time being thoroughly versed in a Christian based world view where spiritual matters were of great concern, and unusual events were looked at through the lens of a religious background.

Brian Joyce then intruded us to Catherine of Siena and her history and claimed periods of fasting beyond normal starvation time while only obtaining very small sustenance from the Christian rituals of wine in the daily act of remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ. A little biscuit and water being sufficient to maintain life.

Her devotion and life eventually led to the Roman Catholic Church making her a Saint and doctor of the church.

Photo of Catherine of Siena.

St. Catharineof Siena 512px Giovanni Battista Tiepolo 096


Giovanni Battista Tiepolo: English: St. Catherine of Siena
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696–1770)
English: St. Catherine of Siena
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions  oval: 70 x 52 cm Rahmenmaße: 83,5 x 66,5 x 6,5 cm
Collection: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie
Source/Photographer Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Bilddatenbank.

Ex wikipediacommons.

Short summary of Catherine of Siena. Ex wikipedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Catherine of Siena

Catherine of Siena (25 March 1347 – 29 April 1380), a lay member of the Dominican Order, was a mystic, activist, and author who had a great influence on Italian literature and the Catholic Church. Canonized in 1461, she is also a Doctor of the Church.

She was born and raised in Siena, and at an early age wanted to devote herself to God, against the will of her parents. She joined the "mantellate," a group of pious women, primarily widows, informally devoted to Dominican spirituality. Her influence with Pope Gregory XI played a role in his decision to leave Avignon for Rome. She was then sent by him to negotiate peace with Florence. After Gregory XI's death and peace was concluded, she returned to Siena. She dictated to secretaries her set of spiritual treatises The Dialogue of Divine Providence. The Great Schism of the West led Catherine of Siena to go to Rome with the pope. She sent numerous letters to princes and cardinals to promote obedience to Pope Urban VI and defend what she calls the "vessel of the Church." She died on 29 April 1380, exhausted by her rigorous fasting. Urban VI celebrated her funeral and burial in the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome.

With a retinue about her constantly changing, the fasting can never be proven to have been rigorous or continuous but her eventual death by a wasting body implies a less than adequate diet at some periods of her life.

Canonisation of Catherine , article on a website blog with pictures.

 Catheine canonisation image 2canoni10














Canonisation of Catherine

Catherine Head in Siena cathedral head0

The St Catherine Head preserved in Siena Cathedral.
Head picture.

The phenomenon of Anorexia Mirabilis had started.


The next notable one being Lidwina of Schiedam, and our speaker then took us thought many other fasting girls including those in the British Isles, one in Wales and one in Culcheth.

Welsh fasting girl Sarah Jacob.

Her tale leads to many interpretations partly of religious and partly of potential fraud (was she a ‘night eater’ in the dairy and kitchen area of her house) and the ultimate trial of her parents for not feeding her.

The speaker has diagrams of the house with attached milking shed which showed how easy it was to move from bed to a food store.
He intergrated a moment of humour when a 'watcher' sent to determine if food was provided or taken during night hours proved to be a local drunk.

The story is summarised in a Wikipedia article.

Biography ex link:
Sarah Jacob was born at Lletherneaudd, near Pencader, Carmarthenshire, the daughter of a farmer. Among her family, she was known by the pet name "Sal". From the age of ten, she was said to have gone without food for long periods but without any apparent effect on her health. Her parents began to receive visitors and to display the child to them, claiming that she had not eaten for many months; by the time she died, she was said to have gone without food for a total of 113 weeks. When the news of her supposed fasting reached the national press, an article on the subject was published in The Lancet, and eventually a team of four nurses was sent to the house to observe her and see whether she was secretly eating and drinking. They began their observations on 9 December 1869, and the girl died just over a week later. During the period the nurses were present, no one attempted to feed her. An autopsy performed after her death found generally healthy anatomy and fat tissue, as well as faeces low in her intestines, indicating that she had been consuming food up until the start of the last observation period.

Trial of her parents.

Sarah Jacobs parents external contentduckduckgocom JPEG






Sarah Jacobs parents  


Welsh Legal History Society.
Cymdeithas Hanes Cyfraith Cymru.

This website of historical Welsh Legal History illustrates the measures of the day and its widespread reporting. The trial found her parents had failed in the duty to keep her alive, and their religious sworn oath that they would not feed her unless she deliberately asked for food was found to be a lesser duty than the legal duty of parents to support their offspring. Their legal duty came above their religious beliefs.


Quote from a local newspaper.

The report from the Tivy-side Advertiser, July 15th 1870, of the trial of Evan and Hannah Jacob, the parents of Sarah Jacob, at the Carmarthenshire assizes.

Trial of the parents of the welsh fasting girl for manslaughter.

These Assizes were opened in Carmarthen on Tuesday evening last, before the Hon. Sir James Hannen, Knight. There were but few cases entered for hearing, and the whole interest and excitement of the assize naturally centred in the trial of Evan and Hannah Jacob, the parents of the Welsh Fasting Girl. The following brief recapitulation of the facts of this remarkable case may perhaps be not uninteresting to our readers.

“Mr. Michael, on the part of the female prisoner, submitted that the indictment against Mrs. Jacob could not be sustained, as there was no duty on the part of the mother to supply food to the child while the father was living.

Mr. Giffard said it was not a question of duty to supply food, but wilful refusal to exercise that duty.”

This site shown below allows you to view the court records easily:


ksnip 20211112 164625 EXTRACT court document The WelshFastingGirl Welsh Library Archives PNGpng














 Evidence of eating was given in the post mortem examination report.

There was also the evidence from the post mortem of some food being taken during the supposed months of fasting .

A) Now available at link
The Lancet, Volume 96, Issue 2448, 30 July 1870, Pages 150-152  [NOTE: PDF is behind an expensive paywall.]
“Remarks in reference to the presence of fat and absence of attenuation of the intestines in the body of Sarah Jacob, the "welsh fasting girl."

B) There is also a full PDF of the medical evidence available from the BMJ
“A Continuance of the Case of the Welsh Fasting Girl
With an Account of the Post Mortem Appearances, by Thomas Lewis; Copyright BMJ.

 Sarah Jacob











The popular press has a field day with this story.


Parents sent to trial.

Defence Brief.

The brief for the defence is available in the Welsh National Library
“Brief for the defence in the case heard at the Carmarthenshire Assizes, July 1870, against Evan and
Hannah Jacob of Llanfihangel-ar-arth, co. Carmarthen, for the manslaughter of their daughter, Sarah
Jacob (1857-69), the 'Welsh Fasting Girl'; the brief includes transcripts of depositions by witnesses, taken before the magistrates at Llandysul, and of related correspondence.”

Trial result.

In July 1870, Sarah's parents, Evan and Hannah Jacob, were brought to trial at Carmarthenshire Assizes, accused of manslaughter. They were monoglot Welsh speakers, and the court proceedings had to be translated for them. They pleaded not guilty, but were convicted and received prison sentences.

An alternative Welsh Library website for linked papers with pictures of the archival documents.

Handwritten attestation, reports and trail observations
Attribution: Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru –

This site allows you to view the court records easily:

The handwritten documents are in English, and with a magnifying glass readable in a browser; OR
by clicking inside the picture of the document page it is enlarged.


  Modern thoughts.      Perhaps some modern problems with the trial.

All of the above to modern persons indicates a total absence of consideration of the parent’s then actual relationship with their religion and language and culture, by the trial process:
    The parents were monoglot Welsh speakers.
    All proceedings were in English under English law..
    The court discounted their extreme consideration that a religious duty and swore oath in their culture were higher than the ‘Foreign Language
          Law’ under which they were tried.
     The mother using the consideration that she had no duty as long as a male (the father) was the household head.

Modern thoughts on avoiding extreme drudgery.

Was the girl using her illness to dodge the hard work on the family farm, which would be normal for offspring at their time, with connivance from her sister? Did the dodge became a way of life?



  Mollie Fancher

The speaker then referenced and illustrated the “Brooklyn Fasting Girl”
How the incidents were multiplied by the press, and thus visitors and others became interested and the thing became a USA national incident.

 Mollie Fancher in bed

Mollie Fancher in bed

Mary J. "Mollie" Fancher (August 16, 1848 – February, 1916), otherwise known as the "Brooklyn Enigma", was extremely well known for her claim of not eating or eating very little for extended periods of time. She attended a reputable school and, by all reports, was an excellent student. At age 16, she was diagnosed with dyspepsia. At around the age of 19, reports came out that she had abstained from eating for seven weeks.

It was after two accidents, in 1864 and 1865, that she became famous for her ability to abstain from food. As a result of the accidents, Mollie Fancher lost her ability to see, touch, taste, and smell. She claimed to have powers that involved her being able to predict events as well as to read without the ability of sight.

By the late 1870s, she was claiming to eat little or nothing at all for many months. Her claim to abstinence from food lasted for 14 years. Doctors and people in the public began to question her abilities and wished to perform tests to determine the truthfulness of her claims. The claims to abstinence were never verified and she died in February 1916.

The events and her life have generated a lot of books, websites and articles.


The speaker then returned to more local events in the UK.

Tutbury. Ann Moore

Ann Moore (31 October 1761 – 1813) was an English woman who became notorious as the fasting-woman of Tutbury. From 1807 to 1813, she claimed to have eaten nothing at all, but her claims were eventually shown to be a hoax.


The conclusion in the Wikipedia article was:
Some modern historians view her actions as an early form of social protest, while others view it as simple fraud.

Extract from report.
In the summer of 1812, Alexander Henderson (1780–1863) Physician to the Westminster General Dispensary, wrote an able Examination of the imposture, showing the inconsistencies and absurdities of the woman's statements, and the curious parallel between the case and that of Anna M. Kinker, a girl of Osnabrück, who practised a similar imposture in Germany in 1800. Henderson reported that Ann claimed to have not eaten solid food for "upwards of five years" and had not drunk liquid for four years. She claimed that she did not pass urine or any other matter.

The watch over the girl.
In 1813, Ann reluctantly agreed to another watch, [EDIT: over her feeding] this time supervised by local writer and clergyman Legh Richmond. She was reportedly reluctant to participate, and particularly objected to the regular weigh-ins. The watch began on 21 April 1813, by 30 April 1813, Moore was visibly emaciated and feverish, and her daughter was forced to stop the study.
Further investigation of Moore's bedsheets showed evidence of excreta and fluids. She initially stood by her story, but later recanted. Evidence suggested her daughter had been smuggling in food via various means, including by putting a towel soaked with broth over her mother's mouth and conveyed food from her mouth to her mother's while kissing her.
She died a few months afterwards, aged 53 years.

Modern thoughts.
Some modern historians view her actions as an early form of social protest, while others view it as simple fraud.


Then our speaker told of local village events in Lancashire and Culcheth.

A Culcheth doctor and a fasting girl made the news throughout the UK.

The tale of this local fasting girl Sarah Sudworth and the local doctor writing to The British Medical Journal to avoid any change of criminality by neglect of duty made the news in England, perhaps he doctor wrote to avoid any suspicion of his neglect of patents that might lead to charges as in the Welsh fasting girl case.

For the events see

On January 4th 1870, Dr. R. Sephton left his house in Culcheth, travelling about a mile to the house of the Sudworths to treat their daughter, Ellen. Dr Sephton attended to his young patient, finding she had developed a fever. He diagnosed Ellen with febricula and debility and saw her a few more times over the next couple of months while he administered treatment. By March, Ellen had fully recovered, to the relief of her family. However, this relief was short-lived since they noticed that Ellen had developed a severe case of melancholia, which showed no signs of dissipating. A year later, in June 1871, the family called Dr Sephton to once again attend to their daughter who was suffering with headaches; six weeks later she had completely lost her voice. Ellen spent the next five years in a state of catatonia, sleeping frequently and keeping nourished only with soups and milk-puddings. Late in the year of 1875, Ellen developed additional symptoms: she could not open her eyes and blood poured from her eyelids and mouth. Six weeks later, Ellen suddenly sat up and began to speak, for the first time in nearly five years.

The report on this case is told by Dr Sephton in the 11 March issue of the British Medical Journal, titled ‘The Fasting Girl in Lancashire.’ Following the retelling of the above story, Sephton offers his diagnosis, which had remained unchanged through the past five years. Ellen Sudworth, claims Dr Sephton, has had a clear-cut case of hysteria.


Refer the 11 March 1876 issue of the British Medical Journal, titled ‘The Fasting Girl in Lancashire.’
Where there is an image of the report.

 ksnip 20211112 172133 Extract BMJ articlePNG












The speaker outlined how out of these and similar cases came the terms “Anorexia Nervosa”, and “Anorexia Mirabilis”,

and a study of refusal of food which today might include the cases of Buimia nervosa due to concieved bad body image.


