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Bishopgate   Views: 648
Walmsley House   Comments: 11
Photo: RON HUNT   Item #: 30215  
Walmsley House

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  From an old book about Wigan. later became known as the Manor House (see other photo)  

 [<< Back] 11 user comment(s) below:-  [Leave a comment]

Comments by Albert., 15th February 2018  
With the various named places with the word gate attached, in Wigan. Does anyone know whether, in ancient times, Wigan was a walled town, with gate entrances?.

Comments by Jonno, 15th February 2018  
Albert, part of the Wigan wall is behind the Dog and Partridge near the church entrance.

Comments by Albert., 15th February 2018  
Thank you Jonno. Possibly quite a few have pondered over this fact. That part of the wall must be several centuries old.

Comments by Jonno, 15th February 2018  
I think it has a date on it Albert, i'll check next time i'm in Wigan.

Comments by Trevor, 15th February 2018  
The wall behind the Dog and Partridge is not a remnant of a town wall. It was built in the 17th century as an ecclesiastical boundary.
It is a popular misconception that Wigan once had a town wall. It never had one.
The term 'gate' affixed to many street names has Norse origins and merely means in this case 'the road to' or 'the way to', as in Standishgate, Millgate, or with Bishopgate, the route the Bishop would approach the church by.
This question has been addressed by many reputable historians and academics, all of whom concur Wigan was never surrounded by a town wall.

Comments by RON HUNT, 15th February 2018  
Trevor according to Sinclairs History of Wigan It did have walls at one time. As he mentions at night closing the gates to stop attacks from the people of Bolton. I'll see if I can find it in the book, but I'm sure the article is on here?

Comments by Trevor, 15th February 2018  
Ron - Sinclair cannot, in all conscience, be considered a serious historian. He was that popular breed, a Victorian amateur, given to flights of fancy. (I possess both volumes of his history, and can assure you it can only be regarded as an entertainment.)
I was fortunate enough to study at Liverpool under JJ (Joe) Bagley, who many believed to be the 20th century's leading authority on Lancashire history. He stated Wigan was never a walled town, as did his contemporaries.

Comments by Karen, 16th February 2018  
Trevor is correct.
A lot of Lancashire towns as well as Wigan, like Bolton, Preston and Leigh had streets with gate names, but they never had walls.
They would sometimes have gates on those streets though, but these were only barriers where market tolls could be charged, when carters and cattle drivers were coming into the town, to trade at the market.

Comments by Albert., 16th February 2018  
Ladies, and gentlemen, this is quite an interesting website.https://lancashirepast.com/2014/07/13/wigans-roman-hypocaust/

Comments by RON HUNT, 16th February 2018  
I know that the word gate at the end of the name of a street doesn't mean a GATE as such But I suppose we will never know for certain if there was a wall at one time around the town? It appears some Historians say there was and some say they wasn't? I do know that years ago behind the bank at the top of King Street there was supposedly the remains of a Roman Wall. It was in the yard a the back of the bank, backing onto the railway sidings. I've looked since but now its just a modern wall

Comments by Trevor, 16th February 2018  
The wall behind the Dog and Partridge was built in 1683, during the incumbency of Rector John Pearson, to designate the boundary of church property.
Rector Pearson was in the unusual position of being Rector of Wigan and Bishop of Chester, both at the same time.

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