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SOUTHPORT, a town and three chapelries in North Meols township and parish, Lancashire. The town stands on the coast, at the termini of railways from Liverpool, Preston, and Manchester, 18½ miles N by W of Liverpool; was, in the early years of the present century, a poor hamlet, called South Hawes; came into notice, about 1830, as an attractive watering-place; grew rapidly, from that time, into a handsome town, with spacious streets and promenades; occupies a quondam sandy waste, absorbent of moisture, and now well embellished; enjoys a salubrious climate; includes a chief street 270 feet wide, perfectly straight, and nearly a mile long; publishes two newspapers; and has a head post-office, a r. station with telegraph, seventeen hotels, a pier, baths, an extensive bathing-beach, a park of 30 acres, a well constructed market house, a fish-market, a town hall, three churches, eleven dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a cemetery with three handsome chapels, four public day schools, a convalescent hospital and sea-bathing infirmary, a hydropathic hospital, and a dispensary. The pier was erected in 1860, at a cost of £10,000; and extended since, at an additional cost of £15,000; and is 4,395 feet long. The town hall was built in 1853, at a cost of about £4,500; is in the Grecian style, with a portico; and contains assembly and sessions rooms, and police court-rooms, offices, and cells. Christ Church was built in 1820, and has been much enlarged; is in the early English style, and nearly square; and has a fine tower and spire 180 feet high. Trinity church was built in 1837, and has been enlarged. St. Paul's church was built in 1864, at a cost of about £4,500: is in the decorated English style; and has a tower and spire 132 feet high. The Chapel-street Independent chapel is in the classic style, with Corinthian portico. The Lord-street Independent chapel is in the pointed style, with a fine spire. The Mornington-road Wesleyan chapel also is in the pointed style, with a lofty spire. The Trinity Wesleyan chapel was built in 1864, at a cost of about £9,000; is in the early English style, and cruciform; and has gables surmounted with carved crosses, and a lofty tower with brooch spire. Pop. of the town in 1868, about 16,500. The three chapelries are Christ-church, St. Paul, and Trinity. Pop., 5,490, 3,500, and 4,025. The livings are p. curacies in the diocese of Chester. Value of C., £678; of St. P., £300; of Trinity, £550. Patron of C., the Rev.Hesketh; of St. Paul and T., Trustees.

John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)


Archives and Libraries

Local studies information is held at Ormskirk library.

Tel: 0151 9342376
Fax: 0151 9342370




There are more than 30 churches identified in this place. Please click here for a complete list.

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Southport area or see them printed on a map.


Civil Registration

The Register Office covering the Southport area is Sefton North.


Description and Travel

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1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland

  • "SOUTHPORT, a chapelry, post town, and watering-place in the parish of North Meols, hundred of West Derby, county Lancaster, 7½ miles N.W. of Ormskirk, and 22 N. of Liverpool. It is a station on the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway. It is situated on the sands at the mouth of the river Ribble, and has of late years been much resorted to for sea-bathing. It was, at the commencement of the present century, a cluster of fishermen's huts, called South Hawes, but is now a town consisting of 13 streets, the chief of which is called Lord-street, extending nearly a mile in length. In this street is the townhall, erected in 1853 at an outlay of £4,500. There are also a market-house, savings-bank, theatre, &c. It is lighted with hydrocarbonic gas, and is well paved and supplied with excellent water. It is much resorted to by invalids in consequence of its mild atmosphere and general salubrity. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Chester, value £469. Besides the parish church there is also Trinity church, situated in Iloghton-street. The Roman Catholics, Wesleyans, Independents, and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel, and there is a Friends' meeting-house. The principal residences are Martindale Lodge, Sea-view House, &c."

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Historical Geography

Southport is located in the area that used to be the townships of Birkdale and North Meols in the parish of North Meols.

You can see the administrative areas in which Southport has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Probate Records

For probate purposes prior to 1858, Southport was in the Archdeaconry of Chester, in the Diocese of Chester. The original Lancashire wills for the Archdeaconry of Chester are held at the Lancashire Record Office.