Where the streets have all names... the history of some local street names

Where the streets have all names... the history of some local street names

The first house and shops in Golborne were built along the present High St.  As the population grew and the town was developed northwards, the High St was extended and the newer stretch became known as Church St after the building of the parish church in 1849. 

The area’s industrial past are reflected in such names as Mill Lane, Tanner’s Lane, Gas St, Railway Rd and Slag Lane.  Farming influences can also be found – Barn Lane takes its name from one of Golborne’s two old tithe barns while Whitlow Ave and Braithwaite Rd take their names from the families who farmed the land they now occupy.  The name “hey” – as in Heywood Ave – is also retained locally to distinguish farmsteads.

Historical persons of importance have also left their mark on the area.  Salisbury St is named after Lord Salisbury, the prime minister and Legh St is named for the Lord of the Manor.  Property speculators are also remembered – Mr Barton kept  the off-licence where Barton St and Heath St join and he built the first two houses in what became known as Barton St.  His other significant role was as the keeper and driver of the public hearse (or shillibier as it was then known) when it was needed for burials at Winwick Church. 

As the town expanded, various roads were named after people important in local administration, which is how Caunce Ave, Prescott, Twist, Naylor and Barrowdale roads came to be named.

One of the most unusual local street names is Hell Nook, just off Helen St and there are several stories alluding to the origin of the name.  One suggests that it was the abode of the district nurse and midwife who lived in a small cottage (now demolished).  Such women were in great demand for their skills, and often dismissed by the clergy as associating with the pagan rituals – hence the name.  Another suggestion is that “when open-air services were held, rowdies often set upon them to break them up.  Possibly the worshippers tired of’ turning the other cheek’ and set upon the disturbers with such violence that the places was like a ‘nook of hell’ while the fight lasted.”

A popular local story surrounds the naming of Pierpoint Rd, now the new housing development known as ‘Heritage Park’.  It is rumoured that this road was named after the last hangman in Britain, Alfred Pierpoint who did live in the North West.  In fact the road appears to be named after  Jane Pierpoint was resident of the original Town Farm which dated back to 1740 and was known for allowing non-comformists to worship in one of the farm buildings.


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