Skelmersdale is a town in West Lancashire 15 miles south-southwest of Preston and 6 miles southeast of Ormskirk. The town has a current population of less than 40,000.
Skelmersdale is thought by some to be derived from "Skjaldmarr's valley" as the town was recorded as Skalmeresedel in 1136. The town was part of the Parish of Ormskirk in the West Derby Hundred until the Skelmersdale Urban District Council was formed in 1894.
Picture is copyright Sue Evans 2007 and used with permission
Until 1859 the chapel in Skelmersdale was a chapel of ease under the parish of Ormskirk; thereafter the chapel was dedicated to St Paul, and Skelmersdale became a parish in its own right. The chapel was built by subscription in 1776, and enlarged in 1823 and 1850. The St. Paul’s was opened in 1906 in a location close to the old chapel which was subsequently demolished, although the old building had already suffered subsidence due to mining underneath it.
Economically, the history of Skelmersdale was coal mining in the 19th century with 14 Skelmersdale collieries recorded in 1880, although most of them closed in the 1920s and 30s. Nowadays, Skelmersdale's largest employer is the Co-operative Bank, the cosmetic manufacturer Constance Carroll, Proctor & Gamble as well as other light manufacturing, food distribution and retail businesses.