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—  Town, Borough & Unitary authority  —
Warrington Town Hall.jpg
Warrington Town Hall
Official logo of Warrington
Coat of Arms of the Borough Council
Warrington UK locator map.svg
Warrington shown within Cheshire
Coordinates: 53°23′N 2°36′W / 53.383, -2.6
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region North West England
Ceremonial county Cheshire
Admin HQ Warrington Town Hall
Founded 8th century
(exact date unknown)
Town charter 12th century
(exact date unknown)
Unitary Authority status 1998
 • Type Unitary authority
 • Governing body Warrington Borough Council
 • Mayor Peter Carey
 • MPs: Helen Jones (L)
David Mowat (C)[1]
Population (2006 est.)
 • Total 202,700 (Ranked 82nd)
 • Ethnicity 95.9% White
2.5% South Asian
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)
Postcode WA 1-5 and 13
Area code(s) 01925
ISO 3166-2 GB-WRT
ONS code 00EU (ONS)
E06000007 (GSS)
OS grid reference SJ605885

Warrington is a town in Cheshire, England. It stands on the banks of the River Mersey, 18.5 miles (29.8 km) miles east of Liverpool, 16 miles (26 km) west of Manchester and 8 miles (13 km) south of St Helens. The population in 2011 was 202,228;[2] its population has more than doubled since its designation as a New Town in 1968.

Warrington was founded by the Romans at an important crossing place on the River Mersey. A new settlement was established by the Saxons. By the Middle Ages, Warrington had emerged as a market town at the lowest bridging point of the river. A local tradition of textile and tool production dates from this time.

Historically in Lancashire, the expansion and urbanisation of Warrington coincided with the Industrial Revolution, particularly after the Mersey was made navigable in the 18th century. The West Coast Mainline runs north to south through the town, and the Liverpool to Manchester railway (the Cheshire Lines route) west to east. The Manchester Ship Canal cuts through the south of the borough (west to east). The M6, M56 and M62 motorways form a partial box around the town.

People from Warrington are known as Warringtonians.[3] The modern Borough of Warrington was formed in 1974 with the amalgamation of the former County Borough of Warrington, part of the Golborne Urban District, the Lymm Urban District, part of the Runcorn Rural District, the Warrington Rural District and part of the Whiston Rural District.


Warrington has been a major crossing point on the River Mersey since ancient times and there was a Roman settlement at Wilderspool.[4] In medieval times Warrington's importance was as a bridging point of the River Mersey, and it was a fulcrum in the English Civil War. The armies of Oliver Cromwell and the Earl of Derby both stayed near the old town centre (the parish church area). Popular legend has it that Cromwell lodged near the building which survives on Church Street as the Cottage Restaurant. The Marquis of Granby public house bears a plaque stating that the Earl of Derby 'had his quarters near this site'. Dents in the walls of the parish church are rumoured to have been caused by the cannons from the time of the civil war. On 13 August 1651 Warrington was the scene of the last Royalist victory of the civil war when Scots troops under Charles II and David Leslie, Lord Newark, fought Parliamentarians under John Lambert at the Battle of Warrington Bridge.

Industrial historyEdit

The expansion and urbanisation of Warrington largely coincided with the Industrial Revolution, particularly after the Mersey was made navigable in the 18th century. As Britain became industrialised, Warrington embraced the Industrial Revolution becoming a manufacturing town and a centre of steel (particularly wire), textiles, brewing, tanning and chemical industries. The navigational properties of the River Mersey were improved, canals were built, and the town grew yet more prosperous and popular. When the age of steam came, Warrington naturally welcomed it, both as a means of transport and as a source of power for its mills.

Post-war expansionEdit

Warrington was designated a new town in 1968 and consequently the town grew in size, with the Birchwood area being developed on the former ROF Risley site.[5] Heavy industry declined in the 1970s and 1980s but the growth of the new town led to a great increase in employment in light industry, distribution and technology.

