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Famous firsts, figures and important dates

Famous firsts for Warrington

Year

Event

1321

Warrington becomes the first paved town in Lancashire 

1526

Boteler Grammar School founded 

1643

Siege of Warrington 

1690

Henry Booth, Lord Delamere, created Earl of Warrington 

1757

The 'Warrington Advisor' becomes Lancashire's first newspaper 

1755-57

The first commercial canal in Britain - Sankey-St Helens - is cut 

1761

G & J Distillery 

1779

The first Sunday School in the county, St James' Sunday School, is opened 

1787

The first Boulton & Watt steam engine to be used in Lancashire is installed at Latchford cotton  mill 

1830

The first Total Abstinence Society in Britain is formed in Warrington 

1832

Warrington becomes a Parliamentary Borough 

1832

The first MP in the town, E.G. Hornby, is returned to Parliament as a Liberal candidate 

1834

First Walking Day 

1847

The first Mayor takes office as the town becomes a Borough 

1848

The first public library in the country is opened in Warrington, supporting the town's museum 

1864

The first ever Lancashire county cricket match is played in Warrington 

1897

Victoria Park opened 

1899

Cromwell's statue erected 

1900

Warrington becomes a County Borough 

1902

First Tram 

1920

Warrington's first women magistrates and town councillor take office 

1925

War memorial unveiled 

1934

Kingsway Bridge opened 

1939

RAF Padgate opened 

1940-45

RAF Burtonwood - Largest USAF Base in Europe 

1945

Walton Gardens opened to the public 

1946

Bruche Police Training Centre opened 

1957

Wilderspool Bridge opened 

1963

Thelwall Viaduct opened 

1968

Hilden, Germany Twin Town 

1972

Outline Plan of New Town published, first houses built at Longbarn 

1974

Warrington becomes part of Cheshire 

1974

New Market opened 

1990

First Business Connections 

1998

On air in September, 107.2 Wire FM promises a mix of great music, local news, sport and information for Warrington people 

Famous local figures

Old Billy

Said to be the world’s longest-lived horse, was foaled at Woolston in 1760. He spent his working life towing barges along the Mersey and lived to be 62. 

Oliver Cromwell

Stayed in Church Street after his victory over the Royalists. 

Thomas Dallam

(from the then village of Dallam) built an organ on the instructions of Elizabeth l and personally delivered it to the Sultan of Turkey! 

Robert Dudley

Earl of Leicester, favourite of Queen Elizabeth 1, owned Warrington for a short time. 

Chris Evans

Radio and TV presenter. 

Rheinhold Forster

scientist, philosopher and taught at Warrington Academy.  Sailed with Captain Cook 

John Howard

Founder of the Howard League for Penal Reform, lodged in Bridge Street while writing his seminal book attacking the prison system in England and Wales. The book was first published in Warrington. 

Thomas Ireland

Knighted by King James l when the monarch stayed in Bewsey Old Hall in 1617. 

Thomas Penketh

(died 1487), head of the Austin Friars, was mentioned by Shakespeare in Richard III. 

Pete Postlethwaite

Film star who was born Orford. Has appeared in such films as Romeo and Juliet, Usual Suspects and In the Name of the Father. 

Joseph Priestly

Scientist, philosopher and discoverer of oxygen, taught at Warrington Academy. 

Terry Waite

Church Envoy/Beirut hostage 

Important dates from Warrington's past

Year

Event

100 AD 

Roman industrial settlement built at Wilderspool on the River Mersey 

1086 

Domesday Book describes Warrington as 'Walintune', a village near the ford over the Mersey at Latchford and Howley 

1277 

Market recognised by Royal Charter 

1285 

First mention of a bridge over the Mersey at Warrington 

1364 

Second Warrington bridge completed 

1495 

Henry VII opens three-arched stone bridge over the river 

1617 

James I stays at Bewsey Old Hall 

1648 

Royalists surrender to Cromwell during the Civil War, Cromwell stayed in Warrington 

1697 

Thomas Patten makes the Mersey navigable to Bank Quay 

1720 

Mersey and Irwell Navigation make the river passable between Manchester and Warrington, completing the link to Liverpool 

1750 

Thomas Patten commissions James Gibbs to build Bank Hall as residential Home 

1757 

First commercial canal - the Sankey St Helens is cut 

1757/86 

Warrington Academy established 

1787 

First Boulton & Watt steam engine in Lancashire installed at Latchford cotton mill 

1801 

Old Quay canal connects Howley to Runcorn, ending reliance on Mersey tides 

1814 

Joseph Crosfield establishes soap works at Bank Quay 

1822 

Old Billy, said to be the world's oldest horse, dies aged 62 (according to the Guinness Book of Records!) 

1830 

Liverpool-Manchester railway opened near Warrington 

1837 

Victoria Bridge built 

1847 

Warrington becomes a borough 

1848 

Public Library & Museum opened 

1855 

The largest iron ship ever built to date - the Tayleur - launched at Bank Quay 

1872 

Bank House purchased by council to become Town Hall 

1894 

Manchester Ship Canal built south of Warrington 

1895 

Town hall gates purchased 

1913/15 

Present Warrington bridge - on of the world's first pre-stressed concrete bridges built 

1942/93 

RAF Burtonwood site of USAF base RAF Burtonwood 

1963 

Thelwall viaduct on M6 built 

1974 

Local government changes move Warrington's administration from Lancashire to Cheshire 

1998 

Warrington becomes a unitary authority taking responsibilities from Cheshire County Council 

1998 

Town hall gates illuminated for the first time