Wigan Local History & Heritage Society

Wigan’s rich history and heritage ... waiting to be uncovered!

Discovering and protecting our Wigan history and heritage.


If you are interested in becoming a member of Wigan Local History and Heritage Society you will be most welcome.
Online membership is also available.
The subscription is currently £10 per annum, from 1/11/21 - 30/10/22 reduced to £5 if joining after February, and benefits will include:

Benefits
  • Full access to the website and all resources and articles
  • Free entry and priority to membership presentations (except those of fee charging speakers when a small charge may be made to cover the costs)
  • Invitations to local History quiz nights, guided walks and visits.
  • Zoom presentations from time to time.
  • Access to online monthly members meetings where we discuss the business of the Society.
  • Associate membership of Wigan Archaeological Society at 50% subscription cost.
  • Full membership of Wigan Building Preservation Trust
  • Regular copies of Lancashire History Federation Newsletter and Wigan Archaeological Society Newsletters.
  • Group subscriptions to the Lancashire Federation for Local History and the British Association for Local History and access to the excellent resources available for members on those websites.

Online membership is also available and is designed for any member who is not able to access the presentation meetings in Wigan, benefits will include:

  • Full access to the website and all resources and articles
  • A link to recordings of the local history presentations where possible.
  • A link to recordings of local History quiz nights, guided walks and visits where possible.
  • Zoom presentations from time to time.
  • Access to online monthly members meetings where we discuss the business of the Society.
  • Associate membership of Wigan Archaeological Society at 50% subscription cost.
  • Regular copies of Lancashire History Federation Newsletter and Wigan Archaeological Society Newsletters.
  • Group subscriptions to the Lancashire Federation for Local History and the British Association for Local History and access to the excellent resources available for members on those websites.

Here is the link to an application form if you would like to Join Our Society. There is no need to sign into google. 
Link
A Brief History of our Group provided by Sheila Ramsdale our President

Anne Catterall and I had been friends for over 20 years. We first met when Ann was doing a teacher training course at Wigan and Leigh College and I was one of her tutors. We discovered we had many things in common, not least a love of history and particularly Local History. Through the years we spent many hours researching local History down at the archives of Wigan Local Studies at the Museum of Wigan Life.
There we met Rita Fell and she became one of our partners in crime searching the catalogues for snippets of interesting information.. Once Ann retired our ambition was to set up a local history group to look at the people, industries, politics and other aspects of Industrial life that made up Wigan.
We held our first meeting in September 2013 at Book Cycle in Beech Hill, and we were delighted when over 15 people including Rita turned up for our first meeting. Since then the group went from strength to strength. As well as having guest speakers, such as Alan Davies with his vast knowledge of Mining, Yvonne Eckersley with her knowledge of feminists and local industry, we had speakers from further afield. We also went on visits to other Museums including, The Peoples History Museum at Manchester, The North West Labour History Museum in Salford and as far afield as The National Coal Mining Museum up in Wakefield.
Unfortunately Ann took ill suddenly and despite her tremendous courage she died from cancer on 6 April, 2015. We were all very shocked and upset.Right to the end Ann was discussing our projects and I promised her the group would carry on regardless and that we would achieve our goal of getting a mining statue erected in Wigan.
We set up a Charity out of our history group and this was named  WHAMM (Wigan Heritage and Mining Monument), we had 8 trustees including our M.P. Lisa Nandy and the Leader of Wigan Council, David Molyneux.We also had other members of the committee who helped with our fund raising, this took us over three years to accomplish.  However, we achieved our goal with help from the people of Wigan, Brighter Borough money from local Councillors and a very generous anonymous donation from a local benefactor.
Our finest event was when Maxine Peake came to St. Michaels Church. This was a sell out. We had a marvellous evening and made over £4,000 for WHAMM. The statues of a Miner, Pit Brow Girl and young boy were unveiled during lockdown by the Contractor Stuart and Sheila. We are intending to have an official unveiling once the Covid Virus becomes more manageable.


The Local History and Heritage Group have still continued meeting, but I decided to resign as Chairperson because of other commitments. Luckily, two of our members, Clare and Paul Kenyon agreed to take over the running of the group which has been a great success. What was once a cosy little group of friends has grown into a large society with a new dynamic web site and with a huge following on social media.  Sheila Ramsdale


New Content - recently added

New Content - recently added

Recent content added to our website.....

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FIND YOUR STREET & NEIGHBOURS IN 1968

FIND YOUR STREET & NEIGHBOURS IN 1968

Find your parent's, grandparent's street and neighbours in 1968. May be even yourself!

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Roman Wigan

Roman Wigan

Worth a read........

