The war memorial in the middle of Parr Fold Park
Walkden shown within Greater Manchester
Population 38,685 (2001 Census) - Density 9,075 mile² (3,506 km²) OS grid reference Metropolitan borough Salford Metropolitan county Greater Manchester Region North West Country England Sovereign state United Kingdom Post town MANCHESTER Postcode district M28 Dialling code 0161 Police Greater Manchester Fire Greater Manchester Ambulance North West EU Parliament North West England UK Parliament Worsley and Eccles South List of places: UK • England • Greater Manchester
Walkden is a town within the metropolitan borough of the City of Salford, in Greater Manchester, England. It is 6 miles (9.7 km) west-northwest of Salford, and 7 miles (11.3 km) west-northwest of Manchester.
The name Walkden or Walkeden derives from the Old English denu, a valley, belonging to a man possibly called Wealca (literally meaning 'the fuller', an Old English personal name. It has been in existence since at least the 13th century. The name was recorded in documents dating to 1246.
A Roman road crossed the area roughly on the line of the present A6 road through Walkden and Little Hulton. In 1313 in a dispute involving land, a jury decided that Walkden was too small to be considered a hamlet or a town but was "only a place in Farnworth". In the 15th century Walkden appears to have covered a wider area than at present, spreading into Farnworth and Little Hulton. In 1765 'Walkden Moor' was the subject of a parliamentary Enclosure Act. The Duke of Bridgewater was the biggest landowner in 1786, owning over half the land.
Walkden's industrial history links are mainly to coal mining, but also to cotton mills. There were many shafts for small collieries sunk to the relatively shallow coal seams of the Worsley Four Foot mine on land owned by the Egertons, the Lords of the Manor of Worsley which included Walkden. Named shafts were, Speakman's, Edge Fold, Lloyd's and Hey's Field before 1770, Turnpike Lime, Barlow Fold, Scowcroft's, and Crippin's Croft before 1780, Pin Fold, Parr Fold and Tub Engine before 1790 and Grundy's Field, Stone, Windmill, Charlton's, and the Inclined Plane Pit all before 1800. The Worsley Navigable Levels linked some of these mines to the Bridgewater Canal at Worsley. The levels were used to transport coal from the mines of the Bridgewater Collieries in Walkden until the railways were used as an improved form of transportation. After 1800 Urmston's Meadow, Moss Hill Top, Parkinson's and Sawney, Atkin's Croft, Barrack's, Magnall's, Ashton's Field and the Ellesmere were sunk but were independent of the levels. Walkden Yard or NCB Central Workshops was situated south of High Street, close to Ellesmere Colliery was partly in Little Hulton. It was built 1898 by the Bridgewater Trustees as a central works depot providing engineering services for their collieries and colliery railways. On the site there was a machine shop, joiners' shop, electricians' shop, paint shop, tinsmiths', waggon sheds and waggon machine shop. The yard closed as a British Coal workshop in 1986 and is now a housing estate.
Until 1894, Walkden lay within the township of Worsley in the ancient ecclesiastical parish of Eccles, within the Hundred of Salford in the historic county of Lancashire, although some parts including Linnyshaw and Toppings Bridge were within the parish of Deane. Worsley Urban District Council, which included Walkden, was formed in 1894. Walkden was amalgamated into the City of Salford metropolitan district of Greater Manchester in April 1974, as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, having previously formed part of the Worsley Urban District in the administrative county of Lancashire. Walkden is divided by three electoral wards; Little Hulton, Walkden North and Walkden South.
Walkden is part of the Worsley parliamentary consistituency. Between 1885 and 1983 Walkden lay in the now defunct Farnworth constituency and before that, from 1868 to 1885, within the South East Lancashire constituency.
Neighbouring towns, villages and places. Farnworth Farnworth, Bolton Kearsley Little Hulton Wardley, Swinton Walkden Ellenbrook, Boothstown, Mosley Common Worsley Roe Green
Walkden is situated at the junction of the A6 Manchester to Chorley road, the A575 Worsley to Moses Gate, Farnworth road and the B5232.
The Ellesmere Centre shopping precinct, adjoins the retail park and was built as part of the same development replacing the old market hall and Pembroke Hall. Worsley Post Office is located in the centre along with cafes, national and local retailers, charity shops, hairdressers and bakers. The centre incorporates a "market square". The retail park's tenants include a superstore, gym, bingo hall, a sports store, an 'Instore' and a video rental store. There are fast-food restaurants and independent local businesses and services. Banks and building societies are located on Bolton Road. As of June 2009 a survey of town centres by "Experian" found that Walkden had almost 60% retail premises standing empty.
A 185,500 sq ft (17,230 m2) Tesco Extra concept store opened in the market square on 27 September 2010 creating more than 300 jobs.  A new Health Centre and library called the 'Walkden Gateway' opened here in 2008.
Culture and community
Blackleach Country Park covers 50 hectares half mile north of the town centre. The site is a designated local nature reserve. The reservoir was originally used by factories. The derelict and badly polluted site was crossed by a disused railway line and next to a chemical waste tip. It was reclaimed and restored after a community campaign.
