Lancashire is home to the town of Wigan. It is located about 16 miles to the west of Manchester and in the southern part of the county, on the banks of the River Douglas.
The main reason we are familiar with the town of Wigan is because George Orwell wrote a novel called “The Road to Wigan Pier.” Okay, technically it wasn’t even a pier but a wharf. In his novel published in 1936, George Orwell described Wigan as having gloomy industrial townscapes. It took Wigan’s reputation a considerable amount of time to recover from this.
Wigan is not nearly as undesirable as it was nine decades ago thanks to the improvements that have been made. An arts and history learning centre is going to be constructed as part of the upcoming renovations that are going to cost a staggering six million pounds and take place in Wigan Pier Quarter. The focus of the museum is the Trencherfield Mill Steam Engine, and it has just undergone extensive maintenance that was long overdue.
Trencherfield mill is powered by the world’s largest operational steam engine, which is a 4-cylinder engine that was erected in 1907 by John & Edward Wood of Bolton and has remained in that position ever since. Its primary use when it was first built was to supply the mill’s cotton looms with power.
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal Viaduct, which spans the town of Wigan, is often considered to be one of the area’s most attractive features. The construction of this canal occurred in the 1800s, and today it serves as a habitat for a wide variety of animal species.
Mab’s Cross, which is classed as a Grade II monument, is the sole Scheduled Monument found in the town. It is an example of architecture from the mediaeval period and most likely dates back to the 13th century. It is said that Lady Mabel Bradshaw, the wife of Sir William Bradshaw, was punished for her bigamy by having to walk barefoot from their house, Haigh Hall, to the cross once a week as part of her penance. However, there is no evidence to support the tradition, and there is no record to indicate that Lady Mabel ever tied the knot with anybody save Sir William Bradshaw.
The Douglas Valley Trail and a great number of additional parks provide a wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities in the bucolic surroundings of our community. Those who have a passion for the natural world will be in their element here because there is so much to see.
The Wigan International Jazz Festival has become an integral part of the culture of the surrounding community, building on the foