Churchtown VillageKirkland

Kirland sits just north of the River Wyre and south west of Garstang. There is no village of Kirland as such today, the parish takes its name from the former name of the largest village Church tower which today is a just south of the A586 near to where this road joins the A6. There is a large manor house Kirland Hall which still keeps the name of the Parish.

 

St Helens Church ChurchtownHistoric Kirkland

Kirkland has a long history centred on its parish church, St Helen's, once known as the Cathedral of the Fylde. This Chuch was once the Parish Church for nearby Garstang. The church includes: -

  • a "lepers' window" to enable those unfortunates an opportunity to attend its services;
  • a grave marker for the village's only victim of the Black Plague;
  • a large rafter, once known as the "new beam", supposedly presented to the parish by King Henry VIII at the time of the Reformation.

There are significant pointers such as a circular churchyard with several yew trees to its original use as a Druid temple. It was believed by some that the area may have been the site where Christian missionaries from Ireland first set foot in Lancashire at the end of the navigational portion of the River Wyre which flows to the Irish Sea some 14 miles away. St Helen's is one of only two Grade I listed buildings in the Borough of Wyre

 

The A6 and M6 in Kirkland


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The Original A6 never passed through Kirland, passing further east through nearby Catherall. However with the building for the Garstang Bypass in the late 1920's the A6 followed the course of the old A586 after it left Garstang. The A6 met a shorterned A586 just east of Churchtown. Shortly after this junction the A6 passes over the River Wyre and enters Catherall.

During the 1960's and early 1970's traffic to Blackpool was encouraged to leave the M6 at junction 32 (northbound) and junction 33 (southbound) then following the A6 to the A586 thus avoiding Preston and Lancaster. This traffic met at the A6/A586 junction making iy very busy during the summer and on illuminations evenings in the autumn, This was done away with when the M55 opened from Preston to Blackpool in 1975.