Anorexia mirabilis,

Anorexia mirabilis, also known as holy anorexia or inedia prodigiosa or colloquially as fasting girls is an eating disorder, similar to that of anorexia nervosa.



Other linked events in Asia have been called in India & other places ”Inedia”
Inedia (Latin for 'fasting') or breatharianism is the claimed ability for a person to live without consuming food, and in some cases water.

Breatharians claim that food (and sometimes water) is not necessary for survival, and that humans can be sustained solely by prana, the vital life force in Hinduism. According to Ayurveda, sunlight is one of the main sources of prana, and some practitioners believe that it is possible for a person to survive on sunlight alone. The terms breatharianism or inedia may also be used when it is practised as a lifestyle in place of a usual diet.

See note below on a 1999 UK occurance.

The audience were enthralled at this vivid talk about events which happened in the past but were not in our current knowledge.

Our group give our heartfelt thanks to Brian Joyce for his research and bringing together these events as a talk.


A "recent" related death in the UK.

1999 Scottish case (Belief of ability to survive without food)

Survival method. Ms Linn's writing's revealed she had practised "breatharianism" - a survival method which relies on light and taking only tiny amounts of food and liquid.
Police believe a woman found dead in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands may have starved herself as part of her religious beliefs. A diary belonging to Australian-born Verity Linn suggested she had been fasting to fulfill the rules of a ritual normally practised by Tibetan monks.
Her naked body was found on 16 September by a fisherman on the west coast of Sutherland near Loch Cam. It is understood Ms Linn - thought to be in her 40s - worked for the new-age community of the Findhorn Foundation at Cluny Hill College in Forres.
Her diary recorded her last days as she refused to eat or drink, believing it would "spiritually cleanse" her body and "recharge her both physically and mentally."


List of references to these events and others for your perusal.

Anorexia nervosa

Catherine of Siena

Canonisation of St Catherine article link. Picture of head.

Lidwina of Schiedam

Multiple Sclerosis

Lives of Catholic Saints Bollandist

Fasting Girl

Welsh fasting girl Sarah Jacob

Trial of Sarah Jacob’s parents

Presence of fat in intestines of Welsh fasting Girl at post mortem examination.
link (Behind a Paywall)


Odd reference
Eugene Taylor, The Mystery of Personality, A History of Psychodynamic Theories

Mollie Fancher–The Brooklyn Enigma .
(Brief story of Mollie Francher)

 Anorexia Mirabilis,


Writer's comments.

Comment on Medieval fasting.
What is a fasting girl?

Fasting Girls were girls or women in the Middle Ages who were said to eat little or nothing and yet live. These girls were also sometimes said not to defecate or sweat or menstruate. This was thought of as miraculous as well as curious, and these women and girls drew a lot of attention from regular people and the church. People came to see them, give them money, learn what God had revealed to them (if anything), and basically treated them as if they were holy, if curious, persons.

Important note about avoiding enforced marriages of the time.
Some of these fasting women sought to escape marriage, or were dealing with other issues of suffering in their lives that seemed to manifest in extreme behaviours. Perhaps their often extreme focus on receiving the Eucharist as an actual (and only) meal came from some inner compulsion to deal with the troubles of their lives. Regardless, these women were both feared and admired.




20211015 Book Publication “They shall not grow old…”  by Zoe Chaddock

Culcheth Local History Group Publications.

Zoe Chaddock a member of Culcheth Local History Group has spent many years researching the persons listed
on the war memorial at Newchurch Parish Church in Culcheth.

The resultant book was published in 2020.

“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old”

with a subtitle of “A Memorial to Culcheth's War Dead”.

The author Zoe Chaddock has used original sources from:

Wigan Archives and Local Studies;
Warrington Archives, Culture Warrington;
Culcheth Local History Group,

to unearth the stories and details of those on the war memorial.


The book is well illustrated with personal photographs and news cuttings of the time and other memorabilia relevant
to the persons such as regimental badges and family items.

Drawings by Fiona Finchett.

Drawings of Newchurch Parish Church with its war memorial are on the front and back covers of the book are by
  the artist Fiona Finchett who was responsible for the illustrations and design of the book.


The book covers are reproduced below.

Front cover of book "They shall not grow old"  by Zoe Chadock































Photo of Book front cover.

The book takes its title from the well known poem by lancastrian Lawrence Binyon’s poem, where lines 13 to 16 comprising the fourth of seven verses are in use during commemoration services to those who died in war.

[Robert Laurence Binyon, CH (10 August 1869 – 10 March 1943)]


  Lawrence Binyon’s poem


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.     (lines 13–16)




The book lists thirty four war dead. Thirty from World War I inscribed on the memorial and
four war dead buried in Newchurch Church yard of soldiers who died post war between November 1918 and September 1921.


In appendices there are:
Appendix ii: A photo and note on the Culcheth Cottage Homes, for children from the Salford Workhouse and Infirmary
during attempts to improve the lot of pauper children in the Salford area.  

  [NOTE, Website is NOT  a secure https:// website]

Appendix i: A note on the World War I war medals issued to those who served during the war.


Names on the War Memorial.

The war memorial commemorates the residents of Culcheth who were killed or missing in
World War I (30 names) and World War II (13 names).

 Culcheth War memorial photo 2 CC by SA Alexander P Kapp 9096110113204320























Culcheth War memorial photo 2 CC by SA Alexander P Kapp 9096110113204320

Picture of war memorial


The named persons in the book.

“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old” are:

 The listed names in the book:

James Barrow

Thomas Henry Boardman

James Booke (Book)

George Budd

Jack Richard Charnock

Bertram Edgar Clare

Joshua Richard Cleworth

Charles Henry Cryer

George Daintith

Frank Falkner *

Thomas Gibbons

William Goodyear

John Green

Joseph Stanley Halliwell

Ebenezer Henderson

John William Henshaw

James Hesford

Lester Hill

Harold Houghton

Edwin Johnson

Alfred Lawton

Edwin Leatherbarrow

George Locke *

William Mason

Arthur Monks *

Thomas James Pownall

 William Smith

Dick Taylor

Fred Thompson

Walter Unsworth

Thomas Waters

William Whittle

William Wilson

Hugh Arthur Wood *

[ * Persons buried in Newchurch Churchyard.]


Photo showing the names.

Culcheth War memorial WW1 fallen photo names JPG JPG





































Culcheth War memorial WW1 fallen photo names JPG JPG



Back cover of book "They shall not grow old"






























Back cover of book "They shall not grow old"

Back cover of Book.




Copies of the book are for sale at the local Culcheth bookshop,

“Forget-me-not toys and books, where the staff will be most pleased to help you.

Data for purchase.

Bookshop Price £5.00; (GBP5.00); No VAT applicable in UK.
Post and packing extra.

Please enquire by email to “Forget-Me-Not Toys and Books”, for delivery costs to UK addresses, and
for postal delivery DDU (Delivery Duty and Tax Unpaid) to non-UK places.

Bookshop Address.
Forget-Me-Not Toys and Books,
Upper Floor, CPS Centre, Common Lane, Culcheth, Warrington, WA3 4EH, England


Facebook page:

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +44 (0) 1925 766 702
Messaging: a message can be sent from within their Facebook page under ‘send message’ .


Other reference websites:

 The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Lancahire Regiments.

The Lancashire Infantry Museum Summary:

 The Lancashire Infantry Museum houses one of the largest and most important Infantry Regimental collections in the country.

The Collection
The extensive displays, archive and military history library illustrate the fascinating story of the East, South and Loyal North Lancashire Regiments and their antecedents from earliest foundation in 1689 to the achievements of the ‘Lancashire Lads’ of the 21st Century.

In all no less than 120 separate units are recorded, including the 59 battalions formed by the antecedent regiments during the First World War, and all associated Militia, Rifle Volunteers, Territorials, Home Guard and Cadet units.

Affiliated Museums
The Regimental Collection also has permanent displays in affiliated museums throughout the County Palatine of Lancashire, including:

Museum of Lancashire, Preston
Blackburn Museum
Towneley Hall, Burnley
Warrington Museum


Warrington Museum Archives.





 REPORT Visit to Wigan and Leigh Archives at Leigh Town Hall.

2021-09-02 Leigh Archives Visit, Wigan Archives

First Physical Meeting.

Our group had its first physical meting of people in the Culcheth Local History Group since February 2020,  at start of lockdown period as part of precautions against spread of Coronovius and its disease Covid-19. in a visit to Leigh Town Hall, which houses the Wigan and Leigh Archives.

Our first physical meeting since March 2020

It was a grand experience to meet other people socially while maintaining social distance and face coverings to enable a safe visit. A change from meeting people via internet on a voice call or video call over a smartphone or computing device.

Our group of about 18 persons was split up into two smaller groups of 9 on a visit to The Wigan Archives held in the old Leigh Town Hall.

Reconstruction of Leigh Town Hall.

The old original Leigh Town Hall has been reconstructed while preserving the external appearance and many internal specially designed rooms, furnishings and features.


Group Tour.

Each group had a conducted tour of the building and the specially designed archive facility, which is two stories high and holds modern roller rack shelving containing the indexed archives by subject.  The redesign and reconstruction of the premises allowed the archives in the basement to utilise the floors above by rebuilding an internal high vault space  containg three archive rooms, while preserving the external facade and utilising the external facade shops as a show room for exhibitions facing the street windows and tourable  by internal visitors.

These secure rooms are built like bank safes being sealed and locked rooms with temperature and humidity controls to preserve the enclosed documents.

Some of our party were able to move the shelving by by both manual turning of a gear wheel system and the more recent file room where the turning and moving is done by an eletric motor started by a push button.


 Refurbished Building.

The Wigan and Leigh Archives were temporarily moved to the Turnpike Centre (Leigh Library) while their main location at the Leigh Town Hall, a grade II-listed building, underwent refurbishment, and the archives were gradually returned to the Archive Centre at Leigh Town Hall after the resulting new special purpose high (two storey) archive rooms were built into the refurbished space.

Wigan Council secured a £1.3m investment from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the “Revealing Wigan Archives” project which included the refurbishment of the town hall.

Link to National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Leigh Journal photo 2018 of the start of restoration project imgID150967164jpggallery JPG

Leigh Journal photo 2018 of the start of restoration project imgID150967164jpggallery JPG



 Leigh Journal photo 2018 of the start of restoration project when the Ntional Lottery Heritage Fund 
award was made and thus the project 'properly' started.



 Leigh town Hall


Town hall photograph by “J3Mrs”. This is a photo of listed building number 1163007 by “J3Mrs”

Further listed details are lower down this page.
User:J3Mrs (, „Leigh town Hall“,

User:J3Mrs, Leigh town Hall, CC BY-SA 3.0


Opening Lilian Lockwood from the U3A quilters group cuts the ribbon at Leigh Town Hall from Wigan Today report QVNIMTIxMzAwMzM4 JPG 


The Leigh Town Hall photograph on re-opening courtesy of © Wigan Today

 Opening the refurbished Town Hall. Lilian Lockwood from the Leigh U3A Quilters Group cuts the ribbon at Leigh Town Hall
from Wigan Today report QVNIMTIxMzAwMzM4- .JPG © Wigan today

New Facilities.

 The new facilities include a new search room with improved access to collections, a conservation studio for repairing and digitising archives and state-of-the-art strongrooms for storing and preserving the borough’s 800 years of archives and historic records.


This gave three temperature and humidity controlled fireproof internal double height archive rooms (like large bank style safes) fitted from the basement going upwards through the old ground story to the first storey of the former Leigh Town Hall. Moveable storage racks of such a height require forklift personal trucks to allow humans to access the upper storage racks.

Photo: typical high archive storage moveable racks,

Typical High Rise Storage shelving c XTend Mobile 031 680x1024 JPEG


















Typical High Rise Storage shelving with fork lift “human lift” access [© XTend_Mobile_031-680x1024 ] JPEG


A new display area and search room on the ground floor and the conversion of shop windows into a ’visible from the street’ were refurbished. One window includes quilting by Leigh u3a quilting group of the historic industries and local pubs. The members of the Leigh u3a Quilting and Needlework group handed over their Heritage Quilt just before the coronavirus lockdown and it is now visible in a window at street level.


Leigh Journal picture of quilting group and their work 245746747jpggallery





Leigh Journal picture of quilting group and their work 245746747.jpg.

Photo of quilt hand over from Leigh Journal. © Leigh Journal.

