I live in the district of West Lancashire, very close to the border with the Merseyside district of Sefton. There are many wonders around this area of Lancashire, so here’s a few of my favourite:
St Stephens Church Banks
Banks is the name of the small village just outside Southport, where I live. The main landmark in the village is Banks church, from 1864. It’s a beautiful building, finished in brick, with a distinctive green spire. It stands where the two main roads in the village meet, next to the pub and the spire is visible from far out of the village.
Inside it’s not as fancy or grand as a Cathedral, but it feels like home due to the amount of times I have been in there with school for services at Christmas and Harvest. The detail is still fairly impressive and it is quite a tall structure inside. A War Memorial stands in the churchyard outside, and is the main one for the village.
I have been many places on my travels, but it’s always nice to see the familiar spire welcoming me home after a long trip.
Banks Old Train Station
Also in Banks, just over a field next to my house almost, you will find the sluice ditches. They weren’t always here however and you may notice if you ever visit that they run the entire length of the village. Originally a train line ran through here, and after it’s closure in 1964, the tracks were taken up and ditches dug to aid drainage. Part of the platform survives today, as you can see in the picture above, and is a nice reminder of a lost part of Banks history.
The station opened in 1878, and was situated on the line running from Southport to Preston, going through Hesketh Bank and into Tarleton, very close to the West Lancashire Light Railway, but it was never however part of it, that railway was seperate.
The nearest large village to Banks is Tarleton, which sits on the River Douglas, the border with the next district along, South Ribble. The above picture doesn’t show the river however, this is the end of an offshoot of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal that ends in Tarleton, and the lock gates connect it into the river, which is flowing just behind where I took the photograph.
It’s a very quiet and tranquil place, and quite a lot of visitors come down here to walk their dogs or just to relax. The canal is not too far down from my old high school, Tarleton High School, so it was a frequent place we snuck down too at lunch.
People do live in some of the canal boats moored here and you can either go out into the river or further back up the canal towards Liverpool or Leeds.
On the edges of the West Lancashire district, almost in the Chorley and Wigan districts, is Parbold Hill. The hill towers over the local countryside, and is part of the village of Parbold. At the top of the hill stands a monument, known as the Parbold Bottle, a large stone bottle like construction from 1832.
The hill gives fantastic views into the neighbouring counties of Greater Manchester and Merseyside, as well as over most districts in Lancashire. The M6 motorway as well as various towers in the area are visible from here and it’s a popular tourist stop to relax, and there is a pub next to the car park which makes a great stopping point.
So that’s West Lancashire, well a small part of it anyway. It’s a great district, and has lots of history and scenery. If you ever visit Southport or Ormskirk and you are in the area, take a trip through the district, and see what you discover…