How the former Lancashire Agricultural College has changed beyond all recognition

Farriery is just one of the many courses on offer at Myerscough College
Farriery is just one of the many courses on offer at Myerscough College

Time changes everything.... as the saying goes, and it is certainly true of Myerscough College.

As Myerscough College celebrates 125 years, we look at how things have developed since those early days when it was little more than a farmhouse in Hutton.

Myerscough is renowned for its award winning horticulture and garden

Myerscough is renowned for its award winning horticulture and garden

After starting out as an agricultural college and expanding to bases at Winmarleigh and Bilsborrow, probably the biggest change since the inception for Myerscough came with the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act.

Radical changes to FE saw the then Lancashire College of Agriculture and Horticulture break from Lancashire County Council control. It became a corporate body and with this came another change of name. Myerscough College was born.

By the end of the 1990s the college was one site at Bilsborrow and had already diversified, offering courses in subjects including animal studies, veterinary nursing, creative design, greenspace, sport and motorsport, equine and farriery, mechanisation and in later years, work-based learning and apprenticeships.

New buildings, stables and a sports’ centre were built to cope with the expansion.

Over the last 20 years, major improvements have been made to Myerscough’s main campus.

In 1999, a new library and reception building was completed. The Fitzherbert-Brockholes Building is named in honour of W.Fitzherbert-Brockholes, who was on the committee overseeing the inception of the Lancashire County Institute of Agriculture back in the 1890s. Two of the main teaching blocks are officially called Hutton and Winmarleigh.

The main campus boasts facilities including an international equine arena, a golf course and simulated golf training centre, the National Arboricultural Centre, an off-road driving track, a dedicated Animal Studies Centre, a plant centre with tropical and temperate greenhouses, Myerscough Gardens and Arboreta, sports fields and two multi-million pound sports centres, a full size 3G pitch, as well as woods, fields, ponds and a river on the site.

Myerscough College houses the Rural Business Centre, which provides support for rural business and the college has just completed a £30 million campus enhancement programme.

Ironically, the college has branched out again, opening a number of smaller centres, including Croxteth Hall in Liverpool, Witton Park, Blackburn, and from September 2019, Walton Hall in Warrington.

The college boats a host of famous former students including TV presenter and celebrity gardener, Christine Walkden , world leading groundsman Paul Burgess, currently in charge of Real Madrid pitches at Bernabau playing surface, Lewis Hamilton’s number one mechanic Rob Musgrave and international footballer Anthony Pilkington.