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Newton in Makerfield, Lancashire

Historical Description

Newton-in-Makerfield or Newton-le-Willows, a town and a parish in Lancashire. The town stands adjacent to the Liverpool and Manchester railway, in the neighbourhood of the junctions N to Wigan and S to Warrington, 1½ mile ENE of the magnificent railway viaduct over the Sankey Valley, 5½ miles N by W of Warrington, and about midway between Liverpool and Manchester. It is sometimes called Newton-le-Willows, or Newton-in-the Willows; it is a borough by prescription; it sent two members to Parliament from the time of Elizabeth till the passing of the Reform Act in 1832, and was then disfranchised. It was the scene of a defeat of the Highlanders in 1648 by a part of Cromwell's forces, and is near the spot where Huskisson was killed in 1830, at the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester railway. It is a polling-place, and the place of election for one of the divisions of Lancashire, and it has a head post office and a railway station on the L. & N.W.R., both designated Newton-le-Willows, a town-hall, several inns, a constabulary station, three churches, Baptist, Congregational, Primitive Methodist, Wesleyan, and Roman Catholic chapels, a working men's club, and a cemetery. The parish church, or church of Emmanuel, is a stone edifice in the Early English style, and consists of nave, chancel, and porch, with tower and spire. St Peter's Church was rebuilt in 1834, and is also in the Early English style. St John the Baptist's Church was built in 1878, and is a fine structure in the Norman style. The Roman Catholic chapel was built in 1865, at a cost of £7000, and is in the Gothic style. A weekly market is held every Friday at Earlestown; fairs, chiefly for horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs, are held on 17 May and 11 and 12 Aug.; and races are held on the racecourse annually, at the end of May or beginning of June. There are locomotive works, an ironfoundry, a large sugar refinery, glass-works, paper mills, a printing establishment, railway waggon-works of the L. & N.W.R., and collieries in the neighbourhood. The Liverpool Farm Reformatory School, with about 30 acres of land and accommodation for 150 boys, was established here in 1859. The parish and the town are regarded as co-extensive, but the large village of Earlestown, adjacent to the Warrington junction, is included. Acreage, 3103; population, 12,861. The manor belonged to Edward the Confessor, passed to the Langtons and others, and belongs now to the Leghs. The head living is a rectory, and those of St Peter and St John the Baptist at Earlestown are vicarages, in the diocese of Liverpool; value of the rectory, £219 (net); of St Peter, £234 (gross); and of St John, £300, all with residences. Earlestown was formed into a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1879. Population, 6688. The ecclesiastical parish of Emmanuel has a population of 1899, and that of St Peter, 4274.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyLancashire 
HundredWest Derby 
Poor Law unionWarrington 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records, in association with Lancashire Archives, have images of the Parish Registers for Lancashire online.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Newton in Makerfield from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Lancashire is available to browse.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Lancashire newspapers online: