A Brief History of Anderton
The first record of a district of Anderton was made in 1212, at that time termed Aderton. It is believed that the name originated from the Old English name of Aethelhere’s Tun, this being the town or settlement of Aethelhere in typical Anglo-Saxon fashion. Between the 13th and 17th centuries the Manor of Anderton was shared between the Cunliffe and Anderton families and it is the latter’s coat of arms of three shackle bolts that today forms the Anderton crest.
Adjacent to the West Pennine Moors and the Rivington conservation area, Anderton contains some beautiful countryside and can generate some spectacular views, particularly those around Lower Rivington Reservoir to the south east and across the Douglas valley to the south west. The geographic position of Anderton at the southern boundary of Lancashire with Greater Manchester means that Anderton also plays a particular role in acting as a distinguishing zone between the two administrative areas.
Anderton is largely rural in nature and is proudly protective of its rural character. The rural amenity of the parish is highly valued by its residents and a Green Belt policy applies over a greater part of the parish. The district contains approximately 5.5kms of public footpaths giving access to the countryside through varied and scenic natural environments. Public facilities for walkers and tourists are rather limited but enjoyment of the local environment for both residents and visitors is encouraged.
As a community Anderton is rather dispersed, this being due in part to the geographical spread of dwellings and settlements within the district. Consequently Anderton itself has no specific location that could be termed a ‘community centre’. Instead it relies on the neighbouring district of Adlington to provide a dedicated community centre building and other facilities where a number of voluntary and community groups provide services to local residents.
Within the parish there are two primary schools. Anderton County Primary is situated off Babylon Lane and Anderton St Joseph’s RC Primary is located at the end of Rothwell Road. The church of St Joseph is also situated in Anderton, adjacent to Bolton Road, and serves as the Roman Catholic Church for the surrounding districts. Anderton hosts a small provision of social housing, also located on Rothwell Road, which contains accommodation suitable for the elderly or those of restricted mobility.
The main highway running through Anderton is the A673 Bolton Road, which runs approximately north-south, and traverses the entire length of the district. In addition there are a number of secondary roads providing access around the parish. Grimeford Lane runs westward from Bolton Road in the general direction of Blackrod. Rivington Lane and New Road run eastwards from Grimeford and are popular access routes to the Rivington area. Babylon Lane fringes the northern boundary of the district as it traverses between Adlington and Heath Charnock. The M61 motorway also passes through the parish, although there are no motorway entry or exit points located within the district.
Anderton is served by the frequent Stagecoach 125 bus service which runs along the main A673 road and forms part of the major route of Preston and Chorley to Bolton. There is no indigenous railway station provision in Anderton, relying instead on the station facilities within the adjacent districts of Adlington and Blackrod. Rail services are approximately hourly and for car owners wishing to park and ride, both stations have limited car parking facilities.
Commercial and business activity within Anderton was traditionally associated with farming and agricultural undertakings. However, as in other rural areas, over the past few years there has been some movement away from traditional farming with businesses moving into the leisure and agriculturally related activity sectors which help maintain a sustainable local community and offer potential employment opportunities.
Anderton can also lay claim to a certain amount of industrial heritage. It is believed that the first muslin fabric was produced in Anderton in 1764 by Samuel Oldknow of Roscoe Lowe Brow. An old cotton mill also once stood on the small industrial site adjacent to Grimeford Lane.
Today Anderton still retains a number of businesses and commercial interests that provide a diversity of services and sources of employment. Types of businesses present include:
- Water supply, treatment and purification
- Conferencing, training and educational facilities
- Light industry
- Recreation, tourism and leisure