Wigan is large parish is a town in the West Derby Hundred and the town grew up around the church of All Saints at the junction of ancient Roman Roads.
The Parish Church of All Saints is the oldest church in Wigan, but the actual date of its establishment is uncertain. It is possible that the earliest church was built in the time of Edward the Confessor (1042066). It was certainly in existence before 1199 when Ranulf is recorded as being the first known Rector.
The Parish of Wigan, for many years, covered a large area, including Pemberton, Billinge, Winstanley, Orrell, Upholland, Dalton, Ince, Hindley, Abram, Haigh and Aspull. It covered and area of 29,033 acres, and until the foundation of a chapel at Upholland by Sir Robert de Holland in 1307, Wigan parish Church was the only church in the area.
Since 1880, Wigan has been in the Diocese of Liverpool, but in previous years it has been part of the dioceses of York, Lichfield and Chester.
The present building dates from 1845, when the church was rebuilt, very much in the same style as the building it replaced. The work was completed in 1850. However, in 1898-1902 further restoration work was necessary.
In 1922, the Tower was completely restored. This part of the church had not been rebuilt or restored previously. Further repairs were done at the end of the Second World War, in 1947, and finally completed in 1957. Even more work was undertaken after the Millennium, and the Parish strives constantly to preserve this ancient, beautiful and much-loved building.
There are some excellent web sites that will provide information and history on Wigan, and the following are recommended:
Wigan World Lots of links to history, copies of directories and old pictures
Wigan Local Studies (Museum of Wigan Life) The best source for family history information in Wigan
This web page is devoted to the Online Parish Clerk Project. As time allows resources will be added to the site to allow self search. In the meantime, the links below will provide pages listing the location of existing resources. For further information click the link below.