Link Leigh & District u3a.


Search Room

The new public search room is located on the ground floor, where people can access items in the collections.

The staff of the archives department had laid out in the search room for our inspection, some items, including a very old map with beautiful handwriting, showing the field boundaries and rent costs for specific dwellings and field plots of Culcheth with the areas named by occupier and the annual rental.

One place, a small cottage and garden located where Culcheth Hall Drive now meets Lodge Drive had an annual rental cost of ‘six pence’ (£0/0/6 marked as 0.0.6), while larger cottages nearby cost £0/1/3 or one shilling and threepence. All of our party are of an age to be familiar with the ‘old money’ system of pounds, shillings, and pence £/S/D so we could interpret the marked annual rentals.

Renting a cottage in Culcheth nowadays comes at a lot more than "sixpence" per year!


Keeping the archives alive.

The archive department has asked residents of Wigan to keep some records or items of interest or photographs or change in work products or methods due to the effect the Covid-19 ["severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)"] pandemic and lockdown effects and submit them to the archive department from which they will select items to be added to the permanent collection, where the archivists will create a Wigan Covid-19 collection.

Perhaps our readers can contribute.



Up and Down

The parties had the strange experience of going upstairs to access the basement archive department.

We went upstairs on the 'imperial style ' stairway and then going from the upstairs landing going down two floors on another side of the staircase to the former basement area.

As a result of removing the first floor and rebuilding the archives with its access from the town hall basement, the groups had to climb the very grand formal ‘imperial style’ staircase to the first floor and then descend to the basement area where the archive storage rooms and workspace are located.


Other rooms.

A number of the old rooms including the council chamber have been retained in their original form.
These are available and can be rented for outside groups to use for weddings and meetings in a formal Victorian era settings.


Council chamber image from Wedding venueJPG 












 Photo Council Chamber. Copyright  © Wigan Council, shown as available for weddings or gatherings.

The council chamber has stained glass windows showing some of the town's then important industries and on the staircase windows are coats of arms. These stained glass windows were made by H. Gustave Hiller.


The desks rows are fitted from self assembly two desk units, Victorian flatpack style.


 The named wedding room, formerly a committee room.

 Wigancovuk photo of Wedding room external contentduckduckgocom JPG

















Photo of Wedding room, copyright  © Wigan Council.


Start of the project.


The 2018 Start of the journey to restoration is reported in Leigh Journal story.

The Leigh journal’s photo of the event.

 Leigh Journal photo 2018 of the start of restoration project imgID150967164jpggallery JPG









Leigh Journal photo © of the 2018 start of the adventure after the National Lottery funding annunced.



 Leigh Town Hall


Town hall photograph by “J3Mrs”. This is a photo of listed building number 1163007 by “J3Mrs”
User:J3Mrs (, „Leigh town Hall“,

Licence:  User:J3Mrs, Leigh town Hall, CC BY-SA 3.0

Technical details of the town hall are on the listed building webpage


Listed building data


LEIGH CIVIC SQUARE SD 60 SE (south side) 2/25 Leigh Town Hall G.V. II Includes Nos. 2 to 18 (even) Market Street. Town hall. 1904- 7.

Architect By J. C. Prestwich.


Ashlar with slate roof. Large 2 and 3-storey U-shaped building with principal elevations of 8 and 7 bays onto Market Place and Market Street respectively. Edwardian Baroque. Bays 2 to 8 are symmetrical about a central doorway and are framed by giant flat pilasters supporting a modillioned cornice and blocking course. The door has an open semi-circular dentilled pediment supported on blocked columns. 2 windows on either side have architraves and keystones.

The council chamber and committee rooms on the first floor are given emphasis by a giant order of blocked columns and tall windows. A steeply pitched hipped roof is centrally crowned by a belvedere and elaborate cupola.

The Market Street elevation is less monumental but of equal quality; it too is symmetrical, the end bays being gabled and having bow windows at first floor level.

Shop fronts on the ground floor, a giant order on the first but this time in flat pilasters, and triple second floor windows separated by blocked columns.

An octagonal turret turns the corner.

The interior is executed with equal quality and richness. Scagliola columns support the entrance hall giving access to the imperial staircase and, in turn, the council chamber and offices. Timber, glass and plasterwork is of particularly high quality. Generally an accomplished design which contributes greatly to its immediate context.

Listing NGR: SD6566000178


Project Photographs

The project photographs below are from Wigan Council website.


What we did not see.

What our group did not see, was the complex work before the completion of the restoration given on above webpage, from which some extracts are given below.
All photos and copyright and property of Wigan are acknowledged.

Selection of the before shots

Before renovation

 Creation of new strongroom in Market Street shop unit











Creation of new strongroom in Market Street shop unit
Excavation of basement and removal of ground floor to allow high rise storage.


 Creation of new exhibition space entrance copy 1











Creation of new exhibition space in Market Street shop units


Renovation of old existing archives strongroom 











Renovation of old existing archives strongroom
Old Town Hall Strong Room before renovation


 Creation of new exhibition space in Market Street shop units











 Creation of new exhibition space entrance


 Creation of new search resources area











Creation of the new public research area




Our group's most ernest thanks are given to the archive department staff for their time, effort and coutesy in allowingus to 'intrude' on their private domain.


Contact address and data for Wigan Council archives

 Wigan Archives and Local Studies
Civic Square
Market Street

Telephone: 01942 404 430


The Wigan and Leigh Archives are accessible online via the residents section of the Wigan Council website.

Online Archives

 Online shop

 The online shop offers Wigan and Leigh Archive publications for sale, written by local historians and researchers,
as well as staff and volunteers at the Archives & Local Studies.

The publications cover a range of different local and family history subjects, and include their local history magazine,
"Past Forward."


Web links relative to Wigan and Leigh archives.

The archives are under the "Resident" section of fthe council website.


Wigan and Leigh Collections.


Wigan and Leigh Archives Online

The collections can be browsed via an online visit to the archives and selecting a specific collection. Each collection of records is formed into a hierarchy, organised by subjects, themes or dates.

 If you prefer to search by a specific subject term or name, there is a search tool at the top of the web page.


 The architectural firm of J. C. Prestwich by Heather Lawley

Data and map © Heather Lawley

Map of Buildings in a walking tour of Leigh © Heather Lawley

Notes on Map of Buildings in Leigh by J C Preswich PNG










Key to Map












Note on J C Prestwich & Sons.


Key to buildings in map.

Notes on Key to Buildings in Leigh by J C Prestwich PNG


Notes on architectural firm J C Prestwich.

 Notes on J C Prestwich Sons by Heather Lawley PNG


 Link to other sites on this architect.

































Culcheth Local History Group Publications.


Culcheth Characters.

Culcheth Characters” is a newly published (June 2021) book written by members
of the Culcheth Local History Group.

The authors have unearthed original sources to examine the lives of villagers who
resided in and around Culcheth. Some of these men and women helped transform
the village for the better. Others were criminals or victims of crime.

The lived of many of these inhabitants were changed by circumstances beyond
their control - the mechanisation of weaving, for example, or reforms of the
Poor Law system. Others people, such as the village doctor and constable, helped
make Culcheth healthier and more law-abiding places.

The authors have examined the lives of villagers of all classes in this generously
illustrated book. After reading “Culcheth Characters”, residents and non-residents
alike will have gained a deeper understanding of this fascinating village.


Copies of the book are for sale at the local Culcheth bookshop “Forget-me-not toys and books”,
where the staff will be most pleased to help you.

See contact details below image.


Copy Image of Book Cover © Culcheth Local History Group, Images by Morag Burton.


Culcheth characters Book Cover JPG



Data for purchase.

Bookshop Price £8.50; (GBP8.50);


Books can only be collected from the bookshop.


Bookshop Address.
Forget-Me-Not Toys and Books,
Upper Floor, CPS Centre,
Common Lane, Culcheth, Warrington, WA3 4EH, England


Facebook page:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 01925 766 702




A letter to CLHG.

We have received by very indirect secure means an account of the continuous method of governance of China,
by a now retired former educated person who has worked both in state industry and in private industry.

The writer's opinions would be dangerous to publish in China, as their life and their family's lives could be in danger.
The writer has summarised their thoughts as a set of essays.
The writer is personally known to a Culcheth person who has worked with them in China and elsewhere for many years
and who transmitted them to CLHG to record present history and thoughts through publication of their thoughts,
in the form of their essays, where publication of this history would be a method of recording the Chinese thoughts
of a person who lives in perpetual fear of expresing their real thouhts, unless they 'actively use self censorship'
at all times,

These essays  may aid understanding  by non-Chinese persons of China's aims.

These essays are on old and present Chinese present governance, and how it is misinterpreted in "The West"
and its wrong interpretation by 'The West" could lead to a complete misunderstanding of the actual purpose of
the present Chinese government to dominate all others, as the Chinese Government misleads by
'pretending to act as a communist state' while the governing Chinese Communist Party acts actually
in the mode of an old Emperor or perhaps to UK eyes an absolute Tudor Monarch.

These essays are solely the work of and opinions of the author, and have no confirmation or opinion or
consideration as the opinion of CLHG or its members or associates.

They are here purely to  allow transmission of the author's thoughts to The West.


The essays are in PDF form which you may read or download from the link below.

Link to Essays-Chinese-and-English-PDF.pdf


 This may allow us to reflect on the freedoms we have to express our opinions without fear on both the past and the present




20210115 Social Distancing 1582

An unusual report of  a meeting  'by internet reading' for our members.

An Internet meeting. For our members to view.

20210115 Report Social Distancing in 1582.

As we battle with social distancing in Culcheth in 2021, perhaps we should look back at one place which undertook that in 1582.

Alghero, Sardinia.

The concept of social distancing at approximately 2 metres (6 feet, one fathom) was instigated by a medical practitioner in the port of Alghero, Sardinia along with quarantine measures to successfully overcome the spread of the plague from the port to outside the port.


Ole Benedictow, emeritus professor of history at University of Oslo

The report on this special man many years ahead of his time was studied by Ole Benedictow of University of Oslo and reported in “BBC FUTURE”.

Two metres distance.

Two metres social distancing reduces the risk of infection from our Covid-19 virus to about one fifth to one tenth of that at one metre social distancing.

It is worth the read.


Link to BBC FUTURE website articel with images and commentary.









20200506 Record and thanks for actions in and around Culcheth and Leigh.

In this time, when the 'lock down' of people to their homes during the Covid-19 disease caused by a coronavirus SARS-COR-2 emanating from P.R. China has incapacitated many firms and persons from normal activity, we should record the past actions of a local charity thst  now closed  gave great support to ex-service-people ove rthe last few years.

Charity Registration England 1173255 “Shoulder to Soldier”

On 02 June 2017, a lady called Linda Fisher, a solicitor, founded the English Charity “Shoulder to Soldier” to help relieve the distress former soldiers had in obtaining action from the UK Government in their claims and giving help to them when in trouble.

Linda gave full time to this charity and helped others, for which many in the Leigh and Warrington area are grateful. She was supported by volunteers in our area and with the backing of Bents an allotment was created in the Bents’ allotment site to allow those seeking help a place to meet, garden and chat for their well-being both physical and mental.

Bents have continued the allotment as part of their actions as a Veterans Allotment after the closure of the charity.

Linda was obliged to close the charity due to personal financial reasons, however the webmaster feels our website is a place to record their publicity documents and the closing website in thanks to Linda Fisher for supporting ex-service-people in need in the area.


What follows is copies of the charity logo, publications and details.

 20200506 StoS logo41 Scanned DocumentPNG


Copy of Shoulder to Soldier Logo.

"Shoulder To Soldier"

Founder & Trustee Linda Fisher (Chair)

Charity no. 1173255

Contact details:
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 07515892720
Public address was: 40 Church Street, Leigh, WN7 1BB

From Charities House data:

Governing document:

CIO - FOUNDATION Registered 02 Jun 2017

Organisation type: Charitable Incorporated Organisation

Charitable objects



Shoulder to Soldier Charity Website Notice.

 20200506 Copy website closing StoS 6 PNG


Above image of Closing Notice on Shoulder to Soldier website: Clearer text is detailed below.

Copy of text.

 Just over 2 years ago I decided to follow my passion to help and support armed forces families by setting up our Award winning charity Shoulder to Soldier. It was my choice to do this without a salary.

