Holy Trinity Church, Bickerstaffe
© Copyright Alexander P Kapp and licensed for reuse
under this Creative Commons Licence
A small village in West Lancashire midway between Ormskirk and Skelmersdale. Population currently around 1200.
The landscape of Bickerstaffe has changed little since the following entry was written in 1907 in 'A History of the County of Lancaster'
“Bickerstaffe may be described as an unpicturesque open country bare of woodland, with the exception of a few plantations mostly composed of birch trees, characteristic of moss land. Fields, divided by low hawthorn hedges, are mostly cultivated. The country is waterless, with the exception of two small streams on the south. The farms and houses are considerably scattered and nowhere can be said to form a settlement of any size. The western half of the township consists geologically of the upper mottled sandstone of the bunter series of the new red sandstone. By a fault running due north and south the middle coal measures are thrust up in the eastern half.
The township lies almost entirely south of the ridge of high land stretching from east to west across the parish, the centre line of this ridge being the northern boundary, except for a small portion in the north-west. The southern portion was anciently occupied by great mosses, now mostly reclaimed, and beyond were the woods of Cunscough and Simonswood. The population in 1901 was 2,096. Near the centre, on the 200 feet level, stands the hall; close by is the modern church. Nearly a mile to the north is Stanley Gate, and about as far to the south is Barrow Nook. The area is 6,444˝ acres.”
Agriculture has been and remains the main industry in Bickerstaffe. Coal mining was also to be found in Bickerstaffe in the 19th century but the mine closed circa 1936. There is also some minor evidence within Ormskirk Parish Registers of glassmaking in the area with a solitary entry - '10 December 1600 – A stranger slain by one of the glassmen being a Frenchman then working in Bickerstaffe'.
The Church is Holy Trinity and was built in 1843 by the Earl of Derby. Much of the land in Bickerstaffe was owned by the Earl of Derby and many farms were tenanted.
Bickerstaffe was also a centre for the Quaker movement in the 17th/18th century and a Quaker Burial ground is still to be found in Graveyard Lane.