Warton VillageWarton

Warton sits just below Warton Crag about half way between the A6 and Morecambe Bay in north Lancashire, at one time it was the largest village north of Lancaster, very likely considered a town however in recent times nearby Carnforth and Bolton le Sands have overtaken it in size and importance. The A6 runs alongside the eastern edge of the parish, entering Warton just as it becomes a dual carriageway the running along to leave Warton just south of the roundabout at the A601(M) at junction 35 of the M6.

 

 

Warton ChurchHistorical Warton

Warton can be traced back to before Roman times, it has been suggested that the road that runs through the village was at one time the main road north a forerunner of the A6 and M6, however this is unlikely as the geography hereabouts has changed since Roman times. A large flat area exists between the villages of Warton, Borwick and the town of Carnforth. Evidence suggests that this was once covered by sea water of at the very least tidal. This would effectively cut off the road to Carnforth. Maps as late at the 17th century show the main road to Warton being what is now Borwick Lane coming off the A6 about a mile north of the A601(M) roundabout. Several Turnpikes have also passed through the village. Before 1800 the road the was the A6 would have gone east of Warton near to Borwick. The A6 as it is now was built by the Garstang and Heiring Syke trust from Carnforth to the A6070 junction, the rest being built by the Ulverston and Carnforth Trust. These trust originally planned to take the new road off the road from Carnforth to Warton just north of the Keer Bridge however the decided to take it from Carnforth, should the original route have been taken then the A6 would have gone though a town center, under 2 low bridges then over a narrow hump back bridge! The village has been a main market, industrial and educational center for far north Lancashire before ceding this to Carnforth just over 100 years ago. A castle of fortified manor house called Moorholme used to exist just east of the current A6 between the A6070 and A601(M) junctions, however due to quarrying all traces of this have now been lost.

 

Skew Bridge The A6 & M6 in Warton

The A6 now enters Warton just as it becomes a dual carriageway after Yealand Conyers, before the late 1960's the road which is now the northbound carriageway of the A6 used to carry all the traffic, including under the low Skew Bridge, this was too low to let large lorries and double decked busses under except at the middle resulting in queue's building up as a large vehicle waited for someone to let it through. The road continues past the A6070 junction which since the 1960's has been a give way, a traffic light controlled junction and now a roundabout continuing along carriageway improved in the 1960's to the roundabout with the A601(M) then continuing about half a mile to leave at a bridge over the River Keer which you would hardly notice. The M6 now runs just east of Warton, however when the Lancaster Bypass was first built its last quarter of a mile and northern terminal roundabout was in Warton.

 

The 1970's dual carrageway that took southbound traffic away from Skew BridgeThe 1960's Dual Carriageway

We have already mentioned Skew Bridge and the holdups it caused for large vehicles towards the end of the 1960's a long overdue solution was found when engineers built a banking from the A6 up to a minor road that ran onto the A6070 southbound traffic was diverted onto a new road up the banking then onto the minor road and the A6070 before rejoining the A6 proper, northbound traffic continued to use the A6 but this time as a one way section. Meanwhile engineers built a flyover over the railway line and a bank down to the A6070 junction which was remodeled into a traffic light controlled roundabout, once completed southbound traffic had about a mile of dual carriageway replacing the old road under Skew Bridge. All this would have been in order except for one think at the same time as this building work was going on about a mile to the east road engineers where busy building the M6 which would effectively replace this road, so why go to all this trouble when in a few months time this road would be a lot quieter? The answer lies in another road the new joins the A6 at Levens the A590 Trunk Road to Barrow in Furness In the 1960's plans had been approved to build a new road off the A6 just north of Warton then heading north west across a new bridge across the River Kent to Join the A590 on the Cartmel Peninsula at the bottom of Lindale Hill. In the event opposition to this road won and the original A590 was duelled to take it through to junction 36 of the M6 through Levens and Sizergh rather than as planned down to junction 35