Wigan Local History & Heritage Society

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

News


A Barbarous Wigan Murder

Video of a presentation given by Jim Meehan on Victorian Crime and Punishment in Wigan. Including a barbarous murder on Wigan Lane in the early 1800s.

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Update

Recent content added to our website.....

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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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BETA Education

BETA Education has made available all of their books, published over many years.

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About Us


Discovering and protecting our Wigan history and heritage.

About Us
Our mission is to excite and engage people of all ages and ability, to discover and preserve Wigan Heritage, by bringing it to life creatively, for the present and future generations.
The Society will promote and help to maintain an interest in the local history and heritage of Wigan and district, and historical matters in general.
It will be a place where likeminded organisations and groups can add links to their sites, enabling easy access and coherence for research projects.
It will initiate and encourage research into local history.
It will raise awareness, and campaign publicly on issues where heritage is at risk.
Please get in touch if you would like to add a link to your organisation.

If you would like to become a Member please click the link:- Join our Society

Articles


A collection of historical articles, and reminiscences of Wigan

Volunteering Opportunity- Wigan Archives

Volunteering Opportunity- Wigan Archives

Decription of the Archives Volunteering opportunity.

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Directory - Ince Streets & families.....what year?

Directory - Ince Streets & families.....what year?

Looking to find which year the Directory was printed? Find the Ince Streets and families.

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History of Beech Hill & The Thicknesse Family

History of Beech Hill & The Thicknesse Family

A very interesting and in-depth article by local historian Graham Taylor.

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The History & Memories of Wigan Little Theatre

The History & Memories of Wigan Little Theatre

A Zoom presentation by member, Ron Hunt, to the group in Feb 2021

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Lost Buildings - Pemberton & Highfield

Lost Buildings - Pemberton & Highfield

Some history and memories of lost buildings in Pemberton & Highfield

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Beech Hill Farm & The Gill Family

Beech Hill Farm & The Gill Family

Article by Graham Taylor reserching Beech Hill and the Gill family

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Brideoake - Standish

Brideoake - Standish

A national builder has named a new development in Standish “Brideoake Court” after a local historic figure. But who was he? Find out here.

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WW1 & Jireh Chapel

WW1 & Jireh Chapel

An article by our member, Pam Thomas, on the members of the congregation from the Jireh Chapel, Orrell, who fought in the World War One.

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The Lives of the Eckersleys

The Lives of the Eckersleys

A presentation on the Lives of the Eckersley family by one of members, Andy Lomax.

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Earliest "outdoor" photo in Wigan?

Earliest "outdoor" photo in Wigan?

Photo of a Cricket Match played on the Mesnes in 1864, the ground later became Mesnes Park. Summary of the players with the social aspects!

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A History of the Wigan Coalfield & Coal Mining in Hindley

A History of the Wigan Coalfield & Coal Mining in Hindley

Investigation of the Wigan Coalfield & Mining in Hindley

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Grade 2* At-Risk buildings in Wigan

Grade 2* At-Risk buildings in Wigan

Produced in October 2020 - It's very challenging to remove some of these buildings, due to several factors.

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Resources


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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Old Films & Videos

Old Films & Videos

Old Films of Wigan, mostly from the British Film Institute (BFI) , Mainly from 1900 - 1904

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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 - Wigan Family Military & Local History

Graham Taylor - Wigan Family Military & Local History

This page by Graham Taylor, local military historian, is dedicated to telling the stories of local soldiers, their families and communities in the Great War of 1914-1918 and before.

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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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Projects


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

Plantation Gates

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

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Common Seal Stonework

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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The Gidlow Sisters

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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Wigan Buildings

Volunteers required to photograph and research local buildings

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King Street Heritage Action Zone


"The Street That Was"

Part of the Heritage Action Zone - History of King Street

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The Royal Court Theatre

The project includes the renovation of this historic building

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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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Support for the King Street Project

Photo presentation of King Street buildings welcoming the forthcoming improvements.

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Next Meeting


Come along and join our group

UPDATE: All future scheduled meetings have been put on hold until things return back to normality ...

 Meanwhile, meetings will take place electronically via Zoom. If you are interested in joining a Zoom meeting please get in touch. 

Contact Us


Last Meeting

Derek Winstanley shared some of his fascinating research into the life and times of radical thinker, Gerrard Winstanley, his family and the influence of Wigan.

View Zoom presentation


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 Wigan Sports Club also known as Wigan Cricket Club. 

The doors open at 6:30pm, and the bar is open serving drinks plus hot and cold beverages, so come along early and have a chat.

Free parking is available.

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

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.

Members £2.50, visitors £3.00 per meeting.

The membership fee is £5 per year, payable in September, reduced to £2.50 for new members who join after February.


Wigan Cricket Club

Bull Hey, Parsons Walk, Parson's Walk, Wigan WN1 1RU

01942 241581


Group History


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. The group meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at Wigan Cricket Club at 7pm, everyone is very welcome to come along you will enjoy our sessions.  Sheila Ramsdale

Minutes


Somebody's got to do 'em!


Our Constitution

View Our Constitution


Recent Minutes

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


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


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 »

Contact