As a town on top of the Lancashire Coalfield, Wigan was swept up in the Industrial Revolution and became a coalmining and cotton-spinning date. The collieries and mills were served by the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, a dumbfounding piece of Georgian engineering connecting major manufacturing hubs across the North West.
There are pockets of ancient woodland around the borough, unaltered for hundreds of years, while the Haigh Woodland Park is a highly-rated family day out on an historic estate. Wigan park belongs to the Medieval grounds of Haigh Hall, a country house last rebuilt in and now a idea. Amid beeches, oaks, sycamores and horse chestnuts, the acre park has something for all-comers. Maybe best of all though is the Kitchen Courtyard, which has a tearoom, brewery, craft studios and shops specialising in artisan bread, ice cream and chocolate.
These relate to fields like archaeology, natural history, fine art, industrial history, social history and applied art.
This might be a German helmet brought back from the First World War, local 16th-century pewter, Roman pottery or Victorian holiday souvenirs from Blackpool. Here you can take in the last surviving pit headgear and engine house on the vast Lancashire Coafield. The mine operated from to and now is a chance to come to terms with a way of life that has disappeared in the space of a generation.
Things to do in wigan
That metre headgear from is one of the main attractions, as is the hefty twin tandem compound steam engine in the winding house, with steam supplied by 16 Lancashire boilers. The largest collection of its kind in the UK. With a rare piece of industrial architecture Astley Green is regularly chosen as a shooting location, and last appeared in the BBC2 series Peaky Blinders in Thirty acres of lawns, paths and flowerbeds to the northwest of Wigan town centre, the Victorian Mesnes Park opened in Like all of the park this has been revitalised in the last few years with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Also pretty is the Arts and Crafts-style entrance lodge, now hired out for functions like weddings.
The bronze on his foot is buffed up and shiny because people give it a rub for good luck. The longest single canal in the UK, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal weaves through Wigan on its mile course between its two namesake cities.
Trencherfield mill steam engine
The waterway was built over the turn of the 19th century to ship coal, limestone and textiles back and forth across the industrial North West, with an international exit point at the Port of Liverpool. Freight was long ago replaced by narrowboats for pleasure, while the well-surfaced towpaths draw a steady stream of walkers and cyclists. You can use the canal to get to a lot of places on this list, like the DW Stadium, the Wigan Flashes, the Trencherfield Mill and of course, the Wigan Pier, which follows.
The towpath here has cobblestones, as well as the tracks of an old narrow-gauge railway, and there are rows of warehouses going back to the Georgian period. At the start of the s a redevelopment plan kindled a lot of optimism about the wharf, but this was stopped in its tracks when the Great Recession hit in As of the site is in decay, but potential is clear as day. One of the restored industrial behemoths on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is the cotton-spinning Trencherfield Mill, erected in The four-storey factory was revitalised as part of the Wigan Pier regeneration, and that humungous engine is like new.
The church was first documented at the start of the 13th century, but is thought to have been founded much earlier.
The architecture in place today stems from a Tudor rebuild in the s, blending elements from Gothic and Renaissance styles. This transitional style is on show in the nave, where the arches are semi-circular, with just a hint of a point and are supported by Tuscan columns.
In the nave and chancel look up at the ceiling, which has richly moulded beams from the Tudor rebuild. The handsome Victorian courthouse on Crawford Street has been converted into a multidisciplinary arts centre run on a non-profit basis. The largest is the Grand Vault, which has standing space for spectators and used for gigs — added to these are the ceremonious Courtroom and the cosier Bailiff Bar. A glance at the website will make clear just how much is going on at the centre: There are craft workshops, plays, live bands with a lot of tribute actsparties, poetry readings, lectures, comedians and talks by cultural figures and sports personalities.
As of the football team, Wigan Athletic play in the Championship, the second tier of the English game. But they did have an extended spell in the Premier League in the s and even won the FA Cup in The Rugby League team, Wigan Warriors, shares the stadium, and plays its matches in the summer months.
Large northern town with a rich history and plenty of things to see and do
Perhaps the more successful of the two tenants, the Warriors have won the Super League championship ly RFL Championship 21 times, with three victories since In the venue opened the Next Door bar, which helped bring the theatre up to accessibility standards. Three Sisters is also a full-size racing circuit, and organises Road Car Track Days when people can bring their own vehicles to see what they can do.
To the east of the borough is a big tract of semi-natural ancient woodland that has survived since the 17th century.
Among the tree species in this acre wood are birch, ash, oak, hazel, cherry, hawthorn, dog rose and blackthorn. Borsdane Wood is prettiest on the banks of the Borsdane Brook, which feeds the nearby Pennington Flash, surrounded by a acre country park. Here the Sprodley Brook has whittled away the sandstone to form walls of rock, waterfalls and cascades. This is all in the shade of fresh broadleaf woodland, with oaks and ashes dating back centuries, and scattered with younger birches and alders. Try to come in April or May when the blue bells and red campions bring lots of colour to the forest floor.
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