A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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LAYTON WITH WARBRECK
This township includes Blackpool with its suburb of South Shore; it has an area of 2,359 acres, but was in 1894 extended so as to include the hamlet of Great Marton, (fn. 1) the area of the new township of Blackpool—the name of Layton having been superseded—being 3,601 acres. (fn. 2) The population of Blackpool was 47,348 in 1901. (fn. 3) The surface, though level, rises somewhat towards the east, and on the higher land is placed the village of Layton, just outside Blackpool. Little Layton is about a mile to the north of it with Warbreck to the west. Whinney Heys is on the extreme eastern border. Layton Hawes was at the south end of the township; horse races used to be held there yearly. (fn. 4)
Roads spread out in all directions from the centre of the Blackpool shore line. There are three approaches to the town by railway: the old line, a branch from the Preston and Fleetwood railway turning off at Poulton with a terminus at Talbot Road, near the North Pier; a second line, coming from the south through Lytham, with a station at South Shore and a terminus near the Tower; and a more direct line from Kirkham, having the same terminus, but a separate station at South Shore. Electric tramways run north to Fleetwood and south to St. Anne's and Lytham.
In 1837 the market house and market field were still known, though the chartered market and fair had long ceased; the cross and stocks had also disappeared. (fn. 5) The cuckstool was still pointed out, and 'riding the stang' had been a custom. (fn. 6) The 'Layton miser,' one John Bailey, was remembered. (fn. 7)
In 1296 a ship from Ireland laden with victuals for the king was driven ashore at Layton; the goods were seized by the people and the king's men were ill-treated. (fn. 8)
In 1066 LAYTON was in the hands of Earl Tostig as part of his Preston lordship. (fn. 9) It was in later times a part of the Warrington fee, and in 1236 it was recorded that the heirs of Sir Emery le Boteler held three knights' fees in Warrington and Layton 'of ancient feoffment,' (fn. 10) Layton being one fee. (fn. 11) Thus their tenure went back to the time of Henry I. Layton was composed of Great and Little Layton, Warbreck, the Pool, and Threfeld, and Great Bispham was the other member of the fee. These, or most of them, are spoken of as separate 'manors.' Great Marton was later added, though the tenure differed. In 1297 William le Boteler held Layton with its members (Great Marton not being included) of the Earl of Lancaster by knight's service, rendering 10s. yearly. (fn. 12) This payment was for castle ward. The manors continued to descend in the same way as Warrington (fn. 13) until 1539–43, when Sir Thomas Butler sold his Layton lordship, with Great Marton included, to John Browne, citizen and mercer of London, (fn. 14) who in 1550 sold to Thomas Fleetwood, (fn. 15) the purchaser of Rossall. It was given to his younger son William, (fn. 16) who, however, afterwards transferred it in 1596 to his brother Edmund. (fn. 17) It descended like Rossall (fn. 18) till 1841, when Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood sold to Thomas Clifton of Lytham, (fn. 19) and the late Lady Drummond was lady of the manor.
Edward Fleetwood of Rossall in 1712 claimed the right to keep a court leet and court baron for the manor or pretended manor of Layton, but met with some opposition. (fn. 20)
'In 1835 the sole manorial lord of the parish was Peter Heslteth Fleetwood, who held a court leet and baron for Layton-with-Warbreck and Great Bispham in October at Blackpool, when the usual officers were appointed.' (fn. 21) The courts have long ceased to be held.
Henry III granted a charter to William le Boteler in 1257 for a weekly market at Layton on Wednesday and an annual fair on the eve, day and morrow of St. Andrew (29 November-1 December). (fn. 24) Free warren in the demesne lands was added by Edward I in 1285. (fn. 25) These rights were called in question in 1292 (fn. 26) and 1498, (fn. 27) but approved.
LAYTON HALL, the old manor-house, appears to have been sold by William Fleetwood in 1592 to Edward Rigby of Burgh in Duxbury, (fn. 28) who died in 1627 holding it of the king by knight's service, together with the tithes of grain in Great and Little Layton, Warbreck and Blackpool, and various messuages and lands. (fn. 29) Somewhat later the hall seems to have become the chief residence of the Rigbys. (fn. 30) After the sale of their estates in 1720 it was purchased by William Clayton of Adlington, and he in 1736 conveyed it to trustees for Thomas Clifton of Lytham. It has since remained in this family. (fn. 31) Manorial rights remaining, if any, are of no value.
