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Coordinates: 53°23′N 2°35′W / 53.39°N 2.59°W / 53.39; -2.59
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The town hall, Transporter Bridge, parish church, Skittles on Market Gate square, Crown Street and Bridge Street
Warrington is located in Cheshire
Location within Cheshire
Area44.89 km2 (17.33 sq mi)
Population174,970 [1]
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townWarrington
Postcode districtWA1–WA5
Dialling code01925
List of places
53°23′N 2°35′W / 53.39°N 2.59°W / 53.39; -2.59

Warrington (/ˈwɒrɪŋtən/) is an industrial town in the borough of the same name in Cheshire, England. The town sits on the banks of the River Mersey and is historically part of Lancashire. It is 19 miles (31 km) east of Liverpool, and 18 miles (29 km) west of Manchester.

The population in 2021 was recorded as 174,970 for the built-up area and 210,900 for the wider borough,[1][2] the latter being more than double that of 1968 when it became a new town. The population of Warrington stood at 211,200 [3] people as of 22nd April 2024. Warrington is the largest town in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, despite not being the capital.

Warrington was founded by the Romans at an important crossing place on the River Mersey. A new settlement was established by the Saxon Wærings.[4] By the Middle Ages, Warrington had emerged as a market town at the lowest bridging point of the river. A local tradition of textile and tool production dates from this time.[5]

The expansion and urbanisation of Warrington coincided with the Industrial Revolution, particularly after the Mersey was made navigable in the 18th century. The West Coast Main Line runs north to south through the town, and the Liverpool to Manchester railway (the Cheshire Lines route) west to east. The Manchester Ship Canal cuts through the south of the borough (west to east). The M6, M56 and M62 motorways form a partial box around the town and are all accessible through Warrington.

The modern Borough of Warrington was formed in 1974 with the amalgamation of the former County Borough of Warrington, part of the Golborne Urban District, the Lymm Urban District, part of the Runcorn Rural District, the Warrington Rural District and part of the Whiston Rural District.


The earliest known appearance of the name is "Weringtun", when before the Norman Conquest it was the head of a hundred.[6] An entry in the Domesday Book in AD 1086 named it as "Wallintun".[7] The root is likely the Old English word waru – meaning "those that care for, watch, guard, protect, or defend." The suffix -ing is a cognate of inge, an ethnonym for the Ingaevones said variously to mean "of Yngvi,"[8] "family, people or followers of"[9] or a genitive plural form of an inhabitant appellation.[10] The suffix "ton" is from the Old English word tun meaning "fenced area" or "enclosure."


Early history[edit]

Warrington has been a major crossing point on the River Mersey since ancient times and there was a Roman settlement at Wilderspool.[11] Local archaeological evidence indicates that there were also Bronze Age settlements.[citation needed] In medieval times Warrington's importance was as a market town and bridging point of the River Mersey. The first reference to a bridge at Warrington is found in 1285.[12] The origin of the modern town was located in the area around St Elphin's Church, now included in the Church Street Conservation Area,[13] established whilst the main river crossing was via a ford approximately 1 km upriver of Warrington Bridge.[14] Warrington was the first paved town in Lancashire, which took place in 1321.[15]

English Civil War[edit]

Warrington was a fulcrum in the English Civil War. The armies of Oliver Cromwell and the Earl of Derby both stayed near the old town centre (the parish church area). Popular legend has it that Cromwell lodged near the building which survives on Church Street as the Cottage Restaurant. The Marquis of Granby public house bears a plaque stating that the Earl of Derby 'had his quarters near this site'. Dents in the walls of the parish church are rumoured to have been caused by the cannons from the time of the civil war. On 13 August 1651 Warrington was the scene of the last Royalist victory of the civil war when Scots troops under Charles II and David Leslie, Lord Newark, fought Parliamentarians under John Lambert at the Battle of Warrington Bridge.

Industrial history[edit]

The expansion and urbanisation of Warrington largely coincided with the Industrial Revolution, particularly after the Mersey was made navigable in the 18th century. As Britain became industrialised, Warrington embraced the Industrial Revolution becoming a manufacturing town and a centre of steel (particularly wire), textiles, brewing, tanning and chemical industries. The navigational properties of the River Mersey were improved, canals were built, and the town grew yet more prosperous and popular. When the age of steam came, Warrington naturally welcomed it, both as a means of transport and as a source of power for its mills.

