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
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.