IRA bombingEdit

On 20 March 1993, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonated two bombs in Warrington town centre. The blasts killed two children: three-year-old Johnathan Ball died instantly, and twelve-year-old Tim Parry died five days later in hospital. Around 56 other people were injured, four seriously. Their deaths provoked widespread condemnation of the organisation responsible. The blast followed a bomb attack a few weeks earlier on a gas-storage plant in Warrington.

Tim Parry's father Colin Parry founded the Peace Centre (formerly the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre) as part of a campaign to reconcile communities in conflict. The centre opened on the seventh anniversary of the bombing in 2000. He and his family still live in the town.

Other historyEdit

In 1981, Warrington was the first place to field a candidate for the then newly formed Social Democratic Party; former Home Secretary Roy Jenkins stood for Parliament but lost to Labour Party candidate Doug Hoyle by a small number of votes.

Many people, particularly Americans, remember Warrington best as the location of Burtonwood RAF base. During World War II, it served as the largest US Army Air Force base outside the United States, and was visited by major celebrities like Humphrey Bogart and Bob Hope who entertained the G.I.s. It continued in use by the USAAF and subsequently USAF as a staging post for men and material until 1993.

There was a further RAF training camp at Padgate, a Royal Naval air base at Appleton Thorn (RNAS Stretton) and an army base at the Peninsula Barracks in O'Leary Street, now used by the Territorial Army.

In October 1987, Swedish home products retailer IKEA opened its first British store in the Great Sankey area of the town, bringing more than 200 retail jobs to the area.[6]


Historically in Lancashire, Warrington was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1847 under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. Warrington acquired county borough status upon reaching a population of 50,000 in 1900 and until 1974 was known as the County Borough of Warrington. As part of proposed local government reforms of England, in 1969 the Redcliffe-Maud Report suggested merging Warrington with either Merseyside or Greater Manchester metropolitan counties. Lobbying by the borough council averted this. But, since these county boundary changes were to make Warrington non-contiguous with Lancashire, under the local government reforms of 1974, Warrington, incorporating Lymm Urban District and part of Runcorn Rural District from Cheshire, and part of Warrington Rural District, was made a borough within Cheshire County Council.

On 1 April 1998, Warrington became an independent unitary authority, though it is still served by Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, and forms part of Cheshire for ceremonial purposes, such as the Lord Lieutenancy. The current borders of Warrington Borough cover the former County Borough of Warrington, Lymm Urban District, Warrington Rural District and part of Golborne Urban District, part of Runcorn Rural District and part of Whiston Rural District.

Warrington has applied unsuccessfully for city status, the most recent attempt being after the opening of the Peace Centre as a "City for Peace".

As of 4 May 2012 the political makeup of the borough council is as follows:

Current councillor party composition after the Warrington Council election, 2012:

Party Councillors
Liberal Democrat 12
Labour 41
Conservative 4

By consequence, the council is run by Labour.

At Westminster, Warrington is represented by two MPs. Helen Jones (Labour) represents Warrington North, and David Mowat (Conservative) represents Warrington South.


The Borough of Warrington is bordered by Halton, Cheshire West and Chester, and Cheshire East boroughs in the Ceremonial County of Cheshire and by the metropolitan boroughs of Trafford, Salford and Wigan in Greater Manchester and St. Helens in Merseyside.

Subdivisions, suburbs and civil parishes of WarringtonEdit

The Borough of Warrington is subdivided into 18 civil parishes and various suburbs of the central town of Warrington, which is an unparished area:

Civil parishesEdit

Appleton, Birchwood, Burtonwood and Westbrook, Croft, Cuerdley, Culcheth and Glazebury, Grappenhall and Thelwall, Great Sankey, Hatton, Lymm, Penketh, Poulton-with-Fearnhead, Rixton-with-Glazebrook, Stockton Heath, Stretton, Walton, Winwick, Woolston