Second World War[edit]

Warrington was the location of the Burtonwood RAF base and Risley Ordnance Factory. During World War II, RAF Burtonwood served as the largest US Army Air Force airfield outside the United States, and was visited by major American celebrities including Humphrey Bogart and Bob Hope who entertained the GIs. The RAF station continued to be used by the USAAF and subsequently USAF as a staging post for men and material until its closure in 1993.

Post-war expansion[edit]

Warrington was designated a new town in 1968 and consequently the population grew in size, with many of the town's new residents moving from Liverpool or Manchester, with the Birchwood area being developed on the former ROF Risley site. New council housing was built for families rehousing from slum clearances in Liverpool or Manchester, while Warrington's new private housing estates also became popular with homeowners.[16]

Heavy industry declined in the 1970s and 1980s but the growth of the new town led to a great increase in employment in light industry, retail, distribution and technology.

IRA bombing[edit]

On 20 March 1993, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonated two bombs in Warrington town centre. The blasts killed two children: three-year-old Johnathan Ball died instantly, and twelve-year-old Tim Parry, from the Great Sankey area, died five days later in hospital. Around 56 other people were injured, four seriously. Their deaths provoked widespread condemnation of the organisation responsible. The blast followed a bomb attack a few weeks earlier on a gas-storage plant in Warrington.

Tim Parry's father, Colin Parry, founded The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace (known as the Peace Centre) as part of a campaign to reconcile communities in conflict. The centre opened on the seventh anniversary of the bombing, 20 March 2000. He and his family still live in the town.

Other history[edit]

In 1981, Warrington was the first place to field a candidate for the new Social Democratic Party: former Home Secretary Roy Jenkins stood for Parliament but lost to Labour Party candidate Doug Hoyle by a small number of votes.

There was a RAF training camp at Padgate, a Royal Naval air base at Appleton Thorn (RNAS Stretton) and an army base at the Peninsula Barracks in O'Leary Street.[17] The Territorial Army was based at the Bath Street drill hall until they moved to Peninsula Barracks.[18]

In October 1987, Swedish home products retailer IKEA opened its first British store in the Burtonwood area of the town, bringing more than 200 retail jobs to the area.[19]


The borough of Warrington is a unitary authority, with Warrington Borough Council providing both district-level and county-level functions. The central part of the modern borough, corresponding to the pre-1974 borough boundaries, is an unparished area; the rest of the borough is covered by civil parishes, which form a second tier of local government for their areas.[20][21]


Warrington was an ancient parish comprising five townships, being Burtonwood, Poulton-with-Fearnhead, Rixton-with-Glazebrook, Woolston-with-Martinscroft and a Warrington township covering the town itself and adjoining areas. The parish was part of the West Derby Hundred of Lancashire, and the River Mersey formed the county boundary.[22] The land on the south bank of the river was in the township of Latchford, in the parish of Grappenhall in Cheshire.[23]

In 1813 improvement commissioners were appointed for the township of Warrington, being the town's first form of urban local government; prior to that the town was governed by its vestry and manorial courts.[24] The town was incorporated as a municipal borough by a royal charter dated 3 April 1847. The borough boundaries differed from the township in some areas: more rural parts of the Warrington township were excluded from the borough, whereas the built-up parts of Latchford on the south bank of the Mersey in Cheshire were included within the borough.[25]

From 1847 until 1889 the borough straddled Lancashire and Cheshire. In 1889 boroughs which straddled county boundaries were placed entirely in the county which had the majority of the population, and so the part of the borough south of the Mersey was transferred from Cheshire to Lancashire.[26] The borough boundaries were subsequently enlarged on several occasions, notably in 1890, 1933 and 1954.[27][28][29]

The town had its own police force from 1847 to 1969.[30]

Warrington acquired county borough status upon reaching a population of 50,000 in 1900 and until 1974 was known as the County Borough of Warrington. As part of proposed local government reforms of England, in 1969 the Redcliffe-Maud Report suggested merging Warrington with either Merseyside or Greater Manchester metropolitan counties. Lobbying by the borough council averted this. But, since these county boundary changes were to make Warrington non-contiguous with Lancashire, under the local government reforms of 1974, Warrington, incorporating Lymm Urban District and part of Runcorn Rural District from Cheshire, and part of Warrington Rural District, was made a borough within Cheshire County Council.