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Presentation on Roman Wigan

Presentation on Roman Wigan

Presentation by Ian Miller on the archaeological investigations of Roman Wigan.

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A collection of historical articles, and reminiscences of Wigan

Springfield Hall

Springfield Hall

An in depth look at the lives of the families known to have lived at Springfield Hall between 1813 and its demolition in 1937. It is one of the many halls in the Wigan area that have been lost and have now disappeared into history.

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Wigan Election Riots of 1831

Wigan Election Riots of 1831

A detailed look at the reasons for the election riots in Wigan in May 1831, the backgrounds of the characters involved and the consequences for the perpetrators of the ensuing violence.

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Westwood Hall

Westwood Hall

After the disastrous fire in 2022 Andy Lomax investigated the little known history of the 17th century building

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The Tale of William Tipping

The Tale of William Tipping

Ever wondered how Tipping Street and The Tipping's Arms got there names. Read the interesting article from locallife by Nicola Gray with research undertaken by the Society.

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Tales from the Workhouse - The Story of Sarah Hartley

Tales from the Workhouse - The Story of Sarah Hartley

Sarah Hartley, the young Wigan girl who had spent her adolescent years at Wigan Union Workhouse and Edgworth Children’s Home left an enduring legacy in Canada that is celebrated to this day.

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From Wigan to Wirral

From Wigan to Wirral

A chance meeting with a Wirral family leads to the significance of a chair, the Price of Wales pub in Scholes, the Union Street Burial Society and recollections of burials in the 1950's

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Centenary of the Wigan Coat of Arms

Centenary of the Wigan Coat of Arms

Article by Derek Wistanley celebrating the 100 years since the town was awarded its "ancient and loyal" Coat of Arms, replacing the old Common Seal.

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The Rushton Brothers and their Building

The Rushton Brothers and their Building

History of the O&G Rushton business, the brothers and their Building.

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Thomas Skelton - "The Fool of Haigh?"

Thomas Skelton - "The Fool of Haigh?"

Thomas Skelton also known as "The Muncaster Fool" his time at Haigh Hall, the Bradshaigh portrait and his Will.

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Royal Ordnance Factory - Beech Hill

Royal Ordnance Factory - Beech Hill

History from WW2 to the present, and the reasons for the selection of the site as a munitions factory.

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Wigan Workhouse and the Poor Law Union

Wigan Workhouse and the Poor Law Union

This article by Graham Taylor explains the history of Poor Law, the formation of the Wigan Poor Law Union, the building of the new Workhouse in Frog Lane, the conditions inside and the regime followed by its inmates.

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Nurses McIntyre & Fletcher

Nurses McIntyre & Fletcher

An interesting article, by Julie Foster on the early days of the Wigan Infirmary and the contribution of these nurses and the lasting recognition they received.

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Material that could assist in the research and appreciation of the history and heritage of Wigan.

Wigan & Leigh Archives

Wigan & Leigh Archives

The Wigan Archives Service has well over 500,000 documents, photographs, maps and historic books in our collections.

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wiganworld

wiganworld

An exceptional collection of photos, history and memories of Wigan

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Cemetery Index

Cemetery Index

Find graves at Wigan, Gidlow, Hindley, Ince and Westwood Cemeteries, with kind permission of wiganworld

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Wigan Buildings

Wigan Buildings

Wigan Building Preservation Trust (WBPT) - All the Listed Buildings within Wigan Council area, including non-listed buildings that are of historical and architectural interest.

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BETA Education

BETA Education

We are committed to researching local history and recording local people’s memories for the future. Also, with the local community, taking part in local heritage events, thus furthering education and access to local history.

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Old Maps

Old Maps

Ordnance survey maps of Wigan from the 1840's onwards

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Films, Videos & Presentations

Films, videos and presentations on Wigan from 1900 to the present day. Enjoy!

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Derek Winstanley

Derek Winstanley

Although Derek has lived in Illinois, USA, for 40 years, he returns to Wigan nearly every year and has written extensively on local history.Thanks to Derek we are pleased to provide access to his materials on the local history of Wigan and Winstanley.

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Ken Scally

Ken Scally

Some cameo pieces by one of our members - Images courtesy of Wigan Archives

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Tom Walsh - Local Historian

Tom Walsh - Local Historian

Recollections and memories of growing up in Wigan in the 1950s & 1960s.

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Graham Taylor - Local History & Military Historian

Graham Taylor - Local History & Military Historian

Graham Taylor specialises in military history, telling the stories of local regiments, the soldiers that served in them, and of their families and communities from the early 19th century to modern day. Also topics of local interest including heritage buildings, establishments and individuals.