Other areasEdit

Appleton Thorn, Bewsey, Blackbrook, Bruche, Callands, Chapelford, Cinnamon Brow, Cobbs, Dallam, Fairfield, Gemini, Gorse Covert, Grange, Hermitage Green, Hollins Green, Howley, Hulme, Kenyon, Latchford, Locking Stumps, Martinscroft, Old Hall, Omega, Longford, Orford, Paddington, Padgate, Risley, Sankey Bridges, Thelwall, Westbrook, Westy, Whitecross, Wilderspool, Woolston, Wright's Green


Warrington has a temperate maritime climate with warm summers and cool winters. Rain is spread across the year with thunderstorms occurring only in the summer months. Summer heat waves are rare but can cause temperatures to exceed 30'c. Summers are always snow and frost free and rarely experience high winds. Winters are generally mild with most days recording above 0'c and free of lying snow. However during occasional lengthy cold snaps night-time temperatures can fall to -12'c with lying snow lasting for weeks. Ground frost regularly occurs from late October until late March. High winds are not uncommon in winter although rarely above gale force 7.

Climate data for Warrington, United Kingdom
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 42
Average low °F (°C) 33
Precipitation inches (cm) 3.8
Source: Weatherbase[7]


Based on ONS statistics

Population and ethnicityEdit

Warrington has a total population of over 202,000, of which 49.6% are male and 50.4% are female. The average age of the population is 38.06 years, which is slightly below the regional and national averages. In the borough, the majority of people are of White British ethnicity (97.9%). The key minorities are of Asian origin (0.8%), mixed race (0.6%), and of black origin (0.2%). Other racial origins account for 0.5% of the population.

There are around 100 churches or other Christian communities, two mosques, and a Sikh temple Guru Nanak Gurdwara which is the only Sikh place of worship in Cheshire.[8]

Housing and social situationEdit

As of the 2011 census, the borough of Warrington had 85,100 households. From 2001 data (80,593 households), 76% are owner occupied, 17.6% are rented from the council, 4.8% are rented from other sources and 1.6% of houses have residents who live rent free. Warrington has a population density of 10.7 residents per hectare, and 31.9% of residents describe the borough is a comfortably well off area, 4.3% of households are deemed overcrowded. Of the total population, 5.8% of residents are on some form of benefits.

Employment and educationEdit

At 2005, the borough of Warrington had 63.6% employment, with only 2.9% of all economically active people unemployed - although a substantial rise began in 2008 due to the recession. 2.3% of the population are students in full-time higher education. 31.1% of the total population are economically inactive (due to retirement, ill health, or full-time carer status). According to borough statistics, of the population (in the Borough of Warrington in 2005). 26.9% are unqualified (either due to leaving school early or failing the end of school examinations). 46.4% have level 1 or 2 qualifications (level 1 being 1+ GCSE (A*-G) or "O" Level or equivalent, level 2 being 5+ GCSEs (grades A-C), 1+'A' levels/ AS levels (A-E) or equivalent). 19.7% have received level 3+ qualifications (meaning 2+ A-levels (A-E), 4+ AS-levels (A-E) or equivalent minimum).


Buttermarket Street, Warrington - - 1305335

Buttermarket Street, the main shopping street in Warrington.

This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Halton and Warrington at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added[9] Agriculture[10] Industry[11] Services[12]
1995 3,636 14 1,361 2,261
2000 4,768 10 1,433 3,324
2003 5,774 18 1,399 4,356

There is a large Unilever factory in Warrington where detergents are made.

Warrington Council and Warrington & Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are major employers in the borough.