On 1 April 1998, Warrington became an independent unitary authority, though it is still served by Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, and forms part of Cheshire for ceremonial purposes, such as the Lord Lieutenancy. Warrington has applied unsuccessfully for city status, the most recent attempt being after the opening of the Peace Centre as a "City for Peace".

Warrington Borough Council[edit]

The current borders of Warrington Borough cover the former County Borough of Warrington, Lymm Urban District, Warrington Rural District and part of Golborne Urban District, part of Runcorn Rural District and part of Whiston Rural District.

After the May 2024 election the political makeup of the borough council was as follows: 42 Labour councillors, 12 Liberal Democrats, 3 Independents and 1 Conservative.[31]

Parish councils[edit]

The Borough of Warrington contains 18 parish councils, although the central area is unparished.

These are[32]:

National representation[edit]

At Westminster, Warrington is represented by two MPs: Charlotte Nichols (Labour) represents Warrington North, and Andy Carter (Conservative) represents Warrington South.


The Borough of Warrington is bordered by Halton, Cheshire West and Chester, and Cheshire East boroughs in the ceremonial county of Cheshire and by the metropolitan boroughs of Trafford, Salford and Wigan in Greater Manchester and St. Helens in Merseyside.

Subdivisions, suburbs and civil parishes of Warrington[edit]

The Borough of Warrington has 18 civil parishes. The town centre and the area around it are unparished.

Civil parishes[edit]

Appleton, Birchwood, Burtonwood and Westbrook, Croft, Cuerdley, Culcheth and Glazebury, Grappenhall and Thelwall, Great Sankey, Hatton, Lymm, Penketh, Poulton-with-Fearnhead (includes Padgate), Rixton-with-Glazebrook, Stockton Heath, Stretton, Walton, Winwick, Woolston (includes Martinscroft and Paddington)

Other areas and civil parishes[edit]

Appleton Thorn, Bewsey, Blackbrook, Bruche, Callands, Chapelford, Cinnamon Brow, Cobbs, Dallam, Fairfield, Gemini, Gorse Covert, Grange, Hermitage Green, Hollins Green, Hood Manor, Howley, Hulme, Kenyon, Latchford, Locking Stumps, Longford, Old Hall, Omega, Orford, Risley, Sankey Bridges, Westbrook, Westy, Whitecross, Wilderspool, Wright's Green


Warrington has a temperate maritime climate with warm summers and cool winters. Rain is spread across the year, with thunderstorms only usually occurring in the summer months. Summer heat waves are rare but can cause temperatures to exceed 30 °C. Summers are usually snow free and rarely experience high winds. Winters are generally cold, with most days around 0 °C . Moreover, during occasional lengthy cold snaps, night-time temperatures have been known to fall to −12 °C with lying snow lasting for weeks. Ground frost regularly occurs from late October until late March. High winds are common in winter, although rarely above gale force 7.

Climate data for Warrington, United Kingdom (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 6.9
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 0.8
Average rainfall mm (inches) 81.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 43.8 69.8 97.7 137.1 185.9 163.7 171.7 161.6 133.3 89.7 63.7 54.6 1,372.6
Source: [33]

Green belt[edit]

Warrington is within a green belt region that extends into the wider surrounding counties, and is in place to reduce urban sprawl, prevent the towns in the nearby Manchester and Merseyside conurbations from further convergence, protect the identity of outlying communities, encourage brownfield reuse, and preserve nearby countryside. This is achieved by restricting inappropriate development within the designated areas, and imposing stricter conditions on permitted building.[34]

The main urban area and larger villages of the borough are exempt from the green belt area, but surrounding smaller villages, hamlets and rural areas such as Rixton, Glazebrook, Higher Walton, Kenyon, Stretton, Hatton, Broomedge are 'washed over' with the designation. The green belt was first drawn up in 1977 under Cheshire County Council,[34] and the size in the borough in 2017 amounted to 11,500 hectares (115 km2; 44 sq mi).[35]

A subsidiary aim of the green belt is to encourage recreation and leisure interests,[34] with rural landscape features and facilities including Walton Hall gardens with zoo and bicycle museum, St Oswald's Church and well, the River Mersey with valley and trail, River Bollin, Manchester Ship Canal, Bridgewater Canal, Appleton Reservoir, numerous playing fields, parks and golf clubs, Cuerdley and Norton marshes, the Trans Pennine Trail, the Mersey Forest project, and Sow Brook.


Based on ONS statistics

Population and ethnicity[edit]

At the 2011 census, Warrington had a total population of 202,200, of which 49.6% are male and 50.4% are female.[36] The average age of the population is 38.06 years, which is slightly below the regional and national averages. In 2018 it was estimated that the current population of Warrington is 209,500.

In addition to English, a further 36 languages were recorded spoken by more than 0.01% of Warrington's population aged 3 and over in the 2011 census. Those spoken by more than 0.1% were Polish (0.88%), Slovak (0.21%), Urdu (0.14%), Latvian (0.12%) Non Mandarin or Cantonese Chinese (0.12%) and Tagalog/Filipino (0.11%).

There are around 100 churches or other Christian communities, two mosques, and a Sikh temple Guru Nanak Gurdwara which is the only Sikh place of worship in Cheshire.[37]

The most multicultural parts of Warrington are in the town centre, as well as the western and north western suburbs, such as Bewsey and Westbrook. In 2011, the town was 92.9% White British, 2.3% other White, 2.4% Asian and 0.3% Black.

Housing and social situation[edit]

At the 2011 census, the borough of Warrington had 85,100 households. From 2001 data (80,593 households), 76% were owner occupied, 17.6% were rented from the council, 4.8% were rented from other sources and 1.6% of houses had residents who lived rent free. Warrington has a population density of 10.7 residents per hectare, and 31.9% of residents describe the borough as a comfortably well-off area. 4.3% of households are deemed overcrowded. Of the total population, 5.8% of residents are on some form of benefits.

Employment and education[edit]

At 2005, the borough of Warrington had 63.6% employment, with only 2.9% of all economically active people unemployed – although a substantial rise began in 2008 due to the recession. 2.3% of the population are students in full-time higher education. 31.1% of the total population are economically inactive (due to retirement, ill health, or full-time carer status). According to borough statistics, of the population (in the Borough of Warrington in 2005). 26.9% are unqualified (either due to leaving school early or failing the end of school examinations). 46.4% have level 1 or 2 qualifications (level 1 being 1+ GCSE (A*-G) or "O" Level or equivalent, level 2 being 5+ GCSEs (grades A-C), 1+'A' levels/ AS levels (A-E) or equivalent). 19.7% have received level 3+ qualifications (meaning 2+ A-levels (A-E), 4+ AS-levels (A-E) or equivalent minimum).


Bridge Street, one of the main shopping streets in Warrington

This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Halton and Warrington at current basic prices.[38]

Year Regional gross value added[note 1] Agriculture[note 2] Industry[note 3] Services[note 4]
1995 3,636 14 1,361 2,261
2000 4,768 10 1,433 3,324
2003 5,774 18 1,399 4,356

There is a large Unilever factory in Warrington where powder detergents are made. In January 2020, Unilever put the plant under review owing to a fall in demand for washing powder compared with other forms of detergent.[39]

Warrington Council and Warrington & Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are major employers in the borough.

ESR Technology's main operations are located at Warrington.