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Jim Meehan

Jim Meehan

Stories and presentations from Jim who is a retired civil servant with an interest in local and family history, as well as archaeology.

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The Society is committed to raising awareness of projects that maintain and enhance the fabric and infrastructure of Wigan's history and heritage.

The Galleries Redevelopment

Campaign to overcome the complete and wholesale demolition of the The Galleries complex,

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The Galleries - Heritage Asset Register

Identify, Protect & Relocate the Assets and Artefacts

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Plantation Gates - Ongoing

Project to restore the Gateway and Lodges. Grade 2* Listed Building "At-Risk"

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Common Seal Stonework - Ongoing

The project aim is to repair and relocate the stonework, recovered, from the old Town Hall, King St, to a prominent position within the Town Centre.

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Wigan Buildings - Ongoing

Volunteers required to photograph and research local buildings

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The Gidlow Sisters - Closed

Discovering and locating oil paintings of Margaret Eleanor and Amelia Gidlow originally displayed in the Board Room of Wigan Infirmary. There is also a stained galss window dedicated to the sisters.

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Introduction to "The Street That Was"

Introduction to "The Street That Was"

Wigan Local History & Heritage Society are very proud to be invited to contribute to the King Street Heritage Zone project.

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Your comments and views

Your comments and views

Links to the Heritage Action Zone website to record your comments and views.

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Historic Buildings in the Heritage Action Zone

Historic Buildings in the Heritage Action Zone

The Heritage Action Zone covers the area around King Street. It is packed with important historical buildings, there are already 10 listed buildings in the zone and at least another 20 that are historically important.

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Lost Buildings of King Street

Lost Buildings of King Street

The Society believes it is important to identify the "Lost Buildings" of the Street to evoke the memories and the contribution of these buildings to the rich history and heritage of Wigan.

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The Royal Court Theatre

The Royal Court Theatre

The project includes the renovation of this historic building

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Public support for the King Street Heritage Project

Public support for the King Street Heritage Project

Photo and drone presentation of King Street buildings welcoming the forthcoming improvements by Simon Radcliffe and Ian Tranter

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What's happening....

What's happening....

Take a look here to see what we have planned.

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King Street in 1849

King Street in 1849

A snapshot of the Street developed from the 1849 Ordnance Survey map.

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Come along and join our group

Upcoming Events & Meetings

Our Calendar of upcoming events and meetings

View the Calendar 


Our venue and meeting dates:

Wigan Local History and Heritage Society meets on the second Monday of each month, with a local history themed presentation starting at 7.15pm in The Function Room at Real Crafty, Wigan  https://www.realcraftywigan.online/

The doors open at 12 noon, and the bar is open serving drinks plus hot and cold beverages, so come along early and have a chat.

Free parking on street is available after 6pm.

This room is on the ground floor and is fully accessible to all. 

However, toilets are not fitted with grab rails so cannot be classed as disabled toilets for that reason.

A warm welcome is given to members old and new, and visitors are also welcome.

Everyone is welcome to join us and learn about the rich history and heritage of Wigan.

The membership fee is £10 per year, payable in September, reduced to £5 for new members who join after February.

info@realcraftywigan.co.uk

01942 200364


Our Constitution

View Our Constitution


Recent Minutes

2021 October

2021 September - AGM

2021 Aug 

2021 July

2021 June

2021 May

2021 Apr

2021 Mar

2021 Feb

2021 Jan

2020 Oct

2020 June

2020 May - No meeting due to Covid 19 lockdown

2020 April - No meeting due to Covid 19 lockdown

2020 March

2020 February

2020 January

2019 December - No meeting -  Xmas Party

2019 November

2019 October.

2019  September  (2019 AGM  - Minutes to be agreed at next AGM)

2019 August.


Useful Links
Here you will find links to useful, related websites.

If you would like us to add your link please click this to contact us 


Local


Billinge History Society
A website devoted to the ancient parish of Billinge with many photographs to look at.
Visit Billinge History Society »


Buildings of Local Interest (BLint)
Guidance on proposing buildings and structures for the Wigan Council Local List
Visit Buildings of Local Interest »


Canals & River Trust
A charity who look after and bring to life 2,000 miles of waterways
Visit Canals & Rivers Trust - North West


Crooke Village
Crooke is a small village situated a couple of miles to the west of Wigan town centre and has a fascinating history.
Visit Crooke Village »


earlyWIGANrugby
A website focusing on rugby in the town 1862-1915
Visit earlyWIGANrugby

Friends of Haigh Hall Heritage and Open Access For All
A group campaigning to protect historic rights of public access within the grounds of Haigh Woodland Park.
Visit Friends of Haigh Hall and Open Access For All


