Spike Island (Cheshire)

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Spike Island today from Catalyst

Spike Island is an island between the Sankey Canal[1] and the estuary of the River Mersey, part of Widnes in the Borough of Halton in north-west England. The island contains parkland, woodland, a path along the canal and the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, the only science museum in the UK solely devoted to chemistry.


The island was at the centre of the British chemical industry during the 19th century and part of the Industrial Revolution. However, by the 1970s the area contained abandoned chemical factories, rail lines, canal and industrial dockage, and extensive chemical pollution. Between 1975 and 1982 the island was reclaimed and returned to green spaces.

In popular culture[edit]

Spike Island was the site of a famous outdoor concert by The Stone Roses in May 1990;[2] the support acts included DJs Dave Haslam, Paul Oakenfold and Frankie Bones, a Zimbabwean drum orchestra, and the reggae artist Gary Clail.[3] A film about the concert called Spike Island was released in 2012.[4]


  1. ^ "Spike Island and Widnes Lock - Sankey Canal". penninewaterways.co.uk. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "BBC Short film on the Stone Roses Spike Island concert". BBC. 
  3. ^ Nicolson, Barry (27 May 2015). "The Stone Roses: The Full Story Of Spike Island, 25 Years On". nme. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Wright, Jade (26 March 2012). "New film to relive The Stone Roses' classic gig at Spike Island in Widnes". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 

Coordinates: 53°21′14″N 2°43′50″W / 53.35389°N 2.73056°W / 53.35389; -2.73056