The Skittles

In spite of its proximity to significant retail areas in Manchester, Liverpool, Chester and the out-of-town Trafford Centre, Warrington continues to have one of the larger shopping centres in North West England. Despite the competition, Warrington has seen an increase in its customer trade, due in part to the modernisation of the town centre. It has a shopping centre (Golden Square) first opened in 1974,[40] which has been extended to include a Primark store, and a new bus station.[41]

The old Cockhedge Textile Mill was demolished and replaced by another shopping mall. The main shopping streets are Buttermarket Street, Horsemarket Street, Sankey Street and Bridge Street. Where these four streets intersect at Market Gate, there is a redevelopment with a large fountain and "guardians" (known locally as "the skittles") designed by Howard Ben Tré. Musical instrument retailer Dawsons Music originates in the town, and was located on Sankey Street from 1898 until 2019.[42] The town also has a large indoor market which was redeveloped as part of the Time Square development which brought the return of a cinema in the town centre along with office space, restaurants, bars and retail opportunities.[43]

The town also has several other small shopping malls located in the town centre and throughout the town such as Hatters Row and Birchwood Mall.[44] IKEA chose Warrington as the location for their first store when they came to the UK; the store is located in the large out-of-town shopping area of Gemini, which is home to one of the largest Marks and Spencer stores in the UK. Nearby to this, there is also an ODEON Luxe cinema, which was refurbished in 2019.[citation needed] [45]


There is ten-pin bowling located in the town centre and at Winwick Quay, and indoor paintball. An indoor karting centre is located near to Bank Quay. Pitch and putt and crazy golf are available at Walton Hall and Gardens. A Laser Quest arena and a snooker club can also be found in Warrington, both located close to the town centre. Gulliver's World theme park is located in Old Hall, Apple Jack's Farm theme park is situated in Stretton.


The Omega Development Site close to the M62 on the northern edge of Warrington, on part of the site of the Burtonwood Airbase, was intended to be a major business park but has instead been developed as mainly warehousing with a large residential area.

Other planned developments in Warrington were delayed by the economic climate, but redevelopment of the Time Square area, including a new Market, multi-story car park with around 1,200 spaces, cinema, retail outlets and council offices was completed in 2020 with an estimated cost of £142 million.

Warrington is developing a new Local Plan but plans to build 24,000 new homes were scaled back as government guidance changed. Included in the plans would be a new "Garden City Suburb" in the south of Warrington. The four main areas of growth as outlined in the planning were the waterfront around the River Mersey, the town centre, the Garden City Suburb and south west urban extension.[46]


Warrington after the coming of the railway, 1851

The town has two main railway stations: Bank Quay is on the West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Glasgow Central and the Manchester Piccadilly to North Wales via Chester line, while Central is on the Liverpool to Manchester line (via Widnes and Warrington) with through services to Sheffield then to East Anglia or Cleethorpes. Bank Quay is much altered, but Central (built 1873) is of some architectural merit, featuring polychromatic brickwork. Both have undergone some refurbishment including new entrances. There are also railway stations in the suburbs at Padgate, Sankey, Glazebrook and Birchwood. A new railway station, Warrington West in Chapelford, near Great Sankey, opened in December 2019.[47]

The town lies close to the M62, M6 and M56 motorways and midway between Liverpool and Manchester airports. It also has five primary A roads, the A49, A50, A56, A57 and A580 (East Lancashire Road), which forms part of the northern boundary of the borough.

Warrington's Own Buses, one of the few municipal bus companies to survive in public ownership, runs most bus services within the town. Go North West and Arriva North West provide bus links to surrounding destinations such as Manchester, the Trafford Centre, Liverpool, St Helens, Runcorn, Widnes and Chester. A real-time passenger information system is installed at some bus stops. A new bus station known as Warrington Interchange opened in 2006 at the Golden Square Shopping Centre.

The River Mersey runs through the heart of the town dividing it in two. There are only two main thoroughfares crossing the Mersey in Warrington: at Warrington Bridge at Bridge Foot and at the Kingsway Bridge. Before the M6 was built, these routes were very busy with through traffic.

The Manchester Ship Canal runs through the south of the town; three swing bridges and a high-level cantilever bridge provide crossing points. Although shipping movements on the ship canal are far less frequent than in years past, they can cause severe delay to local road traffic. The Bridgewater Canal runs through the borough from the village of Lymm to Walton Hall and Gardens, a local park/leisure area. The course of the Sankey Canal runs through the west of the town, although the only navigable section is at the lock to the River Mersey estuary at Fiddlers Ferry.