With the dedication of our trustees, our volunteers, the business and wider community we have helped over 200 armed forces families and have held over 30 events, including 5 cinema clubs, 10 fishing trips and our trip to the National Memorial Arboretum. We have delivered an award winning allotment project. Our team has literally taken homeless veterans off the streets, got them into jobs and accommodation. We have won cases and improved the lives of armed forces families. Most importantly we have introduced veterans and their families to each other with friendships now formed for life. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved and your help and support has been overwhelming. With a heavy heart it is time to close the charity due to the need to secure a personal income.

We are pleased to say that with the support of Bents Garden Centre the allotment project will continue as a veterans allotment and this means we leave a fantastic legacy which will help veterans and their families into the future. It has been a privilege and honour to help you all.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Linda x

End of copy of text.


Record of Publicity leaflets and allotment volunteers.

 bents shoulder to soldier 7 teamallotment volunteers PNG

Bents "Shoulder to Soldier"  team allotment volunteers.

Pictured: Ken Orton, Peter Smith, Andy Reynolds, Bob Watson and Lee Armstrong, all ex forces, with Linda Fisher (second from right),
who founded Shoulder to Soldier.

Copy of DIY Week article on the opening o fthe allotment. (Photo credit to DIY Week)

Bents Garden & Home has teamed up with Shoulder to Soldier, donating a plot at its community allotment site to the Leigh-based charity, which dedicates it’s time to supporting serving personnel, their families and veterans.
Shoulder to Soldier was formed in June 2017, and is committed to providing support, practical advice, financial relief and social welfare for those who are serving or who have served in our armed forces. It was a veteran who suggested the use of an allotment to help improve mood and motivation and within 24 hours of making the request a plot was donated by Bents.
Very much a veteran-led project, the allotment has already been visited by a team of 10, plus one current serving member. Everyone who wishes to will have a role in the project and the ex-forces engineers are already using their skills to design the layout which will take into account disabled veterans.
Shoulder to Soldier founder Linda Fisher said: “The allotment is already proving very beneficial and will help improve health and well-being, team building and getting our guys out and about to meet and socialise with new people.  It is fantastic. Thank you to Bents for providing this fantastic facility, which is already proving to be a very popular and thank you to the local businesses who have already supported the project by donating or reducing the price of items.”
Bents Garden & Home head of outdoor retail Matthew Dickinson, who is also responsible for the Bents’ Community Allotments commented: “We have been looking for local groups to take advantage of our community plots but have had little interest, so were delighted when Linda approached us about a plot for Shoulder to Soldier. They are exactly the kind of initiative that we hoped would take advantage of this opportunity and we had no hesitation in agreeing to their request. We’re looking forward to seeing the plot take shape.”
In addition to financial support, the work delivered by Shoulder to Soldier includes advocacy and advice for armed forces families, writing letters, attending benefits appeal hearings on a range of matters covering homelessness and housing, general finance, benefits and employment related matters.
Another local company, Culcheth Paving has donated base flags for an allotment shed and the charity has raised funds for the shed. Bob Brockelhurst of Garden Building Supplies gave a 35% discount and local veteran Kevin Moore has designed a wooden plaque for the shed. The charity would welcome any other offers of support for tools, seeds, plans and equipment.




20200506 StoS leaflet1 Scanned DocumentPNG


20200506 StoS leaflet2 Scanned DocumentPNG


First birthday Dinner application leaflet.

20200506 StoS leaflet3 first birthday 20180609 Scanned DocumentPNG


CLHG webmaster felt that this local charity, which had gone unrecorded for its good work, and which was much valued by the individuals it helped should be recorded in our website records.















On the Charity’s first birthday, there was a local dinner.




Allotment announcement in DIY Week paper on 18 January 2018




The Shoulder to Soldier team at work in the allotment.
Pictured: Ken Orton, Peter Smith, Andy Reynolds, Bob Watson and Lee Armstrong, all ex forces, with Linda Fisher (second from right), who founded Shoulder to Soldier



Bents Garden & Home has teamed up with Shoulder to Soldier, donating a plot at its community allotment site to the Leigh-based charity, which dedicates it’s time to supporting serving personnel, their families and veterans.

Shoulder to Soldier was formed in June 2017, and is committed to providing support, practical advice, financial relief and social welfare for those who are serving or who have served in our armed forces. It was a veteran who suggested the use of an allotment to help improve mood and motivation and within 24 hours of making the request a plot was donated by Bents.

Very much a veteran-led project, the allotment has already been visited by a team of 10, plus one current serving member. Everyone who wishes to will have a role in the project and the ex-forces engineers are already using their skills to design the layout which will take into account disabled veterans.

Shoulder to Soldier founder Linda Fisher said: “The allotment is already proving very beneficial and will help improve health and well-being, team building and getting our guys out and about to meet and socialise with new people.  It is fantastic. Thank you to Bents for providing this fantastic facility, which is already proving to be a very popular and thank you to the local businesses who have already supported the project by donating or reducing the price of items.”

Bents Garden & Home head of outdoor retail Matthew Dickinson, who is also responsible for the Bents’ Community Allotments commented: “We have been looking for local groups to take advantage of our community plots but have had little interest, so were delighted when Linda approached us about a plot for Shoulder to Soldier. They are exactly the kind of initiative that we hoped would take advantage of this opportunity and we had no hesitation in agreeing to their request. We’re looking forward to seeing the plot take shape.”

In addition to financial support, the work delivered by Shoulder to Soldier includes advocacy and advice for armed forces families, writing letters, attending benefits appeal hearings on a range of matters covering homelessness and housing, general finance, benefits and employment related matters.

Another local company, Culcheth Paving has donated base flags for an allotment shed and the charity has raised funds for the shed. Bob Brockelhurst of Garden Building Supplies gave a 35% discount and local veteran Kevin Moore has designed a wooden plaque for the shed. The charity would welcome any other offers of support for tools, seeds, plans and equipment.



Old Shoulder to Soldier Charity website


Bents Garden Centre websites

DIY Week:






20200315 DRAFT CLHG WArrington history through maps. TEXT.txt

A Basic History of Warrington through Maps.


On Thursday evening the 12th of March 2020, a group of members and visitors braved the weather and thoroughly enjoyed and responded to a most entertaining and informative history of our local town. Its development from pre-medieval and medieval township to industrial revolution was told though our speaker Mr Philip Jeffs’ commentary on the maps and places on the maps he displayed from the Warrington Archives and other sources.

We heard stories behind the places and the local power seekers and family rivalries for power, control of tolls and thus wealth and status. Philip Jeffs reminded us that maps exist to record facts and the changes to existing facts at specific times.

In the local area much was done to obtain old knowledge by an antiquarian obtaining details from old deeds and records of land transfers and marking this on a reconstructed map.

 Mersey map OSM red line annotated North South Crossings PNG

 The Reason.

 The reason for Warrington’s existence lies in it being the lowest fording point (since Roman times) and later the lowest bridging point on the River Mersey.
This was very important to those who would invade from North to South or defend the North by bringing an army from the South or invade the Northern parts (Scotland) from the South.

If you did not cross the Mersey at Warrington you had to divert your forces to Manchester to the next bridging point. (About a four to five day detour with an army; or yourself walking.)

The Warrington bridge seems to have been a variable structure, sometimes there on the maps, sometimes not there. A wooden bridge was vulnerable to floods, storms, decay and lack of maintenance. So it was recorded on some maps or records and was absent at other times.

The maps and other information are viewable at the Archives in Warrington library by request.

Link to Warrington Museum and Art Gallery, with Archive Search room.

Contact: Mr Philip Jeffs, Archivist.

As the maps illustrating the talk are not available on-line, we can only show some details here.


Diagram of Mersey Flood Plain.

 In the geological map below the “Yellow Band” is the flood plain and marsh alongside the Mersey. The Red mark is the Warrington Castle position. It was a wooden fort or castle of the motte-and-bailey type, which is a fortification with a wooden (or stone) keep situated on a raised area of ground called a motte, accompanied by an enclosed courtyard, or bailey, surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade.

The Warrington Castle was on the drier higher ground about 250 yards from the river with the nearby church of St Elphin’s. So the older power authorities of church and state were above and close to the ford position, with a ‘high street’ adjacent for the local wealthy houses with land behind for growing food.

 Geology of Warrington surfaceBedrock Screenshot 2020 03 13 22 01 37

Geology of Warrington surface and Bedrock


Link to Geology of Britain viewer by The British Geological Survey.


Old Maps.

Old maps detailing the area are very few but show the development of the town with the big change when a bridge was built. However the original wooden bridge is ‘sometimes there on a map’ and ‘sometimes absent’. On one map the bridge has a central pier with a tower in which a canon was mounted to protect the town waterway and bridge way


James Kendrick's Map.

 The map from James Kendrick’s account of the siege of Warrington in 1643.
The bridge at Warrington was a major point for both Royalist and Parliamentarian forces.
The map shows the “old town” based on the castle, St Elphin’s and the ford; and the “new town” of the merchants and crafts based on trade over the bridge. A clear distinction of how one part was abandoned for another part.

MAP Warrington 1643 extract 4 8 Kendrick PND 



The ford or ferry was controlled by one family with a toll payment being made, while another rival family obtained a license to build a bridge and gather tolls; after they had purchased land on the both sides of the river, so they could bridge with bridge ends and supports on their own land on the south side and the north side. As the tolls were the same at "One Penny" most folk, armies, and merchants preferred the bridge to the ford or ferry, a quicker and drier passage.

Circa 642 Saxon Parish Church of St Elphin founded.
Circa 1070 Warrington Castle built at Mote Hill, behind the Parish Church of St Elphin.
Doomsday Book. 1086 Warrington is recorded in the Domesday Book

The older ford was guarded by a castle “Warrington Castle”, and had the nearby church of St. Elphin and a high street and a route to the ford. Later as persons preferred to cross in the dry rather than the ford, a new centre for the town arose close the bridging point. The old town preserved the medieval strip farming lay outs and houses long past the time when they would have been changed so later maps reflected this old style many centuries later, as the wealthy and industrial folk had ‘moved’ to the new centre based on the bridge position.

 1643 map annotated ford bridge REV1 new oldXFC PNG


1643 map annotated for ford and bridge REV1


Moated Houses.

The wealthy folk and powerful families had moated houses. We learned that in these days you most feared your next of kin through the inter-family lust for power and control, and the moats were to keep you safe from your own deadly relatives rather than marauding armies that crossed the Mersey.
It appeared that killing one’s next of kin to get control was a normal thing, going unpunished if it suited the higher powers.
Women and Serfs were ‘disposable property’ something like the disposable items and packaging used today.


Ballads of a Killing.

Ballads of killing at Bewsey “Ballad of Bewsey”



The Hell Hole.

One map has the position of the ford marked as “the hell hole”.
The Hell Hole was at the bend where the ford was, here the river was deceptive and boats could ground if they strayed slightly from the ‘deeper channel’.


 Mersey hellhole anglesay JPG


“Angelsey” in Warrington area.

The ‘anglesey’ or ‘hook island’ lay below the lower bridging point.
Presumably an area that became an island when the river flooded.
"Anglesey" is derived from Old Norse, originally possibly Ǫngullsey "Hook Island" the place name was used by Viking raiders as early as the 10th century and was later adopted by the Normans during their invasions of Gwynedd and so passed into common use.


A detailed map of Warrington town. (Not Illustrated)

A map created later by William Beamont, Antiquarian and lawyer (and also ‘lord high everything’ in Warrington) from reading many old legal land transfers to get the data to represent the area at an earlier time. Beamont's map included details of land area holdings derived from land transfer deeds and early documents to give a good impression of houses, field boundaries and burgage details.
You can view the map at the Warrington Archives, which also contain Beamont’s diaries.

Burgage Plot.


The Burgage Plot was part of the property owned by a burgess in a medieval town. As burgesses congregated around the market place and main streets, space at the front was at a premium. Burgage plots are therefore characteristically long and narrow, with a row of outbuildings stretching to the rear of the house and shop. The pattern of burgage plots is often evident from old maps and sometimes can still be discerned on the ground.

In Warrington originally burgage plots were used for keeping a pig and growing fruit. To have ample food was high status, while later these were used for leisure gardens without the food element as people became dependant on trades folk to supply food items.

 burgage plots herfordshire county council site JPG

Diagram   of burgage plots courtesy of Herfordshire County Council site JPG

Warrington Civil War letter.

An original letter from Oliver Cromwell, written at Warrington 20th August, 1648. See illustration

 Cromwell letter 4 resize JPG


 Page and map about Warrington siege 1643


Page and map from The Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, volume four.
Link to Warrington siege 1643 by James Kendrick.
An account of Warrington Siege 1643, Warrington, Lancashire, James Kendrick

 Kendrick paper first page imageJPG


  Page  Kendrick paper first page imageJPG

 Warrington 1643 Map ex Kendrick Screenshot 2020 03 13 21 40 41 copy 1



 Note “The White Cross” position for open preaching by Friars then active at Friary in Warrington


Castle area in behind St Elpins park JPG


Mote Hill position on Bing Map extract.