The Ellesmere Centre has a clock-tower which is a replica of the Lady Bourke Clock which once stood by the NCB Offices in Bridgewater Road. The original clock was used to alert coal miners to the beginning or end of their shifts. The workers claimed that they could not hear it strike once at 1pm to mark the end of their dinnertime and the resumption of the working day. Therefore the clock was altered to strike 13 times at 1pm, a tradition continued by the replica clock.
The Ellesmere Monument in St Paul's Churchyard, was erected in 1868 in memory of the Countess of Ellesmere. It originally stood at the junction of the A6, A575 and B5232 roads but was moved into the churchyard in 1968 to reduce traffic congestion. Statues of four angels on the monument were stolen. A project to restore the monument was completed in 2006.
Walkden is at the junction of A6 and the Bolton to Worsley A575. The East Lancashire Road (A580) passes to the south of Walkden and connects to the M60 ring-road and the motorway network. The M61 to the east of Walkden is in the Guinness Book of Records for being the widest section of motorway in Britain, (there are 17 lanes side by side at Linnyshaw Moss).
There are extensive and frequent bus services, mainly operated by First Manchester, linking the town with Manchester, Bolton and Leigh. Services include the 36 and 37 routes between Bolton and Manchester via Farnworth (37), Little Hulton (36) and Swinton.
Walkden had two railway stations. The London and North Western Railway built a station on the Bolton to Eccles line which joined the Tyldesley Loopline at Roe Green in 1875 and was closed in 1954. This station was known as Walkden Low Level and there were stations at Little Hulton, Plodder Lane, Roe Green and Monton. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway built a station on the Manchester to Wigan line in 1888. Walkden railway station remains open and was originally known as Walkden High Level. Both lines were opened as a result of the coal mining in the area.
According to 2006 figures, it is used by over 150,000 passengers annually. There are twice-hourly daytime services to both Manchester and Wigan, from where there are connecting services to Manchester Airport and the rest of the UK. This is reduced to an hourly service each way in the evenings. In 2009 the GMITA voted to approve funding for a one-year trial of hourly Sunday trains from Walkden, starting on 23 May 2010.
Walkden has several primary schools, three high schools and a sixth form college. Walkden High School, St. George's RC High School and Harrop Fold. St. George's was listed for closure, however after a long fought battle these plans have been overturned. The council have yet to announce revised plans for catholic secondary schools in the area. Walkden High will be rebuilt with the same name, but with a larger building, thereby increasing its pupil capacity.
St Paul's Heathside Gr. C of E Primary School, St. Paul's Crompton St. C of E Primary School and James Brindley Community Primary School are primary schools in Walkden and serve students ages 3–11.
A number of the town's primary schools are church schools. They include: St. Paul's, Crompton Street and St Paul's, Heathside, which are both Church of England schools. Christ the King is the Roman Catholic primary school for Walkden, Worsley and Roe Green. In addition there are three county primary schools - they are North Walkden Primary School in the north of the town and Mesne Lea Primary School and James Brindley Primary School in south Walkden.
St Paul's Church was founded in 1838 in the church school and was originally known as St George's Chapel. The foundation stone for St. Paul's at Walkden Moor was laid in 1847 by Lady Brackley, daughter of the Earl of Ellesmere. The church cost £4,500 and was dedicated in 1848 by the Bishop of Manchester. The church was extended in 1881 by the addition of the north aisle, built at a cost of £1,000 which was raised by the parishioners. The east windows date from 1884 and mosaic panels are from 1904.
St John's Church was founded in 1876 in Walkden although most of its parish is in Little Hulton, it is part of the Walkden & Little Hulton Team Ministry.
There are two Methodist churches, Walkden Methodist Church and Worsley Road North Methodist Church. Christ the King Roman Catholic Church serves the Roman Catholic communities of Walkden, Roe Green and Worsley. There is also a Congregational Church.
- Carol Klein, gardener and TV presenter, Gardener's World
- Jamie Moore, former British light-middleweight boxing champion,
- Alan Halsall, actor, Tyrone Dobbs on Coronation Street
- Sarah Whatmore, singer
- David Bamber, actor
- Jason Done, actor
- Mark Barry, singer, BBMak
- John Wilkinson, chairman of Salford City Reds
- Alan Ball, footballer, lived in Walkden when England won the 1966 World Cup
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- Atkinson, Glen (1998), The Canal Duke's Collieries Worsley 1760-1900, Neil Richardson (Second Edition), ISBN 978 185216 120 0
- Mills, A.D. (1998), A Dictionary of English Place-Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-280074-4
- Sweeney, D.J. (1997), A Lancashire Triangle Part Two, Triangle Publishing, ISBN 0-9529333-2-2
- Salford City Council's local information for Walkden
- Salford City Council's Ward Profile for Walkden North
- Salford City Council's Ward Profile for Walkden South
- Friends of Walkden Station
- Walkden Town Hall Under Demolition
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