History of Warrington's villages and parishes

History of Fairfield, Latchford and Howley


The name of Fairfield is taken from a house of the same name, known as Fairfield Hall. The owner of Orford Hall, John Blackburne, built the hall for his daughter, Anna, and an 1851 Warrington Ordnance Survey map shows Fairfield standing on the present junction of Manchester Road and Fairfield Street. 

Reverend Edward Lloyd, following the death of Anna Blackburne used the property as a place to educate the upper classes. In 1844, the hall became then home to John Fitchett Marsh, who was later the first town clerk of Warrington. Towards the end of the 19th century, the building was rented to Warrington Training College as accommodation.


The origin of its name comes from the old ford which allowed the Mersey to be crossed and it means "a ford over the Laecc or stream". 

The Peel Ainsworth cotton factory was the first in the country to be powered by steam following the arrival of a steam engine in1787. 

In 1801, a canal dissected the village when the Old Quay Canal ran through it and then in the next century with the building of the Manchester Ship Canal, with its locks, one swing bridge and two high level bridges. 


Although Romans did pass through the name of Howley is a mixture of the Old English words 'holh' and 'leah', which mean 'hollow meadow' and was on the route to Latchford ford. Following the Norman conquest a castle was built on the existing north bank settlement of Howley. 

Church Street is one of Warrington's oldest roads and both Cromwell and the Earl of Derby stayed in hostelries nearby. Church Street and Howley were the first to have a school for everyone and nearby was also the first workhouse in Warrington. 

Once the Old Quay Canal was built it was no longer necessary to wait for the tide on the Mersey to ship goods - industry soon thrived.