In March 2014, Lydiate Parish Council were successful in a grant application to the Visit Project. This was for funding to provide information boards at locations within Lydiate, highlighting various places of interest and providing a suggested walking route (6 miles long), in order to promote the area and encourage more visitors. One of these boards is mounted in an information lectern, sited at the entrance to the playing fields at Sandy Lane. Other external boards are at Lydiate Village Centre and Church View Farm, as well as some poster versions within local businesses, where visitors to the area are likely to visit.
1. The Leeds Liverpool Canal
2. Our Lady’s R.C. Church
3. Lydiate Hall
4. St Catherine’s Chapel
5. The Scotch Piper Inn
6. Lydiate Station & the Cheshire Lines Footpath
7. The Running Horses Inn
8. Lydiate Village Centre
9. The Toll Road and Windmill
10. The Weld Blundell Arms
The Leeds-Liverpool Canal
The canal came to Lydiate in 1771. The meandering two and a half mile stretch is the longest in any one village along the whole length of the canal; there are six bridges in Lydiate, most of which are known by more than one name. In the nineteenth century, it was part of the daily scene to see the packet boat from Liverpool to Scarisbrick. At Lydiate Bridge there is access to Pilling Lane, near the Mersey Motor Boat Club, founded in 1930, with moorings for colourful narrow boats.
Our Lady’s R.C. Church
The church of St. Mary was built in 1854, largely funded by the lord of the manor, Thomas Weld Blundell. The Lightbound family, Liverpool merchants, of Rose Hill, Pygons Hill Lane, were also benefactors. An ancient wayside cross is now in the churchyard, where there is also a war memorial. A set of alabaster panels of the Nottingham school, formerly the altar reredos in St. Catherine’s Chapel, was hidden for many years after the Reformation in Lydiate Hall.
Lydiate Hall, now ruined, was built in the early 16th century by the Ireland family (Lords of the manor 1410 – 1673). It was mainly half-timbered with elaborate interior carved-wood panelling and substantial grounds. It resembled Speke Hall in Liverpool, a national Trust property, then the home of the Norris family, with whom the Irelands were inter-married. The Anderton family were lords of the manor from 1673 – 1760, followed by the Blundells and Weld Blundells 1760 – 1957. The Irelands were staunchly Catholic and there were at least three priest-holes at the Hall.
Timbers from Lydiate Hall are on display at the Liverpool Museum
St. Catherine’s Chapel, known as ‘Lydiate Abbey’ was the domestic chapel to Lydiate Hall, although a bell tower suggests that local people were allowed to worship there. Conservation has preserved what remained in 1997, but its decay was comparatively recent. Photographs show elaborate tracery in the windows of the south wall, contrasting with the solid north wall, a design which was probably intended to conserve heat. The chapel was probably begun by Laurence Ireland I and completed by his son, John, in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Initials LI and CI could be seen above the north doorway, but are now weathered away. The dedication to St.Catherine is a tribute to Catherine Blundell, wife of Laurence and mother of John.
The Scotch Piper Inn
The Scotch Piper Inn is a cruck-framed thatched building, reputed to be the oldest inn in Lancashire, there having been earlier ale-houses on the same site. It has been variously named the Bagpipes, the Highland Piper and the Royal Oak, all signifying Stuart Royalist loyalty. Legend has it that a Jacobite soldier, returning north to Scotland, married the inn-keeper’s daughter. Cock-fighting took place here during the lordship of Francis Anderton, himself a Jacobite rebel, who was pardoned by the king on condition he retired to ‘a quiet country life’ in Lydiate in 1729.
Lydiate Station & the Cheshire Lines Footpath
The site of Lydiate Station is at Carr Lane. The station was on The Southport and Cheshire Lines Extension Railway, which ceased carrying passengers in 1952. The Cheshire Lines path is now a popular footpath and cycleway with wheel-chair access and an adjacent separate bridleway. The path forms part of the Trans-Pennine Trail, which is a national coast to coast route.
The name of this inn is a reference to the horses that drew the canal boats along the towpath. Between Lydiate Bridge and the Bells Lane swing bridge, there is a ‘winding-hole’, a widening of the canal where narrow boats can turn. The Walton family were landlords of The Running Horses for three generations and they also ran a coal business alongside. For many years, the coal was delivered by barge on the canal.
Lydiate Village Centre
The new modern Lydiate Village Centre opened in April 2010. The Centre houses the Parish Council Chamber, as well as offering facilities for all the activities required by a modern Village of Lydiate.
On this site, before the Village Centre, stood the ‘Old Youth Club’. The Youth Club had been the idea of local residents, and served the Village Youth, and others, for many years.
The Liverpool-Preston Trust Turnpike Road came to Lydiate in 1771, the same year as the Leeds-Liverpool canal. The toll bars, denoting the toll section of the road, were at the Hare and Hounds in Maghull and beside Highway Farm, Lydiate. There were several wind and water mills in Lydiate. The windmill in Liverpool Road survives as a private residence after being restored in 1966.
The Weld Blundell Arms
The Weld Blundell Arms is opposite the Village Green, it takes its name from Thomas Weld, who, on inheriting the Lydiate estates from a distant Blundell relation, took the name of Weld Blundell. The Weld Blundell is sometimes called the New Lolly to distinguish it from the Scotch Piper, the Old Lolly. These are probably references to the four lords of the manor called Laurence Ireland, as Lolly is a well-known diminutive of Laurence.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT INFORMATION:
Information about local transport options can be found on the Merseytravel website
There are four buses that serve the Lydiate area:
The nearest train station is at Maghull, which is on the Northern Line route from Liverpool to Ormskirk and which is served by the 231 Circular bus route.