Warrington Bus Interchange[edit]

Warrington Bus Interchange in October 2009

The interchange consists of 19 departure stands, numbered from 1 to 19, all of which employ a drive-in reverse-out layout. Each stand has a computerised information screen which also ties into the real-time information system. All stands are served from the main concourse building, which contains toilets, a newsagent, cafe, and a combined travel and tourist information office. There is access to the Golden Square shopping centre via escalators and lifts. The exits on the eastern side of the building lead onto Winwick Street, on which can be found a taxi rank and Warrington Central railway station within around 100 metres.

The bus station is the terminus for all local bus services within Warrington. Regional services operate to neighbouring cities Liverpool, Manchester and Chester, as well as to Wigan, Leigh, the Trafford Centre, Altrincham, Northwich, Runcorn, Widnes and St Helens. The majority of bus services are operated by Warrington's Own Buses. Other services are provided by Arriva North West and Go North West.


Warrington Bus Interchange (also known as Warrington Interchange) opened on 21 August 2006,[48] next to the site of a temporary terminus that had been in use for the past thirteen months. The new interchange was built in conjunction with the extension and upgrade of the adjoining Golden Square shopping centre, and replaced the previous bus station which dated from 1979.[49]

In 2021, a 3.5 metre artwork was painted on glass at the bus station.[50]


Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, opened 1858

In March 2017 Warrington Borough Council made an unsuccessful bid to become the UK City of Culture in 2021.[51] However, various aspects of the town's cultural heritage gained prominence as a result of the bid such as the Grade II-listed Warrington Transporter Bridge, the last railway transporter bridge in the world, and the Warrington Academy which once earned the town the nickname of the Athens of the North.[52]

Warrington has a concert hall (the Parr Hall), an arts centre (the Pyramid), three museums, and various public libraries throughout the borough. Warrington Central Library was the first rate-supported library in the UK.[citation needed]

There is a cinema at Westbrook, and another opened in 2019 as part of a town centre redevelopment. There are several parks in Warrington and designated nature reserves at Woolston Eyes, Risley Moss, Rixton Claypits and Paddington Meadows.


Warrington Museum & Art Gallery is situated in Warrington's Cultural Quarter on the first floor of a building it currently shares with Warrington Central Library. The town is also home to the Museum of Policing in Cheshire,[53] located in part of the working police station, and the Warrington Museum of Freemasonry.[54]

A heritage centre for the village of Lymm was given planning permission in February 2016.[55]


A number of festivals, carnivals and walking days are held annually in the Warrington area. Warrington Walking Day – originally a Sunday school festival – is held on the closest Friday to the last day of June, and the town centre is closed to traffic as churches walk together through the streets.[56]

Other festivals, besides the many walking days, include:


A regular series of free classical music concerts take place in Bold Street Methodist Church, organised by WACIDOM.[57] This charity is also responsible for the biennial Warrington Competition for Young Musicians, held at Arley Hall. Regular classical recitals also take place at Walton Hall and St Wilfrid's Church, Grappenhall. Warrington also has many musical groups, including Warrington Male Voice Choir, Gemini Musical Theatre Company (formerly Warrington Light Opera), Warrington Youth Orchestra, North Cheshire Wind Orchestra, Centenary Theatre Company and ladies a cappella choir, the Cheshire Chord Company.

Warrington has a purpose-built concert hall, the Parr Hall, which houses a large and internationally famous concert pipe-organ made by the nineteenth-century French organ-builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.

A number of rock and pop musicians are associated with Warrington. Madchester pioneers The Stone Roses are closely associated with the town, particularly the native lead singer Ian Brown. Other artists include Spike Dawbarn from 1990s music act band 911, Kerry Katona of Atomic Kitten, Ben Byrne and James Stelfox from Starsailor and Tim Bowness of No-Man. The band Viola Beach (whose single "Swings & Waterslides" posthumously entered the UK Singles Chart at number 11) were formed in Warrington.

