The Fylde

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The Fylde ( /ˈfld/ ) is a coastal plain in western Lancashire, England. It is roughly a 13-mile-long (21-kilometre) square-shaped peninsula, bounded by Morecambe Bay to the north, the Ribble estuary to the south, the Irish Sea to the west, and the foot of the Bowland hills to the east which approximates to a section of the M6 motorway and West Coast Main Line. [1]



It is a flat, alluvial plain, parts of which have deposits of and were once dug for peat. The River Wyre meanders across the Fylde from Garstang on the eastern edge, westwards towards Poulton and then northwards to the sea at Fleetwood. The area north and east of the tidal Wyre, known as Over Wyre, is the more rural side of the river. The Fylde is roughly trisected by the M55 motorway and A586 road.

The west coast is almost entirely urban, containing the towns of Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Blackpool, St Annes and Lytham; with Thornton, Carleton and Poulton-le-Fylde not far inland. This area forms the Blackpool Urban Area. The central southern part of the Fylde includes the smaller towns of Kirkham and Wesham. The rest of the Fylde is rural, containing villages that include Freckleton, Warton, Wrea Green, Great Eccleston, Hambleton, Knott End and Pilling.


The Fylde is underlain by sedimentary bedrock of Triassic age though it is everywhere concealed by a thick cover of superficial deposits (exceeding 30 metres (98 ft) thickness in places) laid down during the present Quaternary period. The older rocks are the Sherwood Sandstones which ‘subcrop’ in the east. The slightly younger mudstones and siltstones of the Mercia Mudstone Group are found west of a line drawn roughly between Freckleton, St Michael's on Wyre and Preesall. The group is subdivided into formations and members; one in particular is of note, the ‘Preesall Halite member’, traditionally referred to as the Preesall Salt. It was the basis of former commercial operations in the area. Amongst others, boreholes sunk in connection with the former saltfield have provided much of the information on the bedrock of the area. The Mythop salt beds within the Mercia Mudstone succession are also conjectured to outcrop beneath the southwest corner of the Fylde. [2]

The Quaternary cover consists of glacial till deriving from the last ice age (Devensian) together with some scattered glaciofluvial deposits, mainly sand and gravel. A small drumlin field is recognised between Preesall, Thornton and Hambleton. Of more recent origin are clays, silts, sands and gravels forming both modern river floodplains and river terraces, most of which are associated with the River Wyre and its tributaries. Also post-glacial in age are the clays and silts of the broad tidal flats around Fleetwood and the Morecambe Bay coast and the Ribble estuary. Large areas of blown sand forming dune systems characterise the coastal zone north and east of Lytham St Annes whilst a thinner strip follows the north coast east from Fleetwood. Peat deposits are common in the shallow north–south valley occupied by Main Dyke just east of Blackpool and also forming the mosses in the northeast of the area. [3] [4]


Location map United Kingdom Borough of Fylde.svg
The Borough of Fylde
FY postcode area map.svg
FY postcode area

The Borough of Fylde is a local government area covering the south of the Fylde plain. The rest is covered by the boroughs of Wyre and Blackpool to the north and west respectively. The local justice area covering all of the Fylde is called Fylde Coast.

The FY postcode area, whose letters refer to the Fylde, covers its western halfthe eastern half is in the PR postcode area. Historically, the Fylde formed the western part of the wapentake or hundred of Amounderness.

See also

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Borough of Fylde</span> Borough in England

The Borough of Fylde is a local government district with borough status in Lancashire, England. It covers part of the Fylde plain, after which it is named. The council's headquarters are in St Annes. Some council departments, including Planning and an office of the Registrar, were previously located in Wesham, but in 2007 these offices were transferred to the ownership of the NHS North Lancashire Primary Care Trust and have since been replaced by a new housing development. The population of the non-metropolitan district at the 2011 census was 75,757.