 Excavations of Mote Hill 

From The Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, volume five.
Link to excavations of Mote Hill in Warrington by James Kendrick.
An account of excavations made at the Mote Hill, Warrington, Lancashire, James Kendrick

These were made after the upper part of the raised mound had been 'levelled' to avoid the lady pupils of a school situated there from hard exertion in climbing up the mound.


Mote Hill excavations 1 JPG





 excavation diagram



Old Maps

From Link:

These online versions of Old Maps of Lancashire were produced by The Environment Directorate's Archaeology Service.



Earliest Map of England. Gough 1360.

Earliest map of England in 1360 shows the Mersey (Fluvius Mersee) and Liverpool, and perhaps Warrington.
Gough, c.1360

The so-called "Gough Map" is the earliest surviving map of Britain dating from c.1360. It’s origins are unknown and owes it name to, Richard Gough (1735-1809), in whose collection it was found. This extract is from the OS 1935 facsimile which is reasonably legible. The original is coloured and is in the Bodleian Library, Oxford but is much less legible. An online version of the original has now been made available by Queens University, Belfast:


Gough Map Warrington Screenshot 2020 03 15 15 32 40 JPG


Coloured Extract.

 Earliest Map black 7 white  Gough Screenshot 2020 03 15 14 33 35





A speculation by your writer is that the second upstream building from Liverpool (line crossing trail) would be the lowest crossing point on the Mersey at Warrington, and this is reasonable from a search of the Gough map at RED Point on the coloured map. The journey line crosses the Mersey at presumably the lowest fording or bridging point.




1610 Speed’s map

Speed, 1610 – Links to Black & White and Colour versions.
Black & White:


John Speed's map of Lancashire is one of the earliest and shows towns and villages but no highways. Extract of Black and White Map below.



1650s Wenceslas_Hollar

This shows Warrington as the only town on Lancashire side of Mersey below Manchester.

 800px Wenceslas Hollar 16071677 Cheshire State 6 County Palatine Cheshire public domain JPG

Wenceslas Hollar 16071677 Cheshire State 6 County Palatine Cheshire public domain JPG


A 1648 map shows the second bridge crossing.

Some linear maps of the time “A ribbon of the journey between places” showing towns, inns etc, but without any geographical layout. Some what similar to a modern list of places in a car journey routing from map sites.


The Cowley Map 1744

 Lancashire. 1744 John Cowley for R.Dodsley's The Geography of Britain. Lancashire. 1748.

 cowley lan 1744 map whole JPG




Yates Map  1786 

Yates map of 1786 shows Warrington and surrounding area. Digital Link.


 Untitled 8 Yates 2 JPG

Extract of Yates 1786 map above.


 Greenwood's Map 1818.

1818 Greenwood's Map of Lancashire, 1818 Coloured in Lancashire archives.


Extract of river Warrington to Rixton.


 Warington Rixton Greenwoods Map of Lancashire 1818 JPG Screenshot 2020 03 15 16 06 14 JPG


 Modern Warrington

Modern Warrington on OpenStreetMaps websites

Search for Warrington and then select your scale.


 Modern Warrington open street maps JPG

Modern Warrington open street maps JPG




The members and guests give  thanks to  archivist   Philip Jeffs for his study and enthusiastically giving us knowledge with illustrations and answering many questions from the audience in this much delayed talk due to external circumstances.


Warrington Borough Council

A history of Warrington without maps is on Warrington Borough Council website.



The Ballad of Bewsey and Annals of Warrington. (Digitised copy by Google)


Full text of "Annals of the lords of Warrington for the first five centuries after conquest" .
A long read of the murders, incidents, and grappling for power in early Warrington.


Various versions of Ballad of Bewsey



20200214  Report Fashion and Social Change by Barbara Joyce

Fashion and Social Change

On St. Valentine’s day 2020, the members and visitors were enthralled by a learned and humorous talk with many illustrations on Fashion and Social Change given by Barbara Joyce with a history of men’s underwear from ancient times, alongside women’s underwear from the 19th century, and men’s hats and Victorian mourning clothes.

Etiquette, social peer pressure, wealth display, non-practicality but figure display, changing fortunes for the rising middle class and beliefs were all reflected in clothes and they changed as society changed. Our record of those clothes allows us to interpret social norms, class distinction, and the ‘expensive’ becoming less expensive with industrial aided clothing manufacture rather than hand sewn and stitched slowly and expensively and flowing down the social income classes as the mass manufacture of clothes made them cheaper.

Brabara Joyce's talk started with the 'socially peer group' enforced Victorian mourning periods and etiquette, followed by underwear and finished with men's hats and why they are no longer universally worn nowadays.

Your writer has added notes on present day loincloths as worn in Japan and Ötzi the iceman's loincloth; and on the "Lengberg Castle" 15th century.underwear discovery.


Victorian Mourning.


The talk explained, illustrated, and gave details of the formal and informal societal enforced pressures that reflected society in the clothes of the Victorian period and how it changed over time. It much enriched certain manufacturers (of crape: Courtaulds) and retailers.

Catherine de Medici as widow c 1560s

 Mary Queen of Scots in deuil blanc 1559


Catherine de Medici as widow c 1560s                                                           Mary Queen of Scots in deuil blanc [White Mourning] 1559


Today, no special dress or behaviour is obligatory for those in mourning in the general population, although ethnic and religious faiths have specific rituals, and black is typically worn at English funerals although there is a tendancy to request mourners to wear bright cloths to celebrate the life of the dead person nowadays. Traditionally, however, there were strict social rules to be observed.

By the 19th century, mourning behaviour in England had developed into a complex set of rules, particularly among the upper classes. For women, the customs involved wearing heavy, concealing, black clothing, and the use of heavy veils of black crape. The entire ensemble was colloquially known as "widow's weeds" (from the Old English wǣd, meaning "garment").

In Victorian times, these were carried to extremes, partly by peer pressure, partly by increased wealth in the middle classes (as mourning clothes were expensive and displayed your wealth and ability to buy at short notice), following the behaviour of the upper class who followed the royal behaviour of extended mourning as Queen Victoria wore mourning for the rest of her life after prince Albert's death.


 Black Mourning and Etiquette.

The mourning etiquette was strict and specific periods of mourning were observed, which greatly effected ladies and their ability to interact with society.
Full Mourning for at least a year. (However this could be 2 to 4 years or remaining lifetime).Very formal black clothes.
Half Mourning for next six months. For half mourning, muted colours such as lilac, grey and lavender grey could be used.


Back View mourning dress met 44 147 1a b threequarter back cp4 517x640


Early Victorian Lady in Mourning Dress


Back View mourning dress met 44 147 1a b threequarter back               Early Victorian Lady in Mourning Dress


White mourning.

In other countries (Netherlands, Belgium, France)and in previous times, white was the colour of mourning. The colour of deepest mourning among medieval European queens was white. Examples Mary Queen of Scots, and in 2004, the four daughters of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands all wore white to their mother's funeral. In 1993, the Spanish-born Queen Fabiola introduced it in Belgium for the funeral of her husband, King Baudouin of Belgium.

The custom for the Queens of France to wear "deuil blanc" [white mourning] was the origin of the White Wardrobe created in 1938 by Norman Hartnell for Queen Elizabeth (later called the Queen Mother). She was required to make a State visit to France while in mourning for her mother.

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands in white mourning after the death of husband in 1934

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands in white mourning after the death of husband in 1934



Friends, acquaintances, and employees wore mourning to a greater or lesser degree depending on their relationship to the deceased. Mourning was worn for six months for a sibling. Parents would wear mourning for a child for "as long as they feel so disposed". No lady or gentleman in mourning was supposed to attend social events while in deep mourning. In general, servants wore black armbands when there had been a death in the household. However, amongst polite company the wearing of a simple black armband was seen as appropriate only for military men, or others compelled to wear uniform in the course of their duties.


Daughters of Albert with statue external contentduckduckgocom

Daughters of Albert with statue


queen victoria in 1890 458x640

Queen Victoria in 1890


Men were expected to wear mourning suits of black frock coats with matching trousers and waistcoats.

An industry arose for the supply of mourning clothes, jewellery, and funeral appurtenances and carriages to those who could afford it.



victorian mourning clothes advert external contentduckduckgocom


ex Mourning ring photo Charles J Sharp Own work 508px Victorian 18ct mourning ring with hair


Warehouse Advert for Quick Supply.                                                Mourning ring photo Charles J Sharp






Male underwear has a longer known history than female underwear.

Male underwear.

Loincloths  (Text partly from Wikipedia and other sources)

The first known underwear dates back almost 7000 years, when prehistoric man used leather to cover and protect his loins. In many centuries little has changed.
Men’s under wear was for protection, warmth, hygiene.

The ancient Egyptians sometimes wore loincloths. The Romans also wore underwear. Both Roman men and women wore a loincloth or shorts called subligaculum. Women also wore a band of cloth or leather around their chest called a strophium. Loinclothes came in all shapes and sizes depending on local cultural influence.

A belt holding a simple strip of leather is the simplest loincloth, while when made in cloth as a shield shape with  side tags it later became the Minoan or Egyptian type.


Wikipedia Commons Egyptian















Egyptian loincloth


meso loincloth mens underwear


Meso loincloth men's underwear Middle America


The simplest definition of a loincloth is a piece of material that is usually wrapped between the legs and around the waist. Depending on the civilisation and the materials available, ancient men would make this garment out of either leather or such fabric as was available such as linen.

How old is the loincloth?. 

Archaeologists have discovered one, made of leather, that they have dated to be about 7,000 years old, while Ötzi the iceman, a man who lived between 3400 and 3100 BCE wore a loin cloth of sheepskin.


Ötzi was found on 19 September 1991 by two German tourists, at an elevation of 3,210 metres (10,530 ft) on the east ridge of the Fineilspitze in the Ötztal Alps on the Austrian–Italian border.
Ötzi wore a cloak made of woven grass and a coat, a belt, a pair of leggings, a loincloth and shoes, all made of leather of different skins. The leather loincloth and hide coat were made from skins.

Ötzi wore a loincloth made from narrow strips of sheep hide stitched together. It was originally a 100 x 33 cm piece of hide worn between the legs and fastened with the belt and presumably worn by pulling it between the legs and fastening it at the waist with a belt. (per South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology)

Loincloth Rectangular pieces of leather also from a goat stitched together with animal sinew fastened the waist with a belt South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology819200 orig


Otzi's loincloth.

Ötzi wore a loincloth made from narrow strips of sheep hide stitched together. It was originally a 100 x 33 cm piece of hide worn between the legs and fastened with the belt.

South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology

Via Museo/Museumstraße 43; 39100 Bolzano/Bozen; South Tyrol - Italy
Visitor Services & Information email mailto:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone  +39 0471 320 100  (Monday-Friday: 9 am to 1 pm)

Influence of Ötzi on present culture.

 Songs made at times of Otzi's discovery.
Iceman in song by the Beatles. [A song about the frozen mummy they found in the Alps, not the guy down the street selling crystal meth (original instrumental)]

Loincloths were worn by many cultures.

Basically everyone in ancient history, as noted above, and the men in ancient Hawaii, in Egypt [including the Egyptian King Tutankhamun] it was made from woven materials, commonly cotton and flax, kept in place with a belt, (the lower classes and slaves were almost naked, so technically this loincloth was often “outerwear”)  in Greece philosophers like Plato, in Rome these included the leaders of Ancient Rome such as Augustus.

Even as early as the loincloth, fashion was considered. Men wore linen, leather or sometimes even wool, but if you were important, the more expensive undergarment let the rest of society know you were from a higher class.

Although most cultures no longer wear loincloths, some tropical societies and Japan still embrace this form of underwear (or as outerwear for festivals in Japan!) for men.

Modern Loincloths.

As your writer has experienced, it is still the fashionable clothing for many rituals at temples in Japan (Japanese loincloths being called 'Fundoshi') and is used as the symbol on the side of the lorries of Japanese carriers. Fundoshi are sold by high class stores (& Amazon) in many varieties.

Red basic Fundoshi 418 bpYX7kL AC UL320 ML3 Fundoshi as worn Pw5eVwPqL AC UL320 ML3

Fundoshi Advert                                                                       Fundoshi as worn.


