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The Parish of Fleetwood
in the County of
-- Lancashire --

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Fleetwood was the first planned town of Queen Victoria's era, masterminded by Sir Peter Hesketh (later Sir Peter Fleetwood Hesketh) who named the town after his Fleetwood ancestors. Sir Peter employed Decimus Burton, town planner and architect, whose work he admired, to design the layout and some of the buildings in the new town. The town was intended to be a seaport and holiday resort built on land owned by Sir Peter, previously having only had a few fishermen's huts near where they hauled their boats out on the beach, and taking advantage of the Wyre estuary. Fleetwood developed into a seaport and became the major fishing port of the west coast of England but it didn't attract holiday makers until the 20th century. The new town meant a lot of new employment, initially in the building of the town and later in the flourishing docks and the new Preston and Wyre Railway which opened in 1840 and in the general running of the town. It also attracted a large number of fishermen from up and down the coast of Lancashire who could now take advantage of a safe harbour and 'modern' housing. Fleetwood provided work for people from all the nearby towns and villages but also from much further afield, both in Lancashire and elsewhere.

The Church of England community worshipping in a small building at the top of Lord Street. Sir Peter Hesketh, who not only gave the land but also contributed to the cost of the building itself, laid the foundation stone of the Parish Church in 1839, also situated at the top of Lord Street. The architect was Decimus Burton, who designed the building in the Gothic style. St Peter’s Church was consecrated in 1841, on June 29th, St Peter's Day. The church originally had a tower topped with a spire but the spire was removed in 1904, as it had become unsafe and it now only has a squat tower. The church, built in sandstone, is a plain rectangular building which originally ended where the pulpit and lectern now stand, it was extended in 1882 and has had other additions at various times with a major modernisation in 1960.

Fleetwood Cemetery, located on Beach Road, was opened in September 1841 with the first listed burial taking place in 1845. Up to this time Fleetwood burials took place at Christ Church Thornton.

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