Thriving market town is bustling place to be

Nice home: Longridge is a great place to live
Nice home: Longridge is a great place to live

Set in glorious countryside, Longridge commands a view of the whole of the Fylde plain.

From the top of Longridge Fells, north of the town, it is possible to see the Ribble Valley, Welsh mountains and the Isle of Man.

With these views and all this stunning scenery on hand, Longridge is popular with ramblers, cyclists and anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

It is also the shopping and social centre for the local farming district, boasting an interesting mixture of shops and antique galleries, as well as a collection of pubs and eateries and an outdoor market. There’s also a library, cinema, doctor’s surgeries, sports centre, football ground and cricket club.

The Civic Hall is the venue for regular events including a comedy night tomorrow, October 6, and the Longridge Big Weekend October 12-14 which includes a murder mystery night, food fair and vintage fair.

There are several annual community events which prove popular including the Field Day in summer, the Boxing Day pram race and the Longridge Show, full name Goosnargh and Longridge Agricultural Show.

Longridge has good provision for education with two high schools - Longridge High and St Cecilia’s Catholic High – and four primary schools: Longridge CE Primary, Alston Lane Catholic Primary, St Wilfrid’s RC Primary and Longridge

Foundation Primary.

Longridge also has active church communities, one of which focuses on St Lawrence’s, where the town began life some 500 years ago. By the end of the 18th Century, the town was extending dramatically; rows of handloom weavers’ cottages were built on King Street, New Town, and also on Club Row which were the first houses in Britain to be purchased with building society mortgages.

Following the arrival of the railway, Longridge boomed. Between 1850 and 1974, four coal-powered cotton weaving mills were built.

This was accompanied by an influx of workers and houses were built for workers in the Stonebridge area.

Stone quarries were also a big employer. They are now closed, although stone quarried in the town was used to construct the M55 motorway in the 1970s.

The Preston and Longridge Railway carried stone from Tootle Height Quarries in Longridge, which was used to build Lancaster Town Hall and Liverpool Docks.

Longridge railway station closed to passengers in 1930.

When the railway was superseded by roads and the mills shut, people feared the population would decline but in fact it has continued to grow.