 Fundoshi clad men in ritual

 Fundoshi clad men in ritual

The naked festival at Saidaiji in Okayama.
Participants receiving purification by water at the naked festival at Saidaiji in Okayama. Each year on Third Saturday in February
Significance    Celebrates the blessings of a bountiful harvest and all manner of prosperity and fertility

The celebration at Konomiya shrine. Video on YouTube.

Japan's Naked Festival 日本のはだか祭!(愛知)  “Shin Ototo” (“The New Ototo” for the temple)
Video Mar 4, 2015   by Rachel and Jun
"This is Japan's Naked Festival, or Hadaka Matsuri. There are Naked Festivals all across Japan, but each one is celebrated differently. This one is the celebration at Konomiya shrine, which revolves around a man called the shin otoko ["the New Otoko"]

Shrines webpage is
Rachel and Jim's blog with much more on this festival,

Loincloths lasted until the middle ages when looser clothing became the fashion.


In the Middle Ages, western men's underwear became looser fitting. The loincloth was replaced by loose, trouser-like clothing called braies, which the wearer stepped into and then laced or tied around the waist and legs at about mid-calf.
Wealthier men often wore chausses (stockings) as well, which only covered the legs.
Chausses were a medieval tight-fitting garment worn by men to cover the legs and feet and sometimes the body below the waist
Braies (or rather braccae) were a type of trouser worn by Celtic and Germanic tribes in antiquity and by Europeans subsequently into the Middle Ages. In the later Middle Ages they were used mostly as undergarments.   

Braies By Unknown Created between 1244 and 1254 date public Domain https commonswikimediaorg w indexphpcurid1385932

Braies By Unknown Created between 1244 and 1254 date Public Domain

 Chausses Braies by re enactment supply company Burgschneider Screenshot 2020 02 16 11 16 04

Chausses Braies by re enactment supply company Burgschneider

By the time of the Renaissance, braies had become shorter to accommodate longer styles of chausses. Chausses were also giving way to form-fitting hose, which covered the legs and feet. Fifteenth-century hose were often particoloured, with each leg in a different-coloured fabric or even more than one colour on a leg. However, many types of braies, chausses and hose were not always intended to be covered up by other clothing, so they were accepted visual underwear.

Braies were usually fitted with a front flap that was buttoned or tied closed. This codpiece allowed men to urinate without having to remove the braies completely.
Codpieces were also worn with hose when very short doublets like garments tied together in the front and worn under other clothing were in fashion, as early forms of hose were open at the crotch. Henry VIII of England began padding his codpiece, which caused a spiralling trend of larger and larger codpieces that only ended by the end of the 16th century.

Modern Studies.

PhD on codpieces. Cambridge. Only briefly in vogue, the codpiece has left a rich legacy in art, literature and – most recently – in televised costume drama. In focusing her attention on this ostentatious male accessory, PhD candidate Victoria Bartels has developed some new ideas about its evolution (and demise) as a symbol of virility.

A form of underpant(s) returned during the 15th and 16th centuries, when men’s leg-hose were bifurcated (split in two)and a cod piece added for comfortable urination  and display

Photo ex

ex Cambridge University article 150324 cod pieces main imag JPG
Left - portrait of Charles V; centre - portrait of Henry VIII; right - portrait of Pedro Maria Rossi
Credits: Left - Wikimedia Commons; centre - The Master and Fellows of Trinity College; right - Museo del Prado, Madrid

In the early to mid 19th century, both men and women wore bifurcated drawers with separate legs—a loose type of knee-length trousers suspended from the waist. This simple style of underpant(s) made relieving oneself more manageable, especially if several layers of petticoats or breeches were worn.

Wikipedia image of female pants PNG

Wikipedia image of female pants PNG

In 1882, dress reformer Dr Gustave Jaeger argued that wearing natural woollen fibres next to the skin would help disperse bodily poisons by allowing the skin to breathe. Dr Jaeger also felt the elasticized qualities of knitted garments were more likely to promote exercise.

Also in the 19th century, the popularity of long-legged trousers for men led to a change in men’s underpants, with hose (long johns) extending to the ankle. These were made of silk for the wealthy and flannel, or later wool, for the masses.

Latex, a rubber yarn introduced in 1930, allowed stretch undergarments to become more figure-hugging. These eventually evolved into underpant styles similar to those worn today. In 1938, after the invention of the synthetic fibre nylon, lightweight easy-to-launder underwear started to appear. Easy laundering became a great boon for families and the ability to easily wash and dry underwear helped general health. However slow drying cotton underwear as trunks was the rule for the vast armies of the 1940s.

Shorter, crotch-length underpants or trunks for men appeared after 1945. In 1959, a new man-made elastomeric fibre called Lycra™ was invented. Combined with cotton or nylon, it was strong, stretchable and recovered well. The result was more body-conscious underpants for men.

In the more permissive 1960s, underpants became briefer for both sexes and the Y-front was largely eliminated from men’s underwear. By the 1970s, underpants were virtually seamless.


 Type of womans underwear 2019

 Type of womans underwear  Knickers 2019


male underwear circa2017

Male underwear circa 2017



It was the invention of elastic that revolutionised underclothing.

Elastic Yarn   Quote from:
 HowStuffWorks Science Innovation Everyday Innovations : How Elastic Works by William Harris

Elastic is so ubiquitous today that we barely give it a second thought. Like paper clips and zippers, we simply expect it to work without ever wondering what it is, how it's made or what people did before it existed. Take the elastic waistband. In fact, fetch a pair of underwear (preferably clean) from your bedroom and give them a good once-over. You'll notice the familiar stretch of the band followed by the satisfying springing action as it returns to its original shape. It's like a rubber band, but not. When you put your hands on a rubber band, you touch, well, raw rubber. When you do the same with an elastic waistband, you touch fabric.

Making elastic looked no different than making other woven fabrics. It required a loom, which was a machine that allowed lengthwise threads known as the warp to be interlaced with widthwise threads known as the weft. In normal woven fabric, those threads would consist of yarn derived from natural fibres, such as cotton or wool. But in elastic, strands of yarn were laced together with strands of natural or synthetic rubber.

Today, automated looms handle the weaving process, though the results are the same: a stretchy fabric that can be incorporated into an array of garments. The elastic waistbands found in boxers and briefs make a convenient example. Cut into any of these stretchable items, and you'll find one common element: fine rubber threads or thick rubber bands (Bungee Cords) just like the rubber bands you use in your office or kitchen.


Warp Weft diagram


Warp / Weft Diagram


The Body-Hugging revolution
New 'man made' materials re-revolutionised clothing again in the 1960s-1980s.



Underwear and outerwear re-revolution with artificial fibres from 1960s onwards.
"Spandex" (USA), "Lycra" (Europe) or elastane is a synthetic fibre known for its exceptional elasticity.
 This is a polyether-polyuria copolymer that was invented in 1958 by chemist Joseph Shivers at DuPont's Benger Laboratory in Waynesboro, Virginia, USA to satisfy a demand for a better ‘elastic’ fibre for female clothing and to ensure their world markets.



Female Underwear. Knickers.

Knickers in Europe and USA were not commonly worn until the time of the crinolene as most women  up to then (supposedly) wore no lower body underwear.
(Upper body underwear garments were usual, some doubling as outerwear).


This is a UK site with quick review of development of female underwear.
A brief history of ladies underwear (and why it’s the worst!)
fyeahhistory,  By fyeahhistory June 10, 2017

“It’s a brave woman who lives her life eternally sans knickers (or panties for you Americans) but until very recently it was the norm.
Though men throughout history wore underwear (Charles ll was a fan of a silken boxer short FYI) it was considered improper for a lady to have anything between her legs.”

In the early to mid 19th century, women wore bifurcated drawers with separate legs — a loose type of knee-length trousers suspended from the waist. This simple style of underpant made relieving oneself more manageable, especially if several layers of petticoats or breeches were worn. Closed crotched underpants for women (pantalettes) emerged in the mid to late 19th century.

For women in the early 1900s, getting dressed involved multiple layers of undergarments including chemise and drawers followed by a constrictive corset.
During the first world war more women undertook physical labour in factories, mines and farms, and thus needed utilitarian garments. The silhouette of outerwear such as loose trousers and boiler suits paved the way for knickers, which women began wearing from around 1916.

Underwear has now circa 2020 become much more form-fitting.

However knickers are not a 'new idea'. There are historical records of earlier knickers from recent discoveries and archaeolgical records.


Old knickers.

It was thought that knickers didn’t make an appearance until the late 18th century.
Bras were thought to be an even more modern invention, not appearing until around 100 years ago.
Link to an article showing very old styles of female underwear

"Discovered in a castle vault, the scraps of lace that show lingerie was all the rage 500 years ago. By Dalya Alberge  22:17, 19 July 2012"

It is hardly racy by today’s standards but this lingerie has certainly shocked historians.
These lace and linen undergarments date back to hundreds of years before women’s underwear was thought to exist. They had lain hidden in a vault beneath the floorboards of the Austrian castle "Lengberg Castle" in East Tyrol since  the 15th century.

Despite their state of decay, the knickers bear more than a passing resemblance to the string bikini briefs popular today, while the bra has the fitted cups and delicate straps of its modern-day counterparts.

Hilary Davidson, fashion curator at the Museum of London, commented on the "Lengberg Castle" discovery ‘this totally rewrites’ fashion history, adding: ‘Nothing like this has  ever come up before.’
She believes it is ‘entirely probable’ that something similar was worn by Britain’s medieval women.
‘These finds are a very exciting insight into the way people dressed in the Middle Ages.'
‘It’s rare that everyday garments of any kind survive from this period, let alone underwear.’

The haul included four bras and two pairs of pants. Two of the bras resemble modern counterparts but the others are described rather bluntly as ‘shirts with bags’.

pair of knickers found in Lengberg Castle Daily Mail article 2174568 14148B8A000005DC 613 634x427






world oldest bra austria castle fb8 700 png

Bra and knickers from "Lengberg Castle" discovery.

Links to "Lengberg Castle" discovery.
German Innsbruck website

Heute von der Universität Innsbruck:

This is the best article, with many photographs, but open it in Google Chrome with Google Translate to read in English Language.


Female sports 'underwear'/'outerwear' of bra / knickers in earlier times

Roman female at sport OgFYT

Roman female at sport


These were designed to enforce an 'idea' of the then current mode of fashion, but were objected to by medical practidioners.

Website with interesting differences explained. Link:
This website has many images and explains 'type' differences and purpose.

Some photos.

Corset Bodice 1800 1820 cotton National Trust Inventory Number 13501272

Corset in blue silk circa 1890 339x500


LEFT: Corset Bodice 1800 1820 cotton National Trust Inventory Number 13501272

RIGHT: Corset in blue silk circa 1890

Modern figure support.

Modern 'lycra'/'spandex' garments are a softer method of support to posture without distorting the female body.

With "sports bras" greatly easing the problems of female athletes in many sports.

US women relay team

US women relay team

Estonia athletic costume

Estonia athletic costume

Men's Hats.

The speaker asked the important questions "What was the purpose of hats?" and "why has hat wearing declined?" and gave some thoughts to our group and its visitors.

Protection and Status.

Hats and headgear provide protection from the elements, imply social status, or can identify the wearer's group affiliation or career. Even in today's hat-optional culture, we mentally place a crown on the head of a king or a beret on the head of an artist.

Until the late 20th century, hats or head coverings were an essential aspect of a man's wardrobe. From simple close-fitting caps (coifs) to elaborations of folds, decorations, and fine materials, hats declared a man's place in the world. In Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, a man's occupation, religion, and status could be immediately understood by his hat. In some cases, the law mandated the wearing of certain head coverings. Hat styles changed as society and technology advanced.

Today, the wearing of hats in Western culture has almost ceased. Where once every businessman wore a hat with his suit, this is no longer the case. We may see knit caps worn in winter or baseball caps in warmer weather. Hoods attached to sweat jackets appear in urban settings. The occasional Hamburg may show up on a man wearing an overcoat. Flat caps with peaks are a convenient and attractive style for older men.

Hard Hats, Crash Helmets and Cycling Helmets however are  on the increase and take us back to a hat's primary purpose of protection.

But to wear a hat or not is in non dangerous situations a choice. In the past, however, hats played a much more important role in a man's wardrobe.

Hats are the ultimate symbol of social change over a few decades.

Why did formal hats decline.

(Protective Hard Hats are now mandatory for many occupations, these are increasing)

Hat-wearing was at its peak from the late 19th Century until the end of the 1920s, when the practise began to decline. Nobody, however, has pinpointed one sole reason why this happened, but there are several key things are that are strongly believed to have contributed.

