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Rainford Council Offices
Rainford is located in Merseyside
Location within Merseyside
Population7,779 (2011 Census)
OS grid referenceSD481009
Civil parish
  • Rainford
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townST. HELENS
Postcode districtWA11
Dialling code01744
AmbulanceNorth West
UK Parliament
List of places
53°30′11″N 2°46′59″W / 53.503°N 2.783°W / 53.503; -2.783Coordinates: 53°30′11″N 2°46′59″W / 53.503°N 2.783°W / 53.503; -2.783

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] reducing to 7,779 at the 2011 Census.[2]

Within the boundaries of the historic county of Lancashire, it is unknown when Rainford was founded, but the earliest record of the village is dated 1189.[3] Rainford formerly constituted an urban district.


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 the Second World War.

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.


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 on 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.


Agriculture has been a constant since time immemorial around Rainford.

From the mid-17th century Rainford was a centre of clay pipe manufacture. C.J. 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.[4]


Rainford Junction is so called because it contained the junction between the Liverpool & Bury Railway's Skelmersdale Branch and St Helens Railway, and is now home to the village's only railway station. The railway station is on the KirkbyManchester 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 Cross Pit Lane, served the centre of the village from 1858 until closure in 1951. It was located on the line to St Helens Shaw Street railway 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 (A580) 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; as at November 2015 Arriva North West 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. HTL Buses operate the 152 from St Helens to Rainford with a few services extended to Ormskirk. The 157 goes to Ashton and is currently operated by Cumfybus.

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, and the Eagle and Child. It is also home to the George Wright Brewery.

Annually the village has a music festival called Picnic in the Park;[5] profits benefit Rainford Rangers, the local football team. The 2018 headline was John Coghlan (drummer)'s Quo. The 2019 headline was Carol Decker's T'Pau (band). 2020's event was postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rainford 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.[6] 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.[7][8][9][10]


Rainford currently has three functioning churches, with the Catholic, Church of England 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.[11][verification needed]


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 School, and serve to educate pupils not just from Rainford, but from throughout St. Helens and beyond. Many pupils continue to university each year. The high school has recently been partnered with Guangdong University, in southern China.


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[12] and was opened in the summer of 2009.[13]

Rainford also has various sports clubs; A.F.C. Rainford, Rainford Tennis club[14] 'Rainford Storm' Table Tennis Club, Rainford Rangers F.C., Rainford Eagles F.C., Rainford North End F.C. and Rainford Cricket Club. A speedway training track was operational at some time in the early 1950s.

Notable People[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2001 Census: Rainford". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 11 January 2009.
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  3. ^ http://www.sthelensstar.co.uk/coffey_time/10076636.Looking_at_the_long_history_of_this_proud_Lancashire_village/
  4. ^ The Manufacture of Clay Tobacco Pipes in Rainford – Survey of a Defunct Industry, C.J. Berry, 1963
  5. ^ Rainford Picnic in the Park website
  6. ^ Rainford Walking Day, BBC, retrieved 29 January 2007
  7. ^ "Rainford Show 2012". rainfordshow.co.uk. unknown. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  8. ^ http://www.sthelensreporter.co.uk/news/local/rainford-show-a-success-1-730542
  9. ^ http://www.osadvertiser.co.uk/videos-photos/west-lancashire-photos/2008/09/04/hundreds-turn-out-for-rainford-show-80904-21704913/
  10. ^ "It's showtime for the village".
  11. ^ A History of Rainford Parish Church 1541–2003
  12. ^ Golfers face bright future as second course unveiled, icLiverpool, 4 July 2006, retrieved 20 March 2007
  13. ^ "Turner is happy new course is a picture", Liverpool Daily Post, 20 November 2007, retrieved 11 January 2009
  14. ^ http://www.rainfordtennisclub.co.uk/
  15. ^ "Rainford-based Marwan Koukash set to be unveiled as new Salford rugby league club owner".

External links[edit]



Other relevant sites[edit]