Rainford

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Coordinates: 53°30′11″N 2°46′59″W / 53.503°N 2.783°W / 53.503; -2.783

Rainford
RainfordCouncilOffices.jpg
Rainford Council Offices
Rainford is located in Merseyside
Rainford
Rainford
 Rainford shown within Merseyside
Population 8,344 (2001 Census)[1]
OS grid reference SD481009
Civil parish Rainford
Metropolitan borough St Helens
Metropolitan county Merseyside
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ST. HELENS
Postcode district WA11
Dialling code 01744
Police Merseyside
Fire Merseyside
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament St Helens North
Website http://www.rainfordparishcouncil.com/
List of places
UK
England
Merseyside

Rainford is a village and civil parish within Metropolitan Borough of St Helens, in Merseyside, England. It is around 5 miles (8.0 km) north of St Helens. At the 2001 Census the population of the civil parish was 8,344.[1]

Historically a part of Lancashire, it is unknown when Rainford was founded, but the earliest record of the village is dated 1189.[2] Rainford formerly constituted an urban district.

History[edit]

Rainford is well known for its industrial past when it was a major manufacturer of clay smoking pipes. The nearby coal mines became worked out and closed prior to World War Two.

Until the mid-1960s, it was also a location for sand excavation, for use in the glass factories of St Helens.

One of the noteworthy buildings in Rainford is The Rookery, a large 17th century manor house situated off the 'Pottery Padds'; the house was formerly a school and workhouse and has since become home to a tenant.

Geography[edit]

Traditional ploughing, at Fir Tree Farm

Rainford lies on a fertile agricultural plain and is effectively an urban island surrounded by large scale farming, mainly arable, but with some livestock herds.

The village consists of two main sections - the main body of the village, centred around the parish church; and Rainford Junction, a smaller settlement which has grown up around Rainford railway station. The two parts of the village are separated by a band of farmland, although they come close to meeting at the village's north-western end.

There are three smaller villages which are near to Rainford - King's Moss to the east, Crawford to the north-east and Crank to the south-east.

Industry[edit]

Agriculture has been a constant since time immemorial around Rainford.

From the mid 17th century Rainford was a centre of clay pipe manufacture. CJ Berry speculates that this may have been due to the prevalence of Catholics in the industry, and Rainford's history of Nonconformism and religious tolerance, in contrast to the persecution Catholics received in much of the country in the era. The type of clay used was only generally found in Devon and Cornwall, and was thus imported. The industry in the area peaked during the period c.1800-40, in which there was little else in the village besides the clay pipe industry. Whilst other towns in the area made pipes, the industry in Rainford started earlier and continued longer. The last two pipe manufacturers retired in 1956. The clay industry continued in the area thereafter, though, with the Rainford Potteries (established 1890) making earthenware drainpipes from local clay.[3]

Transport[edit]

Rainford Junction is so called because it contained the junction between the Liverpool and Bury Railway's Skelmersdale Branch and St. Helens Railway, and is now home to the village's only railway station. The station is on the Kirkby - Manchester Victoria via Wigan line. Passengers wishing to travel to Liverpool must change at Kirkby onto the Merseyrail electrified line. Rainford Village railway station, located on Crosspit Lane, served the centre of the village from 1858 until closure in 1951. It was located on the line to St Helens Shaw Street station.

Rainford sits alongside the A570 (Rainford Bypass), a dual carriageway constructed in the late 1930s to supplant the original route running through the village centre. The A570 connects at one end to the East Lancashire Road and, at the other end, the M58 motorway. This results in excellent road links, and the village therefore has many inhabitants who commute to the nearby cities of Liverpool and Manchester, and to St Helens.

There are bus services in Rainford; Arriva operate service 38 which connects the village and Rainford Junction to St Helens every 30 minutes. Evening and Sunday journeys on this service are numbered 356 and go via Crank approximately hourly. Strawberry bus operate the 319 from St Helens to Ormskirk via Rainford. The service provides an extended link to Southport during the summer months and there are also several shortened versions of the 319 running throughout the day serving just St Helens to Rainford via Cross Pit Lane, Higher Lane and Old Lane. The 152 is operated by Cumfy Bus and runs along Higher Lane to St. Helens via Crank hourly. The 157 goes to Ashton and is currently operated by Warrington Coachways.

Culture and recreation[edit]

Rainford has many noted public houses, including the Bottle and Glass, the Junction Hotel, the Star Inn, the Derby Arms, the Golden Lion, the Eagle and Child and the Bridge Inn (now closed). It is also home to the George Wright Brewery.

Rainford's Silver Band is highly regarded, and has won many contests[citation needed] A 'walking day' takes place every year in June and a fairground is set up behind the Golden Lion public house, in which the Silver Band participate.[4] A well-supported Rainford Show is held each year in early September in the old Rainford Urban District Council offices, with competitive classes for handicrafts, flowers, vegetables, floral art, photography etc.[5][6][7][8]

Religion[edit]

Rainford currently has four functioning churches, with the Catholic, Church of England, Methodist and United Reform denominations having one each. There is also a nondenominational chapel in nearby Crank. The area has a history of Nonconformism, and was a stronghold of Recusancy from the reformation until the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1832.[9]

Education[edit]

Rainford is also noted for its schools. It currently has three primary schools and a secondary school with a large sixth form. The primary schools are Rainford Brook Lodge County Primary School, Rainford C of E Primary School and Rainford Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School. The high school and sixth form operate jointly as Rainford High Technology College, and serve to educate students not just from Rainford, but from throughout St. Helens and beyond. Many students continue to university each year. The high school has recently been partnered with Guangdong University, in southern China.

Sports[edit]

There is currently a golf-course called The Northwest National Golf Club alongside the A570 dual carriageway. This new course contains 18 holes, a golf academy, restaurant and conference centre[10] and was opened in the summer of 2009.[11]

Rainford also has various sports clubs; AFC Rainford, Rainford Tennis Club,[12] Rainford Rangers Football Club, Rainford Eagles football club, Rainford North End Football Club and Rainford Cricket Club. Rainford Cricket Club recently gained promotion to the Liverpool & District ECB Premier League.[13]

A speedway training track was operational at some time in the early 1950s.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

General[edit]

Schools[edit]

Other relevant sites[edit]