Friends of Haigh Woodland Park
The objectives of the group are to develop and maintain facilities in the Country Park that the residents of Wigan will enjoy using.
Visit Friends of Haigh Woodland Park »


Friends of Leyland Park
The Friends of Leyland Park are a community group, dedicated to improving the standard of Leyland Park in Hindley, Lancashire and more importantly, by way of hosting events, bringing the entire community together.
Visit Friends of Leyland Park »


Museum of Wigan Life
Discover the people and places of Wigan Borough both past and present. Library Street, Wigan, WN1 1NU
Visit Museum of Wigan Life »


Scheduled Ancient Monuments in Wigan & Leigh
The borough of Wigan contains 12 Scheduled Ancient Monuments, ranging from medieval cross bases to colliery machinery. Scheduled Ancient Monuments are sites of national historical or archaeological importance which are given legal protection by being placed on a list or schedule.
Visit Scheduled Ancient Monuments in Wigan & Leigh »


The Makerfield Rambler
Lots of interesting information and photos of Ashton-in-Makerfield and surrounding areas.
Visit The Makerfield Rambler »


Wigan Archaeological Society
Over the years the society have carried out a number of field projects within the Wigan district. Reports of these projects are available on-line through the projects area of the website
Visit Wigan Archaeological Society »


Wigan Archives & Local Studies
The Wigan Archives Service cares for the historical records of the Wigan Metropolitan Borough making them available to the public. Access to collections of records for its people, places, businesses, churches, societies and all manner of other organisations, preserving the history of the entire borough.
Visit Wigan Archives and Local Studies »


Wigan Civic Trust
A society that takes an interest in the environment and heritage of Wigan. They have monthly meetings on the second Monday of the month at St. Goerge's Church, Water St, Wigan at 7.30pm.
Visit Wigan Civic Trust »


Wigan Family & Local History
Research into family & local history
Visit Wigan Family & Local History »


Wigan Heritage Network
The Wigan Borough Environment & Heritage Network is the forum for anyone concerned with Environment, Heritage, History and Archaeology matters, throughout the entire Wigan Borough, to meet on a regular basis and exchange news, views and aspirations.
Visit Wigan Heritage Network »


Wigan Parish Church
The Parish Church of All Saints Wigan is by far the oldest church in Wigan but when it was founded and when the Christian religion was first established in Wigan is unknown.
Visit Wigan Parish Church »


Wigan Town Trails
A short history of Wigan and a couple walks with notes.
Visit Wigan Town Trails »


Wigan World
Wigan on the Internet
Visit Wigan World »



National


Ogilby Muster
A new Online Military Archive
Online access to the collections of Regimental and Corps museums from across the UK.
Visit the Ogilby Muster


Architectural Heritage Fund
The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity founded in 1976 to promote the conservation of historic buildings in the UK.
Visit The Architectural Heritage Fund »


Association of Building Preservation Trusts
Promoting and supporting the rescue and sustainable use of historic buildings.
Visit Association of Building Preservation Trusts »


Historic England
Historic England exists to protect and promote England's spectacular historic environment and ensure that its past is researched and understood. Website includes lots of useful information including listed buildings at risk.
Visit Historic England »


Historic England Map Search
Interactive map where can search for listed buildings by postcode or address.
Visit Historic England Map Search »


Lancashire Society
A group who are set to preserve the literary heritage of Lancashire. It has become clear, in recent times, that the spoken and written heritage has been neglected by many inhabitants of this county and only enthusiastically promoted by a few.
Visit The Lancashire Society »


National Trust
The National Trust is a charity and is completely independent of Government. They rely for income on membership fees, donations and legacies, and revenue raised from their commercial operations.
Visit The National Trust »


Planning Sanity
Planning Sanity was set up to help local communities tackle adverse planning and development applications that threaten to blight their communities.
Visit Planning Sanity »


Save Britain's Heritage
Save Britain's Heritage have been campaigning for historic buildings since its formation in 1975.
Visit Save Britain's Heritage »


War Memorials Trust
War Memorials Trust works for the protection and conservation of war memorials in the UK.
Visit War Memorials Trust »

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1876 - Robbery at the Shop

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1876 - Pianoforte Advert

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1876 - Subscription Concert

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1878 - Charles Halle Concert

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1895 - Partnership Dissolved - Charles Grime

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1895 - Partnership Dissolved - Charles & Somers Grime

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Record Labels

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Obituary - James Grime

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Obituary - Ellen Grime

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RT Jonson - the Architect

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Explosion in Arcade

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