The most popular attributed cause is the rise of closed cars and other transportation. As covered cars became more popular, the necessity for a hat diminished. With low roofs meaning you couldn’t wear a hat while driving and generally had no need to cover your head anyway, personal transport often negated the need for headwear as you were no longer walking in the open air subject to rain, snow and wind blasts.

Men's Hats in the 19th Century

ex website
The 19th century ushered in a classic new look for men that featured simple lines and elegantly cut suits. Flamboyance gave way to moral sobriety and the excess of status became a thing of the past. Egalitarianism was the new style, though class distinctions remained obvious by the cut of a man's clothing and the materials used in production.

Increased production of the Industrial Revolution offered more affordable garments, accessories, and headgear to the growing middle class.

The black silk topper of 1790s French design became the iconic emblem of conservative capitalism. With various tweaks including height and width of the crown, the top hat reigned supreme during the 1800s. Made of stiffened fabric, a top hat was then covered with a silk plush, then brushed until it was smooth and shining. Mercury used in the process sometimes poisoned hat makers, hence the phrase, "mad as a hatter".

The end of the century introduced a collapsible top hat which could be flattened then sprung back with a flick of the wrist.

(CLHG Writer’s edit: Still in use in the UK House of Commons, as a hat must be worn to ask some questions.)

The bowler or derby hat developed mid century became an instant classic and remains an icon of the English to this day. Edward Coke had the first example made to be used as protective gear. But John and William Bowler introduced the mass produced hat designed for young British men. The bowler was simple, practical, and tough.


Crowd with hats 11111 hat pic


Typical Hats




Capotain circa 1655Source Painting by Frans Hals wikimedia commons Public Domain 12952424 f520


Capotain circa 1655Source Painting by Frans Hals wikimedia commons Public Domain




 Variety-of-Hats8 Ladies and Men

Flat caps


 Cornischong at lbwikipedia Bowler 1024px Meloun




 Flat caps.                                                                                            Bowler


Beenie hat

 JSP protective helmet and sunscreen external contentduckduckgocom        


Beenie   hat                                                              Protective Hard Hat and sunscreen cloth










The group and its visitors thanks the speaker for a most interesting and enjoyable talk.



















Manchester Goods for Manchester Docks

Manchester docks in Salford plan

Plan of the "Manchester Docks" mainly located on Salford side of river.



On Thursday January 9th 2020, the members and visitors were enthralled by a very well illustrated talk on “Manchester Goods for Manchester Docks” by two volunteers of The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, Mr. Chris Evans and Mr. Les Green.

They shattered a few ‘myths’ we in the North west, think we know about the Manchester Ship Canal, and replaced these with the real rough politics and manuverings to get the canal built and its rise, prosperity and gradual decline at the upper Manchester end, with today its income source being at the sea end, where its new owner combines it with the Liverpool dock system.

A talk in the art deco saloon of "the Danny", the home and purpose of the The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society,

Talk in art deco saloon as 1936 of The Danny DSC 0137


Myth One.

“Manchester Docks” was actually located in Salford, a different city across the boundary river “The River Mersey”, which has since before Roman times been a linguistic, tribal, economic and political boundary.
Only in recent times has the “Salford Quays” development used its actual location in Salford correctly. It was named “Manchester Docks” due to the financial impetus and board majority of Manchester Council of the Manchester Ship Canal decreeing the “Manchester” name.


ICE Manchester Docks entry actually in Salford Screenshot 2020 01 16 17 49 40

Old name above entrance gate. Below the gate as now 'unnamed' in Salford Quays

 ManchesterHistorynet photoofdockgates2 in Salford

Unnamed blocked entrance.

Photo entrance to The Manchester Docks located in Salford on the North side of the boundary river The Mersey.


Myth two.

The canal was built mainly by hand labour.
While the canal employed many ‘navigators’ to dig, shape and make the canal, the owners had used their capital to buy many steam powered excavators from Germany to do the main ‘ditch digging’. They were using the latest available civil earth moving technology and running these on their own site railway. The hand labour was used to enable its construction while relieving the economic unemployment situation of the day. A political point for publicity and obtaining finance.

Photo digging machine.

Cutting machines photo ex Manchester EveningNewsArtcle JS81394702

Photo navies. "manual labour on canal cutting by 'navigators' "

ICE manual labour MSC


Myth Three "Manchester People's canal" , the financial and political problems.

The history of the ‘idea’ and start of the Manchester Ship Canal to cut the very high costs of freight for Manchester Made Goods to exit the UK via Liverpool, and the high costs of importing the raw material ‘cotton’ to Manchester via Liverpool.
The statistic that 60% of the entire shipping cost of transporting finished ‘Manchester Goods” to India occurred in the short journey to the port of Liverpool together with the high costs and tolls of using the Liverpool docks made the idea of a canal from the Irish Sea direct to Manchester a very real ideal for the firms and merchants of Manchester.

Many attempts were made to translate the idea into reality, pushed on by the idea instigator and main negotiator Mr. Daniel Adamson to ensure co-operation of the towns outside Liverpool on the Mersey to work to set up the finance and organisation to ‘get it dug’.

Documented Elsewhere.

The history of the Manchester Ship Canal is well documented elsewhere and in better style than the writer could condense to record the talk for our members, so we show some images and references to the history.

The canal and its extensive land holdings were eventually incorporated into a land developer’s company as he saw the land use being much more important than the canal, with the building of much larger container vessels being out of gauge for the canal, even though the Manchester Shipping Company (whose vessels were built to the canal gauge) tried small container ships to get direct from abroad into Manchester.


Link to  video on "The Peoples Canal". An old ITV documentary/commentary.

Manchester Ship Canal (The People's Canal)  [40 plus minute video.]

Description. Probably Ray Gosling's finest work. Originally shown on Granada TV in the early 1990's tracing the history of the Manchester Ship Canal. The programme was in two parts with part one giving details of the canal's construction and part two explaining how we, the public were short changed when the land around the docks was sold off to developers to construct Salford Quays.

Granada TV show now on YouTube. Good video on construction and financial history of canal .
NOTE: Due to being twice compressed from original show recording the sound channel is distorted in volume.

Quote: Ken Slater

1. Thanks for sharing. As Cameraman on this two part programme [originally] shot on BetacamSP I can confirm this Trade Films production passed all the stringent ITV engineering scrutiny. [Thus sound did not overwhelm.] On YouTube you are watching/Listening to a VHS copy that has been compressed twice by the time it gets on to Youtube. Great to see it again, Ray Gosling was great to work with, still think about him.


Short History of Manchester Ship Canal is on website


Short Video by institution of Civil Engineers.  Brings things up to date (2018). [Peel Ports]


Umar Saleem, of  Mott Macdonald, talks us through the Manchester Ship Canal that arose out of need when Manchester established itself as a world leader in industry in the 19 century. It was a huge project that cost 15 million pounds (1.5 billion by today's standards) and employed 1600 people to build it.




Daniel Adamson.

Daniel Adamson 

Photo of painting of Daniel Adamson

Short text on Daniel Adamson ex Wikipedia.
Daniel Adamson (30 April 1820 – 13 January 1890) was an English engineer who became a successful manufacturer of boilers and was the driving force behind the inception of the Manchester Ship Canal project during the 1880s.     Adamson was a champion of the Manchester Ship Canal project. He arranged a meeting in Didsbury at his home, The Towers, on 27 June 1882, attended by 68 people including the mayors of Manchester and surrounding towns, leaders of commerce and industry, banker and financiers. Also present at the meeting was the canal's eventual designer Edward Leader Williams. Adamson was elected chairman of the provisional committee promoting the ship canal, and was at the forefront in pushing the scheme through Parliament in the face of intense opposition from railway companies and port interests in Liverpool. The requisite Act of Parliament enabling the canal was finally passed on 6 August 1885, after which Adamson became the first chairman of the board of directors of the Manchester Ship Canal Company – a post he held until February 1887.

As a result of his resignation, the first sod was cut by his successor, Lord Egerton of Tatton, the following November.

Adamson remained a strong supporter of the project but did not live to see its completion in 1894. He died at home in Didsbury on 13 January 1890. Daniel Adamson and Co remained a family business until 1964, when it was sold to Acrow Engineers Ltd.


Illustrated Talk.

The good folk of the The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society had prepared a talk with many photographs and to the great delight of our group and visitors short ‘Videos’ showing old film archives of both the opening of the canal and shipping on the canal including their own boat “The Danny”, which the society has rebuilt, preserved and operates on the lower reaches of the canal.
Hire of The Danny and trips are available at fixed prices. A time table is given on their website



An illustration of a talk being given in the art deco saloon of The Danny is at the top of this article.

The short videos of the boats and ships operating on the canal were most appreciated by our members and guests.

The Railway.

Railway private. Largest private railway in UK  link below is to a German language site on the railway.

Open in Ghoogle Chrome browser with translation set up.


ROUGH ENGLISH TEXT Google Translation

The Manchester Ship Canal Railway (MSC) was a purely industrial railway that only transported goods and was therefore neither affected by grouping in 1923 nor by nationalization in 1948. It remained independent until the end of 2009. The route network was around 320 km long at its greatest extent. 75 locomotives and around 2,700 freight wagons ran on this network .
It was operated by the Manchester Ship Canal Company .

It connected the Manchester docks to the Trafford Park industrial estate. Connections to the London and North Western Railway and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway were in the north of the canal . South of the docks was a connection to the network of the Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC), a joint company of the Great Central Railway , the Great Northern Railway and the Midland Railway .

Special steam locomotives were built for the tight radii in the docks. On the machines with the 0-6-0T axis sequence , the middle wheels had no wheel flange and the coupling rods had a hinge that allowed several centimeters of side play. From 1959, diesel locomotives were also used.

In addition to some locomotives, an earlier Toad Brake Van has been preserved and is owned by the National Waterways Museum. The MSC bought this brake van in the 1970s from British Railways , which had taken it over from the Great Western Railway in 1948 .

Since the MSC had no passenger traffic, it only had a single passenger car. The so-called Directors Saloon , with which the directors of the MSC drove, has been preserved and is now in the Staffordshire Museum (photos see web links).




References and links.

The 1910 book on the early history of the Manchester  Ship Canal, is available as a PDF without any maps. 

Its many maps are archived by a Manchester academic on a separate website.


Link to book PDFs.


PDF book in two volumes (out of copyright) These can be downloaded.

History of the Manchester Ship Canal, from its inception to its completion, with personal reminiscences

by Leech, Bosdin, Sir, 1836-

Publication date 1907


The maps from the book are on the academic  website given below.


 Internet Archive History o 910 f MSC Screenshot 2020 01 18 18 57 45






 BBC Archived page.


Wikipedia Barton Swing Bridge


Song of the canal.


PEEL PORTS website




The Danny Website Screenshot 2020 01 18 19 39 36t



The members and visitors give our grateful thanks to the work of the The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, Mr. Chris Evans and Mr. Les Green who by their presentation gave  a delightful evening to us,


Donations to The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society can be made through their  website:

Home page bottom right..

The Danny was rescued by our volunteers so that its heritage would reach present and future generations.

We want to reach all sectors of the community through a range of activities targeted at different ages, abilities and interests.

 In 2020, we will be running a number of family activity days, folk events, and choir performances, offering a programme of workshops
for scouts, guides and cadets and providing engaging days out for families who have a family member with autism or learning differences.

 Where possible, we keep community activities free of charge, and instead ask our public to make a donation if they can afford it.
For workshops and activities where we need to cover costs, we keep costs as low as possible.

The donation button via paypal is at the bottom right of their website home page.


Daniel Adamson made his money from his boiler works.

ex Wikipedia Boiler made at Daniel Adamson 270px Danieladamsonengineinstallsmalexd















20191114 CLHG report Masons. DRAFT

20191114 CLHG report Masons.

“Warrington Freemasons in Culcheth”.

On Thursday 14th November 2019, our members had the pleasure of an interesting talk illustrated by slides presented by a team of four Freemasons in Warrington, lead by Mr Victor Charlesworth, Curator of the Warrington Museum of Freemasonry and ably assisted by Caroline Crook, the Archivist of the Warrington Museum of Freemasonry.


The speaker started by saying what “Freemasonry was not”; as there are many rumours and tales from folk who do not know it origins or purposes in general circulation. Then followed by “What Freemasonry actually is”.

This is best summarized by words from the museum’s own booklet.

What Freemasonry is.