In spite of its proximity to significant retail areas in Manchester, Liverpool, Chester and the out-of-town Trafford Centre, Warrington continues to have one of the larger shopping centres in North West England. Despite the competition, Warrington has seen an increase in its customer trade, due in part to the modernisation of the town centre. It has a shopping mall (Golden Square) first opened in 1974, which has been extended to include a Debenhams store, and a new bus station. The old Cockhedge Textile Mill was demolished and replaced by another shopping mall. The main shopping streets are Buttermarket Street, Horsemarket Street, Sankey Street and Bridge Street. Where these four streets intersect at Market Gate, there is an award-winning redevelopment with a large fountain and "guardians" (known locally as "the skittles") designed by Howard Ben Tré. The town also has a large indoor market, and several other small shopping malls, such as Hatters Row. In the surrounding modern suburbs, there are several shopping areas, from small groups of shops to malls such as Birchwood Mall. IKEA chose Warrington as the location for their first store when they came to the UK; the store is located in the large out-of-town shopping area of Gemini, which has a large Marks and Spencer (the biggest outside London), Toys "R" Us, and Next outlets.


The Omega Development Site close to the M62 on the northern edge of Warrington is a major business park to be developed in stages over the next 30 years. The site for this is the 575 acres (2.327 km2) of space on the former Burtonwood Airbase.

Other planned developments in Warrington have been delayed by the economic climate, but the Borough Council has engaged developers to redevelop the Time Square and Market area of the town centre.


Warrington - 1851 - Project Gutenberg eText 13721

Warrington after the coming of the railway, 1851

The town has two main railway stations. Bank Quay is on the main West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Glasgow Central and the Manchester Piccadilly to North Wales via Chester line. Central is on the Liverpool to Manchester line (via Widnes and Warrington) with through services to the North East and to East Anglia. Bank Quay is much altered, but Central (built 1873) is of some architectural merit, featuring polychromatic brickwork. Both have undergone some refurbishment including new entrances. There are also railway stations in the suburbs at Padgate, Sankey, Glazebrook and Birchwood.

The town lies close to the M62, M6 and M56 motorways and midway between Liverpool and Manchester airports. It also has four Primary A roads, A49, A50, A56 and A57. The A580 (East Lancashire Road) forms part of the northern boundary of the borough.

Warrington Borough Transport, one of the few municipal bus companies to survive in public ownership, runs most bus services within the town. First Group and Arriva Northwestern provide bus links to surrounding towns and cities such as Manchester, the Trafford Centre, Liverpool, St Helens, Runcorn, Widnes and Chester. A real-time passenger information system was installed but is currently inoperative. A new bus station known as Warrington Interchange opened in 2006 at the Golden Square Shopping Centre.

The River Mersey runs through the heart of the town dividing it in two. There are only two main thoroughfares crossing the Mersey in Warrington: at Bridge Foot and at the Kingsway Bridge. Before the M6 was built, these routes were very busy with through traffic.

The Manchester Ship Canal runs through the south of the town; three swing bridges and a high-level cantilever bridge provide crossing points. Although shipping movements on the ship canal are far less frequent than in years past, they can cause severe delay to local road traffic. The picturesque Bridgewater Canal runs through the borough from the scenic village of Lymm to Walton Hall and Gardens, a local park/leisure area.


Front of Museum

Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, opened 1858

Warrington has a concert hall (the Parr Hall), an arts centre (the Pyramid), a museum (Warrington Museum & Art Gallery), and various public libraries throughout the borough. Warrington Central Library was the first rate-supported library in the UK. The Victorian swimming baths closed in July 2003. There is a cinema at Westbrook, and another is being considered as part of a town centre redevelopment. There are several parks (see also Parks in Warrington) and designated nature reserves at Woolston Eyes, Risley Moss, Rixton Claypits and Paddington Meadows.

There is also ten-pin bowling located at Winwick Quay, and indoor paintball. An indoor karting centre is located near to Bank Quay. Alongside the karting centre is a golf driving range, with an American golf shop attached. Pitch and putt and crazy golf are available at Walton Hall and Gardens. A Laser Quest arena and a snooker club can also be found in Warrington, both located close to the town centre. Gulliver's World theme park is located in Old Hall, Apple Jack's Farm theme park is situated in Stretton.