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Wyre is a local government district with borough status in Lancashire, England. The population of the non-metropolitan district at the 2011 census was 107,749. The district borders the unitary authority area of Blackpool as well as the districts of Lancaster, Ribble Valley, Fylde and Preston. The council is based in Poulton-le-Fylde. The district is named after the River Wyre, which runs through the district.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Poulton-le-Fylde</span> Human settlement in England

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cleveleys</span> Human settlement in England

Cleveleys is a town on the Fylde Coast of Lancashire, England, about 4 miles (6 km) north of Blackpool and 2 miles (3 km) south of Fleetwood. It is part of the Borough of Wyre. With its neighbouring settlement of Thornton, Cleveleys was part of the former urban district of Thornton-Cleveleys and is part of the Blackpool Urban Area. In 2011 the Cleveleys Built-up area sub division had a population of 10,754.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thornton, Lancashire</span> Human settlement in England

Thornton is a village in the Borough of Wyre, about 4 miles (6 km) north of Blackpool and 2 miles (3 km) south of Fleetwood. The civil parish of Thornton became an urban district in 1900, and was renamed Thornton-Cleveleys in 1927. In 2011 the Thornton built-up area sub division had a population of 18,941.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Over Wyre</span> Group of villages in Lancashire, England

Over Wyre is the collective name given to a group of villages in Lancashire, England, situated on the Fylde, to the north and east of the River Wyre. The group is usually considered to include Hambleton, Stalmine, Knott End-on-Sea, Preesall, Pilling and Out Rawcliffe. The name distinguishes these villages from the larger southern part of the Fylde, between the Wyre and the Ribble, which includes the urban areas of Blackpool, Poulton-le-Fylde, Thornton, Cleveleys, Fleetwood and Lytham St Annes.

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The Preston and Wyre Railway was promoted to open up agricultural land in the Fylde in Lancashire, access a new port at what became Fleetwood and the Lancaster Canal at Preston: it opened in 1840. An associated company built the dock leading to the company changing its name to the Preston and Wyre Railway, Harbour and Dock Company. Passenger business was more buoyant than expected, and the company built branch lines to the nascent resort of Blackpool and Lytham that opened in 1846. At that time the line was leased by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and later the London and North Western Railway took a share in the lease which was later converted to outright ownership. The Preston and Wyre Railway continued to be jointly owned as the Preston and Wyre Joint Railway.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Diocese of Blackburn</span> Diocese of the Church of England

The Diocese of Blackburn is a Church of England diocese, covering much of Lancashire, created on 12 November 1926 from part of the Diocese of Manchester. The diocese includes the towns of Blackburn, Blackpool and Burnley, the cities of Lancaster and Preston, as well as a large part of the Ribble Valley. The cathedral is Blackburn Cathedral. The See is currently vacant following the retirement of Julian Henderson.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hambleton, Lancashire</span> Human settlement in England

Hambleton is a village and civil parish in the English county of Lancashire. It is situated on a coastal plain called the Fylde and in an area east of the River Wyre known locally as Over Wyre. Hambleton lies approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) north-east of its post town, Poulton-le-Fylde, and about 7 miles (11 km) north-east of the seaside resort of Blackpool. In the 2001 United Kingdom census, the parish had a population of 2,678, increasing to 2,744 at the 2011 census.

The FY postcode area, also known as the Blackpool postcode area, is a group of eight postcode districts in North West England, within five post towns. These cover the western half of the Fylde plain on the west coast of Lancashire, including Blackpool, Thornton-Cleveleys, Poulton-le-Fylde, Fleetwood and Lytham St Annes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stalmine-with-Staynall</span> Parish in Wyre Borough, Lancashire, England

Stalmine-with-Staynall is a civil parish within the Wyre borough of Lancashire, England, in a part of the Fylde known as Over Wyre. The parish contains the village of Stalmine and the hamlets of Staynall and Wardley. The civil parish had a population of 1,486 at the 2011 Census, of which 1,087 lived in Stalmine village.

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The geology of Lancashire in northwest England consists in the main of Carboniferous age rocks but with Triassic sandstones and mudstones at or near the surface of the lowlands bordering the Irish Sea though these are largely obscured by Quaternary deposits.

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  1. Harvey, A. M. (1997), "Fluvial geomorphology of north-west England", Fluvial Geomorphology of Great Britain, Springer Netherlands, pp. 173–200, doi:10.1007/978-94-011-5816-9_4, ISBN   9789401064569
  2. "British Geological Survey 1:50000 Series, England and Wales sheet 74 Southport, Solid and Drift geology". Maps Portal. British Geological Survey. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  3. "GeoIndex Onshore". British Geological Survey. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  4. "Geological Survey of Great Britain (England and Wales), Blackpool, Sheet 66, 1:50000 Series, Solid and Drift Edition with Bouguer anomalies". Maps Portal. British Geological Survey. Retrieved 5 July 2020.

Coordinates: 53°50′13″N2°51′40″W / 53.837°N 2.861°W / 53.837; -2.861