The Hit Man and Her TV show featuring producer Pete Waterman (of Stock Aitken Waterman) and Michaela Strachan debuted and regularly returned to the Mr Smiths nightclub in Warrington from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. The nightclub itself closed down in 2010.[58]

Warrington is home to the Neighbourhood Weekender music festival[59] which takes place in Victoria Park during the May bank holiday weekend. The event was first launched in 2018, over 50,000 people attended the event over the two days. The event was repeated in 2019 and was scheduled to return in 2020 but did not take place as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown. The event was subsequently held in 2021, 2022 and 2023. Plans for a 2024 festival were cancelled but will take place again in 2025.[60]

Open spaces[edit]

Warrington has an array of open spaces, including parks, trails, nature reserves and gardens rich in history and visual beauty. Many of these attractions are dog friendly, and free of charge to enter, usually with man-made paths created to ensure safety. The attractions include:

  • Culcheth Linear park- open 24hrs, with public toilets, parking, and staff based around the park
  • Lymm Dam pictured at sunset
    Lymm dam - open 24hrs, water features, wildlife and woodland walks. Also has angling opportunities and links to the Trans Pennine trail.
  • New Cut heritage and ecology trail- ongoing project including linear footpaths, Paddington meadows nature reserve, and links to several other parks in the area (listed below)
  • Risley Moss local nature reserve - works with schools and partakes in regular subjects to help aid the life of local wildlife. Includes car parking and toilets
  • Sankey valley park - open 24hrs, includes picnic benches, car parking, angling opportunities and play areas.
  • Trans Pennine Trail - open 24hrs, suitable for cycling, walking and running. Links to many other paths in the area.
  • Victoria park - includes sports facilities, changing facilities, training pitches, ASICS Stadium, play area and home to the annual Neighbourhood Weekender music festival
  • Walton gardens - includes gardens, Walton hall, petting zoo, play areas, mini golf and footpaths accessible to all.

Warrington is also home to other small parks and open spaces such Woolston park, Birchwood forest park and Bank park. Most open areas are dog friendly and only require unfriendly dogs to be kept under proper control by owners.


The historic core of Warrington contains many significant listed buildings, including Warrington Town Hall, St Elphin's Church and Warrington Museum, situated within Conservation Areas.


Higher education[edit]

The University of Chester has a campus at Padgate that was formerly part of Warrington Collegiate.


Warrington is home to three colleges: Priestley Sixth Form and Community College, Warrington and Vale Royal College and University Technical College Warrington.[61][62] Most of the high schools have their own post-16 provision (sixth-form).


There are 14 high schools throughout the borough:

Region School name Type of school Headteacher/principal Pupils
Birchwood Birchwood Community High School Academy Converter Emma Mills 1,124
Culcheth Culcheth High School Community Chris Hunt 1,132
Appleton Bridgewater High School Academy Converter Kieron Powell 1,650
Latchford Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School Church of England (Aided) Beverley Scott-Herron 752
Latchford Cardinal Newman Catholic High School (Warrington) Roman Catholic (Aided) David Lewis 780
Great Sankey Great Sankey High School Academy Converter John Shannon 2,000
Lymm Lymm High School Academy Converter Gwyn Williams 1,877
Padgate Padgate Academy Academy Converter Neil Harrison 455
Penketh Penketh High School Academy Converter John Carlin 1,137
Westbrook St Gregory's Catholic High School Roman Catholic (Aided) Edward McGlinchey 988
Orford Beamont Collegiate Academy Academy Converter Gareth Harris 750
Padgate King's Leadership Academy Warrington Free School Katie Sharp 320
Lymm Bright Futures School Private Ruth Clifford 30
Thelwall Chaigeley School Private Paul Lambert 35

Woolston High School closed in 2012.

There are also 69 primary schools in the borough.

The Manchester Japanese School (マンチェスター日本人補習授業校 Manchesutā Nihonjin Hoshū Jugyō Kō), a weekend Japanese educational programme, is held at the Language Centre at Lymm High School.[63]


Halliwell Jones Stadium, home to Warrington Wolves.