A number of festivals, carnivals and walking days are held annually in the Warrington area. Warrington Walking Day - originally a Sunday school festival - is held on the closest Friday to the last day of June, and the town centre is closed to traffic as churches walk together through the streets.[13]

Other festivals, besides the many walking days, include:

Warrington also has many musical groups, including Warrington Male Voice Choir, Warrington Youth Orchestra, North Cheshire Wind Orchestra, Centenary Theatre Company (Centenary website link) and the award winning barbershop chorus, the Cheshire Chord Company

The first MMR vaccine to be administered in the UK was given by Dr Benjamin Paterson at Warrington General Hospital in 1971.


Halliwell Jones Stadium

Halliwell Jones Stadium, home to Warrington Wolves.

Rugby league is the town's premier sport in the form of Warrington Wolves who were historically nicknamed "The Wire" [14] because of Warrington's history of wire making. The club moved in 2003 to the Halliwell Jones Stadium, leaving its home for over a century, Wilderspool Stadium. Warrington RLFC are the only team to have played every season in the top flight of rugby league. They recently put themselves back on the map as one of the leading rugby clubs in the country by taking home the Challenge Cup for two years running in 2009 and 2010 and a further triumph in 2012. This was won by them for the first time since 1973.[15] 2011 also saw the Wolves gain the super league leaders shield for the first time, and 2012 will see them appearing in the Super League Grand Final for the first time versus Leeds Rhinos with the chance to become only the third team to win the Challenge Cup/Grand Final double. The town is also home to Warrington Wizards who also play their home matches at Wilderspool Stadium. The Wizards are currently in the Rugby League Conference. Warrington is represented in the British Amateur Rugby League Association leagues by;

  • Bank Quay Bulls ARLFC
  • Burtonwood Bulldogs ARLFC
  • Crosfields ARLFC
  • Culcheth Eagles ARLFC
  • Latchford Albion ARLFC
  • Rylands ARFLC
  • Woolston Rovers ARLFC

Football is represented by Warrington Town at Cantilever Park, next to the Manchester Ship Canal. The club has several nicknames including Town, Yellows, Wire and Warriors. Warrington Town are currently in the Northern Premier League Division One North.

Rowing in Warrington may well have been taking place for nearly 200 years. It is known that Warrington Regatta is well over 150 years old, often attracting large crowds on the riverbank. The modern Warrington rowing club started in the mid-1980s and is based near Kingsway Bridge. Warrington is home to both recreational and competitive rowers with some of these athletes now winning national standard events and will be pulling on international vests, Olivia Whitlam along with Richard Egington, were the first rowers from Warrington at the Olympics. The club is now bigger than ever with a large number of juniors, seniors and veterans and is just about to embark on its next project - a new boathouse with state-of-the-art facilities for both the club and local community. Warrington Rowing Club is an accredited Explore Rowing club, which is part of a national strategy led by British Rowing. The purpose of this scheme is to introduce rowing to as many people as possible irrespective of whether they want to take up the sport competitively or on a recreational basis.

Warrington Athletic Club is based at Victoria Park, where a new eight-lane synthetic track was built in 1998, after the original track was destroyed in a fire the previous year.

Speedway racing, formerly known as Dirt Track racing was staged in Warrington in its pioneering era between 1928 and 1930. The track entered a team in the 1929 English Dirt Track League and the 1930 Northern League. Efforts to revive the venue in 1947 failed to materialise.

Warrington Wolves Basketball team was set up in 2009 and competes in the English Basketball League Division Four.

Warrington has four predominant Rugby Union teams; Warrington RUFC, Lymm RFC, Gentlemen of Moore RUFC and Eagle RUFC, who are based at Thornton Road.


Warrington is home to two colleges: Priestley Sixth Form and Community College and Warrington Collegiate. The University of Chester has a campus at Padgate that was formerly part of Warrington Collegiate. Most of the high schools have their own post-16 provision (sixth-form).

