Poulton-le-Fylde Historical & Civic Society

APRIL 2024



Lancashire did not exist as a county in 1086 and Poulton appears in the Yorkshire section of the Domesday Survey, one of over 60 local villages in Amounderness. Unfortunately no details are given about these communities. Domesday records 3 churches in Amounderness but does not say where they were. However it  is extremely likely that a church has stood in Poulton since  Anglo-Saxon times.

Poulton was part of a very large Anglo-Saxon parish of Kirkham. The dedication of the church to St Chad, an Anglo-Saxon bishop, is taken as further evidence that a church  stood in Poulton well before the Norman Conquest.






















The first written evidence for a church in Poulton is a document drawn up in 1094 when Roger de Poitou, the Norman knight to whom Amounderness had been granted after the  Conquest, presented the church in Poulton to the Abbey at Sees in Normandy. It was accepted practice for this to be done, and Poulton  church, together with other churches in Amounderness, including the newly built church dedicated to St Mary at Lancaster, remained in the hold of the Norman Abbey until Henry IV dissolved the power of foreign  abbeys to hold land in England.

Until the early nineteenth century when the Victorians began a major programme of church building on the Fylde coast, the parish of  St Chad, Poulton stretched from what is now Squires Gate Lane in Blackpool, where it met the parish of Lytham, to the banks of the River Wyre where Fleetwood now stands.  (Over a period of about eight hundred years Bispham church was at different times both a chapel of ease to Poulton and a separate parish.)

Poulton has never belonged to a major landowner and so the township has no important and useful documents such as Manor Court Rolls.  After the Reformation, Queen Elizabeth passed the church to members of the Fleetwood family, but the majority of landowners in Poulton continued to be local people owning small  farms.




Built on one of the few low hills in the western part of the Fylde, near to the River Wyre, for centuries Poulton provided a natural social and  commercial centre for the many tiny hamlets which lay over a wide area reaching from Lytham to  Kirkham.   Over the centuries Poulton became an important market  town providing local farmers and families with the many services  they needed - blacksmiths, farriers, nail makers carpenters and  joiners, shoemakers, dressmakers and tailors and all manner of  food suppliers. The market cross still standing in the square is a reminder  of the days when it served as a sign that regular markets were held there. Poulton has no market charter, and the earliest mention yet found of a market in Poulton was identified by Dr Alan Crosby in a document of 1628, but it is very likely that markets have been held here for centuries.  



This view from the top of St Chad’s church tower shows the Market Place  with the Victorian Market held in June 1997.




Poulton Prehistory      Domesday to Market Town       The great fire to modern times       Then & Now

Poulton Prehistory      Domesday to Market Town       The great fire to modern times       Then & Now