infobox UK place
country = England
map_type= Greater Manchester
official_name= Golborne
longitude= -2.5943
latitude= 53.4758
population= 23,119 (2001 census)
metropolitan_borough= Wigan
metropolitan_county= Greater Manchester
region= North West England
constituency_westminster= Leigh
post_town= WARRINGTON
postcode_district = WA3
postcode_area= WA
dial_code= 01942 & 01925
os_grid_reference= SJ606978

static_image_caption=High Street, Golborne

Golborne is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, in Greater Manchester, England.It lies convert|5.4|mi|km|1 south-southeast of Wigan, convert|6.1|mi|km|1 northeast of Warrington and convert|13.8|mi|km|1 to the west of the city of Manchester. It has a population of 23,119.

Historically a part of Lancashire, Golborne owes most of its growth to the mining industry.



The name Golborne is said to mean "golden stream", or "valley of marsh marigolds", perhaps a reference to the golden flowers that used to grow by the banks of the Millingford Brook.cite web |title= Golborne | publisher= Wigan Council | url= http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Services/BusinessRegeneration/RegenerationInitiatives/TownCentreManagement/Golborne.htm | accessdate= 2007-06-21] This may be derived from gold burn (stream) in archaic English.

Early history

The town was referred to in the Domesday book. The town owed most of its early growth to the mining industry.In one form or another Golborne has existed for many centuries. According to the official guide book this township, situated close by the west coast route from North to South, has seen men of all nationalities during its history; Ancient Briton, Phoenician Tin and Salt traders, Roman legionary, Saxons, Danes and Normans. This may well be true because of Golborne's position and her proximity to the ancient townships of Wigan and Warrington.

Here legend says, lived a knight who won fame by battling with, and slaying, a fearsome dragon. For this valiant deed he was granted land and a manor, which some say was that of Goulbourne, to give the place its ancient spelling. In the old fields near the golf club stands a large tumulus, known as Castle Hill, where tradition says Alfred, the wise king, buried his treasure, although to date it had never been found.

The Venerable Bede wrote in his "Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum" of the well near Golborne sacred to St. Oswald's memory. This well, in a field beside the ancient winding way from Golborne Dale to Winwick, possibly marks the spot where Penda, the pagan king of Mercia, slew the Christian King Oswald, later St Oswald, in the Battle of Maserfield, in 642. It is more generally accepted though that the site of that battle was some considerable distance to the southwest, near Oswestry.

Of the local places of interest Holcroft Hall, which is now a farm, was once the home of one of the most audacious criminals in history. This was Colonel Blood, who during the reign of Charles II attempted to, and very nearly succeeded in stealing the Crown Jewels. King Charles was so amazed and amused by Blood's audacity that he pardoned him. Blood was married to Maria the daughter of Mr. Holcroft of Holcroft Hall. The marriage took place at Newhurch Church, much against the will, of Maria’s father.

The escapade of Colonel Blood brings us into contact with national history and we shall now have a glance at Golborne's connection with national events. In particular Golborne saw many exciting events during the English Civil War, 1642–1649. The lane south through Golborne Dale to Winwick has rung out to the tramp of soldierly feet both of the Cavalier and Roundhead armies. As Golborne is in the heart of the fighting area of Lancashire the manor often saw both triumphant advance and disorderly retreat.

One notable battle in 1648 was that of Red Gap fought on ground close by the old road south from Golborne. (Probably the Red Bank area of Newton le Willows) This battle was part of the campaign known as the 2nd Civil War. For this campaign the Scots had come over to the side of Charles I and had rapidly advanced into England. Oliver Cromwell,(left) the leader of the Roundhead Army, whose statue now stands at Bridge Foot in Warrington, intercepted the Scots at Preston and, in a series of running battles between Preston, Wigan and Warrington, of which Red Gap was one, he defeated the Scots even though his army was outnumbered by 10 to 1. It was after the battle of Red Gap that Cromwell resolved to bring the king to trial and shortly afterwards "that man of blood" as the Roundheads called the king, was tried and finally executed on the 30 January 1649.

Recent history

Much of the population growth occurred in the 1970s and 1980s, when the town largely developed as a satellite town for the nearby towns of Warrington, Leigh and Wigan. In addition many inhabitants moved in from the nearby cities of Liverpool and Manchester.