The high schools throughout the borough are located at: Birchwood, Culcheth, Appleton (known as Bridgewater High School Warrington), two in Latchford (Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School and Cardinal Newman Roman Catholic High School), Sankey (Great Sankey High School), Lymm (Lymm High School), Padgate (University Academy Warrington), Penketh, Westbrook (St Gregory's Catholic High School), and Orford (Beamont Collegiate Academy).[16] Woolston High School closed in 2012. Kings Leadership Academy, a new free school, opened in September 2012.

There are also 74 primary schools in the borough.

There are also several private schools.


Warrington town hall

The park gates at Warrington Town Hall

Sites of interest in Warrington include:

Notable residentsEdit

Twin townsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ MP Surgeries Warrington Borough Council. Retrieved on 2009-07-28
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Gary Jenkins (Senior Communications Officer, Warrington Borough Council). "Tribute to famous Warringtonian Joseph Priestley". Warrington Borough Council Smartnews. NB: In addition to verifying the notability of J Priestley, this reference demonstrates the use of the term Warringtonian. 
  4. ^ .Hinchcliffe J & Williams J H, ROMAN WARRINGTON: Excavations at Wilderspool 1966 - 9 & 1976, Brigantia Monograph No 2, Manchester University 1992
  5. ^ ROF Risley
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Penketh, Warrington, UK". Weatherbase. 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-13. 
  8. ^ "Gurudwaras in United Kingdom". Retrieved 2008-06-28. 
  9. ^ includes hunting and forestry
  10. ^ includes energy and construction
  11. ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
  12. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  13. ^ Forrest David, Warrington Walking Day: A Brief History
  14. ^ "h2g2". 
  15. ^ "mywarrington". 
  16. ^ from Warrington Borough Council's Community Information Resource
  17. ^ "Town Hall Guide". Warrington Borough Council. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-07-12. Retrieved 2007-05-23. 
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ [2]
  20. ^ English Heritage
  21. ^ "Ikea: The History". London: The Guardian. 2004-06-17.,,1240464,00.html. Retrieved 2007-05-23. 
  22. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; William Beamont diaries in Warrington Library; [3]
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ a b c d "VOTE: Our top 10 favourite Warringtonians (From Warrington Guardian)". Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  26. ^ Mortimer, Roger; Onslow, Richard; Willett, Peter (1978). Biographical Encyclopedia of British Flat Racing. Macdonald and Jane’s. ISBN 0-354-08536-0. 
  27. ^ Frankel, Susannah (1999-11-03). "Fashion: Labelled with love - Warrington salutes you, Ossie Clark". London: The Independent. Retrieved 13 January 2009. 
  28. ^ "Chris Evans: Life Story". The Independent (London). 2001-04-14. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  29. ^ "Breakdancer wins TV talent contest". The Press Association. Retrieved 2008-05-31. 
  30. ^ Adonis, Andrew; Minister, Rail (2009-04-17). "Birmingham New Street my lowest point". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  31. ^ "George Duckworth player profile". Retrieved 2007-10-16. 
  32. ^ "Neil Fairbrother player profile". Retrieved 2007-10-16. 
  33. ^ Irvine, Ian. "Rebekah Wade: The feisty first lady of Wapping". The Independent Newspaper (The Independent Online). Retrieved 21 April 2011. 
  34. ^ Hadfield, Dave (23 October 1992), "Rugby League: Fulton plays honorary consul: Dave Hadfield on the man from mining stock in Warrington who became a leader Down Under", The Independent,, retrieved 6 June 2011 
  35. ^ Malkin, Bonnie (2008-02-11). "Teenagers jailed for life for Garry Newlove murder". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  36. ^ . 2001-01-05. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  37. ^ List of VC holders buried in Manchester. Retrieval Date: 7 May 2008.

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Coordinates: 53°23′14″N 2°36′10″W / 53.38732, -2.60288

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Warrington. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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