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The modern, vibrant town of Skelmersdale sprang up in 1961 as the North West's first New Town, although the area's roots can be traced back to Viking times.

The town itself is a hive of urban activity with a number of thriving industrial estates and busy shopping areas, yet is surrounded by attractive wooded valleys and cloughs with plenty of wide green open spaces.

The Concourse shopping centre in the centre of the town offers visitors two floors of quality shopping outlets - from high street names to specialist family firms - as well as fast food, cafes and coffee shops. A major superstore is set right next to the centre.


A brief history...

Skelmersdale was of some importance even in 55BC. The Romans had a garrison in Wigan and Skelmersdale was a resting place when the soldiers marched to the harbour at Crosby.

The name Skelmersdale probably indicate Norse visitors as it has been traced to Scandinavian sources. Its history, however, can be followed in some detail from 1086 as it is recorded in the Domesday Book that one Uctred than held Skelmersdale - assessed as one ploughland (about 105 acres of arable land) worth 32 pence.

In the early 19th century the inhabitants of Skelmersdale, 101 families living in 98 houses with a rate of one penny in the pound, were mostly engaged in agriculture, growing potatoes and corn, when the quest for coal resulted in the birth of Skelmersdale as a township. The population increased from 414 in 1801 to 760 in 1851 and 6627 in 1891, hundreds of Welshmen being amongst the new comers. Busy Skelmersdale erected a town hall in 1877, lit the township with gas the following year and laid on a public water supply in 1879.


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Last Updated: 11/12/2013

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West Lancashire Borough Council, 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk, West Lancashire L39 2DF
Tel: 01695 577177 | Email: customer.services@westlancs.gov.uk