On 18 March 1979 there was a methane explosion at the town's colliery, caused by an electrical spark, which took the lives of 10 of the miners. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/march/18/newsid_4226000/4226271.stm] Of the 11 present, only one survived. The colliery closed around 10 years later in 1989. The location of the former colliery is known locally as the 'Bonk' (slang for bank, as in "railway embankment"), and is now used as a business park. The closure of the colliery led to the loss of employment for a large proportion of Golborne's population as well as people from nearby towns such as Abram, Lowton and Ashton. These unemployment problems have been mostly eradicated in recent years with the introduction of new industries to the are which has created new jobs, for example, the creation of Stone Cross Industrial Park.

For some years there has been an on-going campaign to re-open the town's former railway station [http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/stations/g/golborne_south/index.shtml] , which could potentially enable passengers to reach Wigan and Warrington in as little as 10 minutes. The plans seem recently to have been shelved, in favour of further development of residential areas. However, as part of Greater Manchester's Transport Initiative Fund package, a station at Golborne would be re-instated [http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/pdf/gmpte_future_transport_map.pdf] , possibly to the south of the town near the East Lancs Road, to allow for a park and ride station.

Like many places, Golborne's town centre has declined over recent years due to people preferring to travel to larger towns such as Wigan and Warrington and also preferring to use supermarkets instead of shopping in their own local shops. This has also meant that a once weekly market held on the town centre car park no longer takes place.


Civic history

Under the Local Government Act 1972, in force from the 1 April 1974, the urban district of Golborne, established in 1894 (and expanded in 1933 by adding part of Leigh Rural District) was split, with the parts of Culcheth and Newchurch becoming the civil parish of Culcheth and Glazebury in the Warrington district in Cheshire, and the rest of the district becoming part of the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan of Greater Manchester.


Golborne has a population of around 30,000 people. The population is made up of many older people who have lived in Golborne all of their lives and in recent years, many former inhabitants of Liverpool and Manchester have settled in Golborne, many continuing to commute to work in these places as well as in nearby Warrington, St.Helens and Wigan. There are also many families which have lived in the area for generations.


* The parish church of Golborne is St Thomas Church, in the Deanery of Winwick, Diocese of Liverpool. Founded in 1829, the church building has a clock tower that is still in operation and is still heard chiming on every hour. There is also a graveyard surrounding the building.
* Peter Kane Square and memorial clock is situated in the town centre and is named in honour of Peter Kane.

On Sunday, 19 March 2006 the Rector of Golborne, the Rev Robert Williams, officiated at a service in Kidglove Road at what was the entrance to Golborne Colliery. The service was attended by ex-miners and their families, and was the fruition of two years of fund-raising to erect the convert|6|ft|m|0 by convert|3|ft|m|0 stone, commissioned in memory of the men and women who worked and died at Golborne Colliery between its opening in 1880 and its closure in 1989.

The memorial was conceptualised by the Golborne Ex-Miners Association who staged a series of concerts to help towards the cost of the stone. Funding was also received from a community chest grant from Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council, Alpla (UK) Ltd of Golborne, and The Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation. Former miner Dean Mitchell landscaped the memorial site.

Haydock Park Racecourse is nearby, located in Haydock, next to Golborne. The park is edged by a tall wall which forms the boundary between Haydock, Ashton in Makerfield, Golborne and Newton le Willows.

Notable people

* Liverpool and Bolton Wanderers striker, and England World Cup Winner of 1966, Roger Hunt was born in the town just before the outbreak of World War II in 1938.
* Professional wrestlers Davey Boy Smith (The British Bulldog) and Thomas Billington (The Dynamite Kid), cousins and tag team partners, were born in Golborne.
* World Flyweight Champion Boxer (1938–1943) Peter Kane, came from Heywood, Lancashire and lived in Golborne for a short time, as a boy. Recently a new town square on the high street was named after him.
* Former Wigan Warriors rugby league star Danny Tickle is from Golborne.
* Brian Simpson MEP (Member of the European Parliament) comes from Golborne


External links

* [http://www.golborne.co.nr The Golborne Community website]
* [http://www.leighlife.com LeighLife: The Leigh area community website]

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