“Freemasonry is a secular, fraternal organisation.
It teaches its members moral lessons and self-knowledge through participation in a progression of allegorical two-part plays. These are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge, following ancient forms and symbolically using stonemasons’ customs and tools.”

A description of how the rituals were based on ‘methods’ to prove a person was not a ‘branded criminal’ (by the tale of exposing the breast to show there were no brand marks on the body), and that they were fit to do duty by displaying they had no injured limb (raising trousers) gave a historical idea of how some rituals developed in their group.


The word used for the group and its meeting place is assumed to come from the temporary wooden structures ‘lodges’ use by itinerant masons encamped at a building site such as a cathedral, while working there. Compare them to the “Container Cabins” used by people on building sites in today’s construction industry. Although nowadays most workers sleep ‘off site’, the container office/rest room/meeting room is a vital part of today’s construction industry.

Starting of Freemasonry.

The actual start of Freemasonry is lost, but a person inducted to Freemasonry in Warrington in 1646 is the earliest extant written record.

The questions of where, when, how and why Freemasonry originated are still the
subject of speculation.

The general consensus is that Freemasonry descends directly or indirectly from the organisation of working stone masons who built the great cathedrals and castles
of the medieval period. Freemasonry has a long and distinguished history. Many suppose it is much longer than its traceable 300 year plus history. While its origins are lost in the past there are a number of theories of how it began. However there are certainly strong links back to the mediaeval stone masons guilds.


Non-working Gentlemen admitted.

Their organisational unit, the lodge, began to admit men who were not working stonemasons beginning in England, with Sir Robert Moray who became a Freemason in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1642.


In 1646 in Warrington, Elias Ashmole became the first recorded Englishman initiated into an English Lodge.
It is assumed due to that recorded occasion that there had been Lodges throughout the British Isles before 1646 as one of the earliest recorded initiations in England was that of Elias Ashmole, founder of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, into a Lodge meeting at his father–law's house in Warrington Cheshire. In his diary in 1646 he recorded that “This day I was made Freemason”. Therefore, as a possible "speculative Freemason", Freemasonry must have been in operation before that date!
A “speculative Freemason” was a non-craftsman. While actual craftsman were designated ‘operative Freemason’.

Masonic records show his diary entry as:
The entries in Ashmole’s “Diary” which relate to his membership of the craft are three in number, the first in priority being the following:-
“1646, Oct. 16, 4.30. P.M. – I was made a Free
Mason at Warrington in Lancashire, with Coll: Henry Mainwaring of Karincham in
Cheshire. The names of those that were then of the Lodge [were] Mr Rich. Penket
Warden, Mr James Collier, Mr Rich. Sankey, Henry Littler, John Ellam Rich: Ellam
& Hugh Brewer.”
Link to Wikipedia page on Elias Ashmole.

Ashmole after Riley, Picture Note for Elias Ashmole after John Riley (d. 1691) - from english WikiPedia      Public Domain     File:Ashmole-after-Riley.jpg     Created: between 1687 and 1689 date

Ashmole after Riley,       Picture Note for Elias Ashmole after John Riley (d. 1691) - from English WikiPedia Public Domain.


 Formation, split and reunion.

On 24 June 1717 four London lodges met at the Goose and Gridiron tavern in St Paul’s Churchyard, declared themselves a "Grand Lodge" and elected a Grand Master.
This was the first Grand Lodge in the world. It began to hold regular meetings and published the first rule book.

However, as is often usual in voluntary social societies, there were those who differ and a separate set of lodges arose using a different Grand Lodge. Then on 17 July 1751, representatives of a different set of five Lodges gathered at the Turk's Head Tavern, in Greek Street, Soho, London and formed a rival Grand Lodge called The Most Antient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons.

These two organisations operated with their different procedures and the split lasted for sixty two years until both came together in 1717 to the form the Grand Lodge of England since when the development of Freemasonry, and its spread worldwide, has been extremely well documented.


Working masons with skill transfer to apprentices and recognition of skill levels.

It is generally agreed that freemasonry developed from the medieval stonemasons. These were the operative masons who built the cathedrals and castles.
For security they met and lived in buildings or Lodges at their worksites.
To enable the Master in charge to ascertain the range of skills of the travelling stonemasons, (the ‘free masons’ - not tied as serfs or specifically serving a single master). [Think of the modern term for a qualified craftsman as  a 'journeyman'.]  The free masons who came to offer their services, acted as the stonemasons guilds, which like other crafts or guilds, developed basic ceremonies for passing their skills onto new apprentices. Therefore, like all Guilds, when the apprentice stonemason had achieved a certain skill level he was informed of certain recognition signs, tokens and passwords.

This was necessary as there were no trade union cards, nationally recognised examination bodies or certificates of apprenticeship. But, these recognition signs were used to regulate the craft. Communication of these signs, tokens and words enabled the Master Mason in charge of a project to know a man’s ability.
Communication of these signs, tokens and pass words were closely guarded and, to ensure that the young apprentice understood their importance to the craft, there were many blood curdling oaths placed on him should he divulge them. [It was a time when religious matters were every current in peoples lives.] These pass words have no place in today's society but the initiate is informed that these were once traditional to becoming a free mason.


No one knows why, but in the early 1600s, some operative Lodges began to admit non-craft-stonemasons. They were “accepted” or “gentlemen” masons. Gradually they took over and became Lodges of free and accepted or "speculative masons", no longer having any ‘practical’ connection with the stonemason’s craft of working stone.

As, at this time, only ‘learned’ people could read and write most documentation which has survived tended to be ‘official’ documents. Added to this was the fact that all ritual had to be committed to memory and none actually written down. Masonic Ritual was not published in book form until the late 1800’s, so it was no wonder that the first written documentation was in the diary of Elias Ashmole, in 1646. The Antiquary and Founder of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, who records in his diary that he was made a Free Mason at his father-in-law’s house in Warrington. None of those present, had any connection with operative craft masonry. Therefore Freemasonry must have been in operation before that date!

Another theory of the start, which could run alongside that above, is that freemasonry was started because the late 1500s or early 1600s was a period of religious and political turmoil and intolerance. It was difficult to express differences of political and religious opinion. Opposing views often split families and resulted in the English Civil War of 1642 to 1646.

Supporters of this theory state that the originators of Freemasonry were men, who wished to promote tolerance and build a better world, in which men of differing opinions could peacefully co-exist and work together for the betterment of mankind. In the custom of their times they used allegory and symbolism to pass on their ideas.


What is the present purpose of Freemasonry?

Answer by speaker “to make good men better”.

Thus the charitable work of the Freemasons, based on the grouping of like-mined persons who have at least “a belief in a higher being” so it encompasses most religions and religious beliefs.
The Warrington masons include mostly Christians of all denominations and a few Jews and Muslims. However no Buddhists are known to be members.
Freemasonry is open to all who declare a belief in a "higher being" / "superior being". Those of no religious belief are unable to be members. Persons with criminal convictions are excluded and those who are members who incur criminal convictions are removed from membership.

Square and Compass 600x604

Square and Compass, with "G" for Geometry or perhaps "God", a supreme being. One on the main symbols of Fremasonry.


Charity Giving Size.

After the National Lottery, the Freemasons are the biggest givers of money to charitable causes in the United Kingdom.
All moneys being collected from donations by their members.

This charitable work is the main purpose of the Freemasons in the making of ‘good men better’ by the doing of charitable work.

As reported in the 22n January Warington Guardian, Head of Cheshire Freemasons, Stephen Blank at a recent meeeting where one million pounds was donated to charity, said: “Freemasons are not a charity themselves and we do not collect money from the public, but every lodge makes collections from its members for charitable use and this soon adds up.”



Women are not now excluded from Freemasonry in some places, however the history of women in Freemasonry is very complex.
Refer articles on French Freemasons and Wikipedia.


The Order of Women Freemasons is the oldest and largest Masonic organisation for women in this country (UK) and works on the lines of regular male Freemasonry.
The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) have, in a statement issued in 1999, acknowledged the regularity and sincerity of women’s Freemasonry, although they do not officially recognise it and their members cannot take part. Many of our own lodges meet in temples owned by the men’s Order and informal relations are cordial and co-operative. Similarly, there is a reciprocal agreement extended to members of UGLE holding their meetings on our premises.




The Warrington /East Lancs Freemasons have produced a video on Freemasonry that illustrates the talk given in a better way than the present writer could. However it is suggested to play this four minute video with the sound turned down.


Warrington and Culcheth Freemasons.

Due to the extensive documented practices of the Fremasons, they are able to trace most freemasons after the era of documentation started in the 1700s.
The Archivist Caroline Crook gave a vivid illustration of their record keeping and introduced some notable past freemasons of Culcheth and Warrington.
Some are documented at the local Parish Church on the founding stones recording the rebuilding after the fire in 1903 when a great part of the cost was paid for by local freemasons.
Caroline Crook had taken pictures of these inscribed stones to show us, as well as the grave of a local Freemason in Culcheth Parish Church Graveyard.

Members of the Parr family, the Greenhalls, and Stubs, were freemasons.

Lodge of Lights.

An active Lodge was “the Lodge of Light” in Warrington which celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016.
Lodge of Lights, No. 148, the oldest lodge in the Warrington Group in the West Lancashire Province celebrated its 250th anniversary in March 2016.
The Warrington lodges have met in many different buildings around Warrington and eventually built a dedicated Masonic hall for use by local lodges at Winmarleigh House,

Screenshot 2019 11 17 Warrington Museum of Freemasonry Lodge of Lights 1

Lodge of Lights document from Warrington Museum webpage. (screenshot).
This Lodge was founded in 1765.

 Warrington, Winmarleigh House

 Winmarleigh House, Winmarleigh Street. Warrington, WA1 1NB. The meeting place of Warrington freemasons.


The Warrington Museum of Freemasonry.

This is one of four masonic museums in the country and the only one in the North of England.
The museum is described on their own web page, which also has a leaflet for downloading at Link:

A dscriptive  downloadable leaflet is at the bottom of the page.

WMF Tri Fold Leaflet 205x300

Museum Leaflet.


From its humble beginnings in 2010, with a small cupboard, to now with a room full of impressive and unusual artefacts many with interesting stories to tell. The trustees of Warrington Museum of Freemasonry (WMF) have been working tirelessly to achieve charitable status for the last 2 years, its acceptance for charitable status was a cause for great celebration and the picture above shows Kevin Poynton Assistant Grand Master for West Lancashire presenting the certificate to Curator Vic Charlesworth and Archivist Caroline Crook.

Vic Charlesworth said when talking about charitable status “this is a great step forward in the development of the museum and will help us to access specialist funds for the conservation and display of our wonderful artefacts”.
The Museum was formally opened on the 5th March 2015,

The aim of the Museum is to stimulate a wide public interest in the history and development of Freemasonry and to establish the Museum as an integral part of the Warrington Cultural scene with a special focus on the Warrington Freemasons their history and place in the local community.
The aim of the Museum is to stimulate a wide public interest in the history and development of Freemasonry and to establish the Museum as an integral part of the Warrington Cultural scene with a special focus on the Warrington Freemasons, their history and place in the local community.
The museum now has a wide range of artefacts and exhibits, and continues to collect and preserve records, ephemera and artefacts from Masonic and associated fraternal societies. The Museum includes both, permanent and changing displays. The large collection of books and records are available for research purposes. It provides a varied and high quality heritage experience for both Masons and non Masons.

Contact details:

The Museum is located within the Warrington Masonic Hall:
Winmarleigh House, 15 Winmarleigh Street, Warrington WA1 1NB.
Tel: +44 1925 651468.
Museum Opening Times:
Wednesday 9:30am – 12:00 noon
Other times are available by appointment
Curator: Vic Charlesworth
Tel: +44 1925 655416
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The speaker extended a warm welcome to members to visit the museum.


Link to a webpage with the puported meanings of some basic masonic symbols.



Webmaster’s comment.
After this talk I understood much more about the change in personality of the character Pierre in War and Peace after his entry into Freemasonry. In the book we are introduced to the freemasons when Pierre is empowered by a traveller, and later by Count Willarski, to change his life, stand up for himself, and reaffirm his faith in god. Tolstoy portrays freemasons in "War and Peace" as a possitive influence on the world around them, turning a downtrodden and hopeless man into an optimistic and productive member of society. Pierre changes his life for the better, and renounces all negative influences in his life, after being initiated by the freemasons. He even stands up for himself, a major change in the character.


Our members thanked the speakers for their very enthusiastic talk and their dig into the archives to show us how persons in Culcheth and Warrington greatly aided the area with their charitable objectives and undertakings over many years, as well as their commemoration of their members who died during conflict.