Thursday, 12 July 2012

Thursday Tour of N.W. England - Kirkham

Kirkham is a small town about half way between Preston and Blackpool, in an area called the Fylde (an old Scandinavian word for field).

In the 1970’s the remain of an elk were found nearby. It had two harpoons embedded in, which is evidence that the area was inhabited about 8,000 years ago.

The town is pre-Roman in origin, and Carr Hill, on which it was built, was once the location of a Roman fort. A boss from a Roman brass shield was found and is now in the British Museum. It is lightly engraved with a war-like scene, showing Mars, the war god, surrounded by battle trophies and winged victories.

In the Middle Ages, it was a small market town, but in the 17th centre it became a thriving textile centre, concentrating originally on sail-cloth and flax, and later on cotton. At one time, the town had 11 textile miles, and the last one finally closed in 2003.
Kirkham Grammar School was founded in 1549, originally as a chantry school attached to St Michael’s Church. In the 17th century, it was put in the trust of the Worshipful Company of Drapers. The partnership between the Company and the school still exists, although the school became independent in 1944. Originally only for boys, it became co-educational in 1979.

As a child, I went several times to the annual gala, known as Kirkham Club Day, when there were processions by the local churches, with banner, biblical Tableau floats, and ‘Rose Queens.’ One of my friends was chosen as the Rose Queen in the mid 50’s and I remember being very envious of the beautiful white dress she wore that day!


  1. Fascinating. One down side about US, our history doesn't go back very far. I love that third picture.

  2. Sandra - there is so much history here that we often take it for granted. The third picture is the Grammar School, built about 100 years ago. It's a lovely building.

    Thanks, Claudia!

  3. Love your posts. The older I get, the more I love history. Uh oh? Hope that doesn't mean I'll be history soon too.

  4. Kirkham is a lovely town.It has a friendly feel to it, we often used to drive through it but now you go around and it's great for the town, but a tad boring for us.

  5. I love reading your posts about towns, because you seem to appreciate their beauty and distill it into your blog. It's interesting that Fylde is Scandinavian in origem - Viking country.

  6. Em - it's when kids are learnings things in history class that you actually remember happening, that's when you realise you are history LOL!

    Agree, Margaret - bypasses around small towns are usually good for the inhabitants, except of course the shops and cafes there no longer get any 'passing' trade.

    Thanks, Susan. I love the history of our old towns and villages.