Ormskirk is a market town located approximately 12 miles West of Wigan. According to legend, the town of Ormskirk is thought to be founded by a Viking named Orme, around 840AD. Orme built a ‘Kirk’ (church) on the crest of the hill where the settlement stood and this became known as ‘Ormes’ ‘Kirk’, hence Ormskirk as it is known today.
Ormskirk has a thriving market which dates back to 1286 when the monks of Burscough Priory were granted a charter for a weekly outdoor market by Edward I, to be held every Thursday. In 1876 the Saturday market was added to the original Thursday market. Today the market is still thriving and continues to open on a Thursday and Saturday.
The parish church, dedicated to St Peter and St Paul, is one of only three churches in England to have both a tower and steeple and is the only one to have both at the same end. One legend suggests Orme had two sisters who could not agree whether the church should have a tower or steeple. In order to accommodate them both Orme had both structures built side by side.
The church is rich in historical and architectural heritage which spans the centuries, and there are some remnants of Norman architecture incorporated in the present building.