From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Scarisbrick, taken from Gaw Hill, Ormskirk

Scarisbrick as seen from Gaw Hill, Ormskirk
Scarisbrick is located in Lancashire
 Scarisbrick shown within Lancashire
Population 3,504 2001 Census
Civil parish Scarisbrick
District West Lancashire
Shire county Lancashire
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Ormskirk
Postcode district L40
Post town Southport
Postcode district PR8
Dialling code 01704
Police Lancashire
Fire Lancashire
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament West Lancashire
List of places

Coordinates: 53°36′48″N 2°56′37″W / 53.6134°N 2.9435°W / 53.6134; -2.9435

Scarisbrick (commonly pronounced as "Scays-brick" or "Scares-brick") is a village and civil parish in West Lancashire, England. It is spread out along the A570 (the main road between Ormskirk and Southport) so there is no real village centre, though the junction with the A5147 is close to the geographic centre. On the main road are three eating places and pubs: the Elephant (formerly the Red Lion), the Morris Dancers, and Master McGraths. On the back road through the village is another canalside pub, the Heaton's Bridge Inn. It also boasts a rainbow trout fishery and an 18-hole championship golf course. According to the 2001 census, the population of Scarisbrick was 3,504.[1]

Scarisbrick parish, the largest in Lancashire,[citation needed] was, in early times, an area much avoided by travellers. With its vast tracts of poorly drained peat marshes and the huge lake of Martin Mere, it was difficult terrain to cross. Much of the flat land between Southport and Liverpool is polder reclaimed from marshes and the lake. The original small scattered farmsteads of the parish now form the basis of today's hamlets of Barson Green, Bescar, Carr Cross, Drummerdale, Hurlston, Pinfold, and Snape.

World War II pillbox at Heatons Bridge.

Many interesting features of Scarisbrick's past can still be seen today. The Old School House opposite the Morris Dancers (once the Maypole Inn) was built in 1809 and has, in the past, been a school, a doctor's house, a post office, and a shop. It is a listed building and is now divided into two dwellings. The canal is now used for leisure purposes, and the Blue Elephant (formerly the Red Lion) is the base for the popular Mersey Motor Boat Club. At Heatons Bridge, over the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, there remains one of the many defensive pillboxes erected as a precaution against invasion during the Second World War. It was from Pinfold, where the canal is closest to Southport, that William Sutton picked up waterway passengers for transport to his "Original Hotel", known better as "Duke's Folly" - the foundation of Southport. The only Catholic church there, St Elizabeth's, was founded by the Marquis of Casteja and was named after his wife. There are many other churches there as well. The oldest person to live here in local times was May Massam who died at the age of 103.[when?][citation needed]

Family name[edit]

The English surname Scarisbrick, also found as Scarsbrick, Scarsbrook, Scaysbrook, Scarasbrick, and Scarrisbrick, is local in origin, belonging to that category of surnames derived from the name of the place where an original bearer dwelt or where he once held land. In this instance, therefore, the surname signifies simply "(descendant of) one who hails from Scarisbrick", this being the name of the township in the Lancashire parish of Ormskirk, in what was formerly known as the West Derby Hundred.

The placename itself comes from the Old Norse, and literally denotes "(the Norseman called) Skar's hill-slope". Scarisbrick appears to have been a village of some size during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, being first mentioned c. 1200, with the first person known to have had a bye-name derived from it being Gilbert de Scaresbrec in the early thirteenth century. Succeeded by his son Walter, his family continued to hold Scarisbrick for centuries to come, and the historian Richard McKinley notes that "Most, and possibly all, the people named Scarisbrick found in Lancashire during the Middle Ages were members of the land-owning family" (per The Surnames of Lancashire, English Surnames Series, IV).[citation needed]

References to the name after this date include one to Thomas Scarysbrig, Doctor of Divinity registered at the University of Oxford in 1508, and one to the marriage of Anthony Scarisbrick, mercer of London, to Jane Glascocke in 1615. Some branches of the Scarisbrick family remained recusant. The surname did not in fact become prolific until the late 16th century, when it multiplied in the parish of Ormskirk, spreading from there, albeit in small numbers, to the neighbouring parishes, such as Halsall and West Derby. Finally, it is interesting to note that when it reached London, the name became Scarysbrig, and also that it was among the first surnames to reach the New World, a list of passengers on the ship 'Paul', bound for St Christopher's out of London in April 1635, including one William Scarisbrick. It is believed that the Scarisbrick Coat of Arms was granted to Sir Henry de Scarisbrick, who fought at the Battle of Agincourt, and died in 1420. He was knighted by Henry V shortly after the battle, which would probably be when he received the coat of arms. However, there is no recorded incident of him using these arms.[citation needed]

The first recorded instance of the arms is in a deed by Sir Henry de Scarisbrick's son, another Henry de Scarisbrick, dated 1440. This deed has an armorial shield displaying three mullets between two bendlets engrailed; the helmet is surmounted by a dove; the legend is "sigillum henrici scaresbrec".

The grave of Charles Scarisbrick (1801–60), at St Elizabeth's Church

There is a brass of an unknown member of the Scarisbrick family in Ormskirk Parish Church, discovered beneath the floor of the Scarisbrick chapel during a renovation of the church, and now hanging in the chapel. There is no inscription remaining so the name and date of the piece is unknown, but the style of the armour fixes the date to the end of the 15th century. The surcoat of the figure is embellished with the Scarisbrick Coat of Arms. There has been some debate concerning the identity of this Scarisbrick family member, with the current consensus being that it is of James Scarisbrick, who died in 1495, the son of Henry and grandson of Sir Henry de Scarisbrick, above.

Some branches of the Scarisbrick family became recusants, remaining Roman Catholic, despite the Reformation. The Coat of Arms has continued to be used through to the 19th century, where the last of the male line of the Scarisbrick family was Charles Scarisbrick (1801–60), who was the High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1834 and 1839.

  • Blazon of Arms: Gules three mullets in bend between two bendlets engrailed argent.
  • Crest: A dove sable beaked and legged gules holding in the beak an olive branch proper.
  • Origin: England.

Wheelwrights House[edit]

Located on Southport Road, opposite the 'Blue Elephant' Indian Restaurant (formerly 'The Red Lion'). Built in 1801,One of many listed buildings in Scarisbrick, a former workshop and home of wheelwright Tom Glover.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Scarisbrick village
Websites dedicated to the Scarisbrick name