About Wesham and Kirkham


View the
Wesham Parish Plan to see a bit of history of the town of how the town leaders planned to see it develop.

Wesham
(taken from wikipedia)

Medlar with Wesham is civil parish on the Fylde in Lancashire, England. It lies within the Borough of Fylde, and had a population of 3,245 in 1,294 households recorded in the 2001 census.

The parish contains the town of Wesham, adjacent to the larger town of Kirkham outside the parish. Technically, town status attaches to the whole parish, but in practice it is the settlement of Wesham that is referred to as a "town".

The area within the boundaries of the parish have been populated since early medieval times, prior to the Norman conquest, with separate settlements at Bradkirk, Medlar, Wesham and Mowbreck. There was also a single moated farmstead at Pasture Barn midway between Medlar and Mowbreck. The present bridleway of Mowbreck Lane was the medieval route to Treales.

The modern town of Wesham (pronounced variously `Wesham', `Wessam' and `Wezzum') is only about 160 years old, and developed as the railway expanded to serve the growing popularity of resort towns such as Blackpool. From the 1920s to the 1950s huge numbers of steam trains plied their way to the coast via the station at Kirkham and Wesham.

Situated to the north of the rail station, from ½ a mile to 2½ miles North of Kirkham, in 1870-72 it had an area of 1,971 acres (798 ha) and property worth £3,441. The population in 1851 was 170 but by 1861 was 563. The increase of population arose largely from additional employment in cotton mills. At that time the manor of Wesham, with Mowbreck Hall, belonged to J. T. Fazakerley-Westby, Esq. The Hall was a fine edifice of red brick, castellated with stone and contained a domestic Roman Catholic chapel. It was once reputed to be haunted and had at one time been used as a Catholic School, one of whose pupils was Bible scholar George Leo Haydock.

A large school, used also as a lecture hall, belonging to the Independents, was built at Wesham in 1864 and opened in 1866. The premises is now the showroom for Salisburys Electricals.

A large new workhouse, to replace the much older one in Kirkham, was erected in 1903-7 designed on a pavilion plan by Charles S Haywood and Fred Harrison. Modern for its time, separate pavilions were provided for mothers and infants, and for infirm females, and also a two-roomed cottage for married couples. The heating and hot water were worked from a central station, under the control of the resident engineer, and with rotary pumps to assist circulation. The buildings were faced with Accrington red-pressed bricks, and stone dressings, the work being carried out by a Mr. Sam Wilson, of Lytham St. Annes. During the First World War the buildings were used as a Military Hospital and later became Wesham Park Hospital, a specialist geriatric and psychiatric institution). The buildings which remain today are now the administrative home to North Lancashire NHS Trust, with the remainder becoming a much needed brown field site for the "Willowfields" housing development.

The boundaries of Wesham were established over 100 years ago and did not change until local government changes in 1935 meant that 82 acres (33 ha) and 48 residents were transferred to Kirkham. Kirham lost only 8 acres (3.2 ha) of land, but with no loss of residents.

Kirkham (taken from wikipedia)

Kirkham (originally Kirkam-in-Amounderness) is a small town and civil parish in the Borough of Fylde in Lancashire, England, midway between Blackpool and Preston (11 miles west of Preston) and adjacent to the smaller town of Wesham. It owes its existence to Carr Hill upon which it was built and which was the location of a Roman fort.

It has a population of 7,127.

In his 1878 History of the Fylde of Lancashire, John Porter described Kirkham as ".. probably the earliest inhabited locality in the Fylde district."

Remains found at Carleton in the 1970s of an elk with two harpoons embedded suggest that the Fylde was inhabited as long ago as 8,000 BC.

The town is pre-Roman in its origin with a name originating from the Danish kirk (church) and -ham (Saxon for settlement, or "home"). It appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 under the name of Chicheham and is described as lying on the Roman road between Ribchester (Bremetennacum) and the River Wyre. The town's market charter was granted in 1269–70 by King Henry III.

In the 15th and 16th centuries Kirkham remained a small market town. But from the late 17th century the town grew into a thriving textile centre. From 1830 sailcloth was being woven in cottages in the town and later at the Flax Mill, built in 1861 by John Birley.

In 1792 a Roman brass shield boss was discovered by local schoolmaster John Willacy, in the Dow Brook, in Mill Hill Field. Willacy sold the shield to a Scotsman but it found its way to the Charles Townley collection in Burnley and from there to the British Museum. The oval shield, about 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter, bore the representation of a human figure, seated, with an eagle to the left and an athlete at the side.

In 1887 a memorial was erected, at Town End, to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The memorial was later moved to a site adjacent to the United Reformed Church. Looms ran in the town from about 1850 until 2003. At one time the town had eleven mills, the last to be built being Progress Mill in 1915.

On the lower part of Station Road "The Last Loom" of Kirkham is on permanent display. This loom, a crossrod type from the 1920s, with the use of tappets at the side, could produce an extensive range of fabrics including velvets, twills and Bedford cord. In 1925 Church Street became the subject of a pencil on paper drawing by Salford artist L. S. Lowry In his later "A Lancashire Village, 1935" he painted the scene again, but with a wider street full of people and a house in front of the church.



Local Links

LANCASHIRE HISTORIC TOWN SURVEY PROGRAMME KIRKHAM
Wesham Community Website
Wesham Action Group

 

We are concerned that the proposed development of Mill Farm into a retail and industrial park will have a number of undesirable consequences and we are pleading for your help in stopping it.

What can you do to help?

  • Write to your MP
  • Write to Fylde Borough Council
  • Write to your local councillor
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  • Distribute flyers or leaflet
  • Let AFC Fylde know you don't approve of their plans
  • Write to the local paper
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