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Woolston shown within Cheshire
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Woolston is a civil parish and suburb of Warrington, Cheshire, England. It has a population of 7,868. It was the birthplace of Old Billy, the oldest horse that ever lived (1760–1822). Woolston lies in the east-central part of Warrington, on the north banks of the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal, and is bounded on the east by the M6 motorway. The localities of Paddington and Martinscroft are within Woolston's parish boundaries.
Woolston was anciently part of Lancashire, but after local government reforms of 1974, it became part of Cheshire. Up to the last decade of the nineteenth century, Woolston and its immediate area was a township called "Woolston with Martinscroft" in Warrington ancient parish, which was itself part of West Derby Hundred. Towards the middle to end of the nineteenth century, it was part of Warrington rural sanitary district and Warrrington poor law union.
In 1894, Woolston with Martinscroft joined the newly formed Warrington Rural District as a civil parish, where it remained until 1933. There was a boundary change to the civil parish in 1885 when the county boundary between Lancashire and Cheshire was adjusted: it gained part of Thelwall civil parish from Cheshire. A complex set of boundary changes occurred in 1933, involving the county boundary with Cheshire: the civil parish gained part of Lymm ancient parish; exchanged areas of land with Grappenhall ancient parish; and exchanged areas of land with Thelwall civil parish, all in Cheshire. Finally, and again in 1933, the civil parish of Woolston with Martinscroft was abolished and parts used to create the civil parishes of Croft and the modern day civil parish of Woolston, both in Lancashire. This new civil parish of Woolston was formed from parts of the old Woolston with Martinscroft civil parish, as explained above, and also part of Culcheth civil parish. It remained in Warrington rural district until the local government reforms of 1974 which created the borough of Warrington which was located in Cheshire. In 1998, when Warrington borough became a unitary authority, it remained in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, and continued to be served by Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.
It is a civil parish which grew in the 20th century: the population in 1921 was just 451.
A large area of the district is covered by warehousing districts. The largest by far is the "Grange" this is an area of modern warehousing and light manufacturing built next to the M6 motorway. This area was home to a large Safeway distribution depot that was taken over by Morrisons in January 2006, and then taken over by Iceland in mid-2006. In 2007, this was outsourced to DHL, while still continuing to serve Iceland. Woolston is home to a number of smaller businesses including Big Storage on the main A57 and Paragon Framing http://www.paragonframing.co.uk. There is also an industrial estate to the south called the "New Cut industrial estate", this features a large pipework fabrication business (WH Capper)http://www.whcapper.co.uk and several small offices and small holdings. The estate gets its name from the canal which borders it and the "new cut" of the River Mersey.
Woolston is situated in the Mersey Valley and so there is a very slight lowering in height between it and the surrounding areas. The highest point is on the Woolston Eyes, formerly Thelwall Eyes, (four-man-made areas formed by large embankments for the dispersement of dredging waste). The lowest point is the marshland formed by the dereliction of the Woolston New Cut Canal and Woolston Old Canal. The Manchester Ship Canal denotes the southerly boundary of the Eyes reserve and can be crossed either via nearby Latchford locks or by the unique penny ferry crossing (11p each way as of October 2009). Woolston has plenty of waterways including the aforementioned canals; the new cut of the River Mersey; and the Manchester Ship Canal.
At the 2001 Census:
- Woolston had an average housing density of 2.66 residents per household.
Of 1783 households
- 1574 (88.3%) were owner occupied
- 203 (11.4%) were rented
- 5 (0.3%) were of unknown status
- 19.3% of 16–74 year old residents had no qualifications
- 2.1% are unemployed
Race and gender
- 48.3% of residents are Male
- 51.7% of residents are Female
- 98% are of white (all origins) race
- 0.34% are of mixed race
- 0.92% are of Asian or Asian British origin
- 0.62% are of Chinese origin
- 0.12% are of Black race
The M6 motorway runs down the eastern edge of the district and the A57 to Manchester and Liverpool runs directly through the district. There is also a road running from the motorway past the Grange to Birchwood and Longbarn, two areas built during the new town initiative.
Warrington Borough Transport (3, 4, 4A) and Warrington Coachways (104) provide local bus services to Warrington Town Centre, whilst First Greater Manchester operate an inter-urban service (100) to Manchester via Irlam and the Trafford Centre.
Manchester Airport is the closest major airport to Woolston.
The area is served by an ante-natal clinic on Holes Lane and a GP doctors surgery located close by. There is also a new chiropractic clinic at Woolston Neighbourhood Hub.
Education is provided by Woolston Church of England Primary School, St. Peters' Catholic Primary School and Woolston Community Primary School. Secondary Education is provided for by Woolston Community High School. Although from September 2008 there will be no student intake, and by 2012 the school will close completely.
Warrington's Direct Services are based in Woolston and provide services to the local community.
There are no local fire and police services. The nearest providers are at Risley Police Station and Birchwood Fire Station. Although there is a community police office located on the site of Dam lane shops.
The Woolston neighbourhood hub is where the library is now located along with the leisure centre that has a gym and swimming pool.
Notes and references
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Warrington Retrieved 6 December 2009
- Youngs (1991, p. 646)
- Youngs (1991, p. 214)
- Youngs (1991, pp. 214, 683, 689)
- Youngs (1991, pp. 214, 689)
- Youngs (1991, pp. 214, 676)
- Youngs (1991, pp. 42, 214, 646, 677, 689)
- "Lieutenancies Act 1997 (c. 23), Schedule 1, page 2". Office of Public Sector Information. Retrieved 25 October 2008. This official UK government document clearly implies in part 2 (c) and in the absence of any mention of Cheshire in any of the other sections that the lieutenancy covers the area that was said to be Cheshire under the Local Government Act 1972.
- "Boundary of the Cheshire Lieutenancy" (PDF). www.cheshire.gov.uk. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
- "Northern Area: Your Policing". Cheshire Police. Retrieved 25 October 2008.
- "Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service: About Us". Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service. Retrieved 25 October 2008.[dead link]
- Youngs, F. A. (1991). Guide to the local administrative units of England. Volume II: Northern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-86193-127-0