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Burscough town.JPG
Burscough town centre
Burscough is located in Lancashire
 Burscough shown within Lancashire
Population 8,968 (Parish)
(2001 Census)[1]
OS grid reference SD444118
Civil parish Burscough
District West Lancashire
Shire county Lancashire
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ORMSKIRK
Postcode district L40
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′00″N 2°50′41″W / 53.6001°N 2.8446°W / 53.6001; -2.8446

Burscough (/ˈbɜːrsk/ or /ˈbɜːrskə/) is a large village and civil parish within West Lancashire in North West England, to the north of both Ormskirk and Skelmersdale.The parish also includes the hamlet of Tarlscough and the Martin Mere Wetland Centre. The population taken at the 2011 Census was 9,493.[2]


Burscough developed originally as a two small farming villages (Burscough and Burscough Bridge) on a low ridge above the West Lancashire Coastal Plain, and has Viking roots — Burh-skogr = fortress in the woods. With constant development of new housing estates and apartments, Burscough's population has recently rapidly grown and the two communities have long since melded together. Further recent planned large developments at Yew Tree Farm, coupled with the long-term shortage of sewer capacity which causes widespread sewer flooding,[3] along with regular severe traffic congestion on the A59/A5209[4] resulted in a parish poll being called by residents, in which over 96% of the voters opposed the additional development on greenbelt farmland.[5] At the 2001 Census, the population of the parish stood at 8,968.[1]

RNAS Burscough (HMS Ringtail)[edit]

There was an operational Fleet Air Arm air station RNAS Burscough (HMS Ringtail) located 1.5 miles southwest of the town. This was active between September 1943 and May 1946.


Burscough has a number of primary schools, which are:

  • Lordsgate Township C of E
  • St. Johns Church of England
  • Burscough Village (formerly Colbern Close Primary)
  • Burscough Bridge Methodist
  • St. Johns Catholic

Burscough's high school is:

  • Burscough Priory Science College

There is also a secondary school, Burscough Priory Science College (formerly Burscough Priory High School), and also a small public library.[6] Shopping in the town is provided for by a large Tesco supermarket, a Booths and some other smaller shops including a Spar, as well as local florists, barbers, etc. For many years there was an Ordnance Depot on the eastern edge of Burscough, but this has closed and the site has been redeveloped into housing.

Burscough Wharf[edit]

On 12 February 2011, a small retail and leisure development known as Burscough Wharf opened its doors to the public. Situated on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, next to the southern bridge of the town centre, the development consists of approximately thirty units available for retail, leisure or office/studio space. Current businesses operating within the central square of Burscough Wharf consist of various independent arts, craft and hobby shops, food and drink outlets, including a traditional sweet shop, and health and beauty salons.[7]


The A59 trunk road and Leeds and Liverpool Canal pass through Burscough and the A5209 brings large volumes of traffic through the town from where it connects to the A59. Lancashire County Council describe the town as suffering from "severe congestion". The canal junction with the Rufford Branch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is in Burscough. The town has two main railway stations: Burscough Junction, on the Liverpool to Preston line, was opened by the East Lancashire Railway on 2 April 1849, though the line now terminates at Ormskirk. Burscough Bridge, on the Southport to Manchester line, was opened by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway on 9 April 1855. There is also a third station two miles from the centre in New Lane, which is a small halt on the same line as Burscough Bridge. These lines formerly had a junction known as the Burscough curves. The deletion of the curves prevents through train services between Ormskirk and Southport and Southport and Preston. The presence of the two stations is a sign of the two previous villages and their differing landowners.

The Burscough Junction Station Crash occurred on 15 January 1880 on the Liverpool to Preston railway line.

Windmill Farm Railway[edit]

The Windmill Farm Railway is a narrow gauge railway line located at the Windmill Animal Farm. The railway operates over a 1.1-mile (2 km) track at 15 in (381 mm) gauge, using locomotives previously from the Fairbourne Railway, since that line has regauged to a smaller gauge.[8]

Sport & leisure[edit]

Burscough F.C.[edit]

Main article: Burscough F.C.

Burscough F.C. play at Victoria Park. They won the FA Trophy in 2003 when they defeated conference side Tamworth in the final at Villa Park. In the 2005-06 FA Cup competition they beat league side Gillingham 3-2 at home in the first round. After winning the Northern Premier League in 2007, they were then relegated from the Conference North to the NPL Premier Division in the 2008-09 season. A further relegation followed and the club now play in the NPL Division 1 (North).

Allotment society[edit]

Although the allotments in Burscough have been used since the construction of the Richmond Avenue housing estate, the need for a formal society was identified by the Parish Council in order to obtain further land for allotments in Burscough. Following a series of meetings a society was formed and the constitution agreed during a meeting on 23 November 2011.[9]


There is a fishery in the town at Warper's Moss Lane which has four man-made lakes stocked with a wide variety of coarse fish, including carp to around 20 pounds (9.1 kg). Fishing is available on a day ticket.

Martin Mere[edit]

Main article: WWT Martin Mere

Martin Mere is a large wildfowl reserve and visitor attraction on the edge of Burscough and is owned by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. In 2006 Martin Mere featured in the BBC television programme Autumnwatch.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2001 Census: Burscough". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 10 May 2007. 
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  3. ^ Source: United Utilities 2015 AMP5
  4. ^ Source: Lancashire County Council
  5. ^ "Burscough has Had Its Say on the Local Plan An Overwhelming NO". Burscough Action Group. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "Burscough Library". Lancashire County Council. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "Burscough Wharf >> Burscough Wharf Leisure Development". Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "Windmill Farm Steam Train". Windmill Animal Farm. Retrieved 2 March 2008. 
  9. ^ http://burscoughallotmentsociety.weebly.com/index.html

External links[edit]