Warburton Village



      The village of Warburton lies on the Cheshire bank of the river Mersey between Warrington and Manchester, both of which originated during the Roman settlement.

      Cottages and farmsteads (whose total population never exceeded 300souls) are slowly disappearing in the changing pattern of industrial and social progress. The densely populated city of Manchester has already threatened the very existence of Warburton and its neighbouring village of Lymm by a projected scheme of development which so far has been resisted, but can only be considered as delayed.

      When this comes to pass, the rural fragrance in which the Warburton family history was set will be engulfed and lost in the approaching tide of bricks, Macadam roadways and all that follows in their wake. The effect is already seen in the neighbouring village of Partington..

      From the rising ground above the dry bed of the river could be seen the plains of Lancashire and Cheshire, the hemp crofts, the meadows and marshlands to the distand woodlands of Lymm. Today however, the industrial encroachment is apparent on almost every side. The burning gas from the oil storages at Partington silhouettes at night the square towever of the new Warburton Church. Where once the winding river threaded its way between willow tree- lined banks, can now be seen the monstrous perfection of the Manchester Ship Canal lying like an incised wound across the face of nature.

      On the Southern skyline the tower of Lymm Church peeps above the tree tops. This village, once intimately linked to Warburton, owes its origin to the Roman coquest. The name is derived from the Latin "Limes" or limits denoting the extent of a territory.

      It became a Roman quarry for the supply of stone to their camps at Deva (Chester) and Manchester. Eagle Brow, the ancient coaching road which passes through the village, is actually the steep decent into the quarry. The name of this road is called after the Roman Standard. The Cross centred in the village was cut out of the living rock by the Romans for a Mithrean Shrine. Later it is believed to have been used for a wayside Crucifix by the early Christians. The Market Cross was erected in the Victorian period.

      Before the banks of the river Mersey were raised early in the 19th century Warburton and its village would be very firrent in aspect from that of today. The meadows beside the rivers Mersey, Bollin and Red Brook were swamps for the greater part of the year and Carrington and Warburton Moss would be impassable and very much larger in extent, whils tthe rising ground towards Lymm was heavily wooded.

      Prior to 1600 the only road in Warburton was one which came from the direction of Lymm, crossed a ford near Warburton Mill and then continued along the higher land to Wigsey Lane. At the time of the Jacobite Rebellion in 1715 a soldier with a musket and uniform was posted to guard the ford. From there the road passed in front of the old church and on to the old Roman watling Street at Altrincham.

      The Warburton bridge which at one time spanned the river Mersey can still be seen over the dry bed and is now used as part of the ramp road to the steel bridge which spans the Manchester Ship Cannal. It was built in 1863 at a cost of 550, recoverable by toll to be paid at the toll house still extant. It was founded by a private company, the first directors of which were John Wilson Patten, Rowland Eyles Egerton-Warburton, Richard Watson Marshall Dewhurst, Thomas Ellames Withington, Charles Garlick, John Woolf and James Tinsley. Although the approach roads were to become public highways, the bridge, according to the Rixton and Warburton Bridge Act of 1863, "...shall not be deemed a county bridge, so as to make the counties of Lancaster and Cheshire liable to repair, light or watch the same. The Bridge shall be repaired by the Company..."





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