In Little Layton the Botelers of Marton had an estate at one time, (fn. 32) which probably reverted to the lords of the manor. The chief estate there in later times was WHINNEY HEYS, purchased by James Massey (of Carleton) from William Fleetwood in 1575 (fn. 33) and descending to his heirs the Veale family. (fn. 34) A pedigree was recorded in 1664. (fn. 35) Mr. Thornber says: 'The traditions of the neighbourhood introduce us to John Veale, esq., of Whinney Heys, as maintaining this character [of the plain old English gentleman] during the eventful periods of 1715 and 1745, when he acted as a magistrate in the county. His lady, Mrs. Dorothy Veale, with thrifty care, superintended the labours of her household and encouraged by the presence of herself and family the innocent mirth and hilarity of her dependants. From what I can gather of the pursuits of the Rigbys of Layton Hall the family group, partaking of the boisterous mirth and sports too generally practised by the Cavalier party of the unfortunate Charles and his son, formed a striking contrast to the domestic arrangements of Whinney Heys; the one family employing the long winter's night in useful occupations, enlivened with cheerful conversation, the other, according to stories still  repeated, in gambling, cards, dice and the drunken bowl.' (fn. 36) The estate passed by marriage to the Fleetwoods of Rossall.
A few other estates occur, but no connected history can be given of them. (fn. 37) Warbreck occurs as a surname. (fn. 38) Lancaster Priory (fn. 39) and Cockersand Abbey (fn. 40) had land in the township.
Something has been related above concerning the growth of BLACKPOOL. (fn. 41) A local board of nine members was formed in 1853 under an Improvement Act (fn. 42); in 1871 the number of members was increased to eighteen. (fn. 43) Five years later, by charter 21 January 1876, the town was incorporated, and the council was to consist of a mayor, six aldermen and eighteen councillors, chosen from six wards. (fn. 44) In 1879 the municipal boundaries were extended to include South Shore and parts of Marton and Bispham. (fn. 45) In 1894 the part of Marton within the borough was united to Layton, and the whole became one township, Blackpool, the old names and limits being obliterated. An increase in the governing body was made in 1898, and the council now consists of a mayor, twelve aldermen and thirtysix councillors, chosen by six wards as formerly. (fn. 46) It became a county borough in 1904. The council has carried out many works for the health and convenience of the people and the beautifying of the town. It owns the gas and electric lighting and power works, also the tramways. A new town hall was built in 1895–1900. A market, built in 1844, was acquired by the local board in 1853 and enlarged in 1872; the free library (fn. 47) was built on the site in 1895, a new market being opened in Lytham Road. A new free library building has recently been given by Mr. Carnegie; a technical school was erected in 1905–6. There are also a court-house, police stations and fire brigade station. A bench of magistrates for the borough was constituted in 1898. A coat of arms was granted in 1899.
There was in the 13th century a chantry chapel in Layton, (fn. 48) but it disappeared, and the existing places of worship in Layton are all modern and due to the rise of Blackpool. In connexion with the Church of England St. John's was erected in 1821 (fn. 49) and rebuilt in 1878 on the old site; a separate parish was assigned to it in 1860. (fn. 50) The patronage is vested in trustees. The incumbent from 1829 to 1846 was the Rev. William Thornber, B.A., whose history of the town written in 1837 has been quoted frequently in the present work. (fn. 51) Holy Trinity, South Shore, built in 1836 and rebuilt in 1895, had a parish assigned in 1871. (fn. 52) Lady Drummond's trustees present the vicars. Christ Church, Blackpool, built in 1866, became parochial in 1871. (fn. 53) St. Paul's, North Shore, was built in 1898–9. These two churches are in the gift of bodies of trustees. There is a mission church, St. Peter's, 1878, connected with Holy Trinity; also another, All Saints', connected with St. John's; and school-chapels at South Shore and Marton Moss.
The Wesleyan Methodists opened a chapel in Bank Hey Street in 1835; this was replaced in 1861–2 by the present Adelaide Street church. (fn. 54) They have now two others in Blackpool and two in South Shore. The United Methodist Free Church opened their first chapel in 1864, (fn. 55) and have since added two others in Blackpool and South Shore. The Primitive Methodists, after meeting for some time in a room, built a church in 1875. (fn. 56) The New Connexion, now joined to the United Methodists, also has a church.
The Baptists held services in a room from 1858 (fn. 57) till Union Chapel was opened in 1861; it was rebuilt in 1904. They have now a second chapel in Blackpool and another in South Shore.
About 1820 the Congregationalists began preaching in Blackpool, and in spite of much opposition were able to open Bethesda Chapel, near Fox Hall, in 1825. A larger building in Victoria Street was built in 1849, and for a time Bethesda ceased to be used, except occasionally by the Methodists; but services there were resumed in 1875. (fn. 58) Another chapel was opened at South Shore in 1885, (fn. 59) and more recently (1901) another in Claremont Park.
A Unitarian chapel was opened in 1875, (fn. 60) and the present church succeeded it in 1883. The Plymouth Brethren, Swedenborgians (New Church) and Salvation Army are also represented at Blackpool.
The Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary was built in 1857 and has been enlarged. (fn. 61) It is served by Jesuits. St. Cuthbert's, South Shore, built in 1880, was succeeded by the present church ten years later. St. Kentigern's, Blackpool, was begun in 1907. These are served by secular priests. There is a convent and boarding school, the Holy Child Jesus, at Little Layton.