Thornton, Lancashire

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Marsh Mill, on Fleetwood Road
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Shown within Wyre Borough
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Location within Lancashire
OS grid reference SD339421
Shire county
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Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district FY5
Dialling code 01253
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53°52′16″N3°00′14″W / 53.871°N 3.004°W / 53.871; -3.004

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. [1] 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. [2]



Thornton is first mentioned in 1086 in the Domesday Book, where it was referred to as Torentum (a name preserved by Torentum Court on Lawsons Road). At the time it covered a large area including what are now Cleveleys and Fleetwood, and had a very low population density. It is thought that a settlement had existed at the site since the Iron Age, and a Roman road passes close to the village. The area remained lightly populated until 1799, when the marshland around the village was drained and agricultural production began on a large scale. [3]

Marsh Mill, a large well-preserved windmill, built in 1794, is a prominent landmark. It was commissioned by Bold Hesketh, uncle of Peter Hesketh (later Peter Hesketh-Fleetwood), who would go on to play a prominent role in the expansion of Fleetwood. Tragedy struck in May 1930, when a Miss Alice Baldwin and a Mrs Mary Jane Bailey visited the windmill with an interest in purchasing it. However, when both women stepped onto the fantail platform, the platform collapsed and the women fell to their deaths. [4]

A railway station was opened in Thornton in 1865. The opening of salt works at nearby Burn Naze by the United Alkali Company in the early 1890s (later becoming ICI) led to significant expansion of the village, with new houses and community buildings constructed. Thornton became an Urban District Council in 1900, surviving until 1974 when it became part of the Wyre Borough Council. [3]

A notable early building, The Illawalla, stood in Skippool between 1902 and 1996.

In 2015, the complete skeleton of a pre-historic wolf, nicknamed the Thornton Wolf, was discovered in the back garden of a home in the village. [5]



Thornton–Cleveleys railway station was formerly the principal intermediate stop on the Fleetwood branch of the LMS/British Rail London Midland Region railway, running from Poulton-le-Fylde, but it has been years since the station was used, and with the recent fencing-over of the level crossing in Station Road/Victoria Road East in order to prevent youths from congregating on the tracks, the glory days of Thornton are long since gone. However, a decision by an action group based in Poulton means they will finance a feasibility study into bringing the railway back to Thornton and Fleetwood. [6]


Thornton Centre's stops 1 and 2 are served by five bus routes:[ citation needed ]


Thornton's village shopping precinct opened in 1978. [7] It was replaced by a Co-op in the early 21st century. [8]

Thornton contains a number of schools, including Baines Endowed Primary School, Thornton Primary School, Stanah Primary School, Royles Brook Primary School, and Millfield Science & Performing Arts College in addition to a small public library. [9]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Borough of Wyre</span> Borough and non-metropolitan district in England

Wyre is a local government district with borough status on the coast of Lancashire, England. The council is based in Poulton-le-Fylde and the borough also contains the towns of Cleveleys, Fleetwood, Garstang, Preesall and Thornton, along with numerous villages and surrounding rural areas. Some of the borough's built-up areas form part of the wider Blackpool urban area. Eastern parts of the borough lie within the Forest of Bowland, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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

Poulton-le-Fylde, commonly shortened to Poulton, is a market town in Lancashire, England, situated on the coastal plain called the Fylde. In the 2021 United Kingdom census, it had a population of 18,115.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fleetwood</span> Town in Lancashire, England

Fleetwood is a coastal town in the Borough of Wyre in Lancashire, England, at the northwest corner of the Fylde. It had a population of 25,939 at the 2011 census.

<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.

<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.

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.

Thornton-Cleveleys is a conurbation consisting of the village of Thornton and the town of Cleveleys. The two settlements formed a joint urban district from 1927 until 1974, before becoming part of Wyre. The two settlements constitute part of the Blackpool Urban Area.

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The Fleetwood branch line is a railway line that ran from Preston to Fleetwood. It passed through many smaller stations along the way, most of which are now closed. When work at Fleetwood docks was under threat in the mid-1960s, the main Fleetwood station was closed, and the remainder of the branch south to Poulton followed in 1970. There are active proposals to re-open the branch to passenger services.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thornton–Cleveleys railway station</span> Station in Lancashire, UK (1865–1970)

Thornton–Cleveleys was a railway station in England which served the Lancashire village of Thornton and town of Cleveleys. Located on the now disused line between Poulton-le-Fylde and Fleetwood, the station also had a shunting yard for the making-up of freight trains for Preston and beyond. During its life it was also known at times as Thornton station and Thornton for Cleveleys station. In the 1860s and early 1870s the line was of great importance, being the direct route from London to Glasgow. Before the Shap route was opened, passengers would travel from Euston to Fleetwood and then onwards via steamer to Scotland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Burn Naze Halt railway station</span> Former station in Thornton-Cleveleys, UK

Burn Naze Halt railway station served Burn Naze in Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire, England, between 1909 and 1970. The platforms were heavily overgrown with vegetation until 2014, when the Poulton & Wyre Railway Society began restoration work.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Blackpool urban area</span> Built-up area in Lancashire, England

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

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

Skippool is an area of Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire, England. It is situated between Little Thornton and Poulton-le-Fylde along the western banks of the River Wyre, about three miles south of its mouth between Fleetwood and Knott End. These banks are known as Skippool Creek, an historic docks area now home to mostly run-down vessels. The MV Good Hope, for example, may date from the 1830s. Skippool Creek is a short branch off Main Dyke, which empties into the River Wyre in front of Blackpool and Fleetwood Yacht Club.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marsh Farmhouse</span> Historic site in Lancashire, England

Marsh Farmhouse is an historic building in Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire, England. Built in 1803, it is a Grade II listed building. It is located to the southeast of today's Amounderness Way roundabout at Victoria Road East.

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  1. "Distance from Thornton-Cleveleys to Blackpool" . Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  2. UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Thornton (Wyre) Built-up area sub division (E35000137)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics . Retrieved 27 March 2021.
  3. 1 2 History - Thornton Through Time Archived 2011-07-03 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "BBC - Legacies - Architectural Heritage - England - Lancashire - Going through the mill - Article Page 3". Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  5. "'Ice Age' wolf bones found in Thornton Cleveleys garden". BBC News. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  6. "Boost for plans to reopen Poulton to Fleetwood rail link". Blackpool Gazette . 8 August 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  7. "22 nostalgic scenes of Thornton which capture Victoria Road East, shops, precinct and surrounding streets in decades gone by"Blackpool Gazette, 2 May 2023
  8. "New-look Thornton-Cleveleys Co-op re-launches including partnership with Boyes who launch their latest value store inside". Retrieved 29 March 2024.
  9. "Welcome to the Library and Information web site - Thornton Home Page". Lancashire County Council. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2008.