Rugby league is the town's premier sport in the form of Warrington Wolves, who were historically nicknamed "The Wire"[64] because of Warrington's history of wire making. In 2003 the club left Wilderspool Stadium, its home for over a century, and moved to the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Warrington RLFC are the only team to have played every season in the top flight of rugby league. They established themselves as one of the leading rugby clubs in the country by taking home the Challenge Cup for two years running in 2009 and 2010 and a further win in 2012. This was won by them for the first time since 1974.[65]

The club also reached the cup finals in 2016 and 2018, where they lost to Hull FC & Catalans Dragons respectively. In 2019, Warrington triumphed over St Helens in the Challenge Cup Final, 18-4, to lift the trophy for the 7th time. In 2011 the Wolves gained the Super League Leaders Shield for the first time (winning again in 2016), and in 2012 they appeared in the Super League Grand Final for the first time versus Leeds Rhinos with the chance to become only the third team to win the Challenge Cup/Grand Final double – however, they lost. They also reached the Grand Final again in 2013, 2016 and 2018, losing to Wigan Warriors on all occasions, Warrington's last domestic title came in 1955, when they beat Oldham at Manchester City's Maine Road. Warrington is represented in the British Amateur Rugby League Association leagues by:

  • Bank Quay Bulls ARLFC
  • Burtonwood Bulldogs ARLFC
  • Crosfields ARLFC
  • Culcheth Eagles ARLFC
  • Latchford Albion ARLFC
  • Rylands ARFLC
  • Woolston Rovers ARLFC

Football is represented by Warrington Town at Cantilever Park, next to the Manchester Ship Canal. The club has several nicknames including Town, Yellows and The Wire. Warrington Town are currently in National League North following promotion in 2023. Warrington's biggest success was in the 2014 FA Cup where they reached the first round proper for the first time, whilst in the eighth tier. Warrington drew Exeter City of the fourth tier, who were at the time of the game 100 places above the Yellows. The match was shown live on BBC One and sold out Cantilever Park. Warrington famously won the game 1–0, but lost to 5th-tier Gateshead in the second round. The town also has another non-league team, Rylands F.C. who currently play in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.[66]

Rowing in Warrington may well have been taking place for nearly 200 years. It is known that Warrington Regatta is well over 150 years old, often attracting large crowds on the riverbank. The modern Warrington rowing club started in the mid-1980s and is based near Kingsway Bridge. Warrington is home to both recreational and competitive rowers.[citation needed]

Warrington Athletic Club is based at Victoria Park, where a new eight-lane synthetic track was built in 1998, after the original track was destroyed in a fire the previous year.

Speedway racing, formerly known as dirt track racing, was staged in Warrington in its pioneering era between 1928 and 1930. The track entered a team in the 1929 English Dirt Track League and the 1930 Northern League. Efforts to revive the venue in 1947 failed to materialise.

Warrington Wolves Basketball team was set up in 2009 and competes in the English Basketball League Division Four.[citation needed]

Warrington has four predominant rugby union teams: Warrington RUFC, Lymm RFC, Gentlemen of Moore RUFC and Eagle RUFC, who are based at Thornton Road.[citation needed]


Warrington receives its television signals from the Winter Hill TV transmitter.

Local radio stations are BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Merseyside, Heart North West, Capital North West & Wales and Independent Local Radio station Greatest Hits Radio Liverpool & The North West (formerly Wire FM), formerly based in Orrell, also serves the Warrington area. Community radio station Radio Warrington broadcasts from a studio in Warrington Retail Market.[67] They hold an AM licence and have received planning permission for a transmitter, though their broadcasts are currently only available online.

Warrington's longest established newspaper is the Warrington Guardian. Published weekly and costing £1, it is currently owned by Newsquest and has sales of just over 17,000.[68] Bridge Foot based Orbit News Ltd produce a monthly free news magazine, Warrington Worldwide, as well as three community magazines, Warrington Worldwide, Lymm Life (first published April 1999) and Culcheth Life (First published April 2003) and the daily news website. The free monthly newspaper Cheshire Times is also distributed in the southern half of the borough.


See also Listed buildings in Warrington
The park gates at Warrington Town Hall

Churches and other religious buildings[edit]

Civic amenities[edit]

Industrial and commercial structures[edit]


Notable people[edit]

Up to 1700[edit]

1700 to 1800[edit]

1800 to 1900[edit]

1900 to 1950[edit]

1950 to date[edit]



Twin towns[edit]

Warrington is twinned with:

The villages of Lymm and Culcheth, within the borough, are twinned respectively with these French communes:[148][149]

Freedom of the Borough[edit]

The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Borough of Warrington.


Military units[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Includes hunting and forestry.
  2. ^ Includes energy and construction.
  3. ^ Includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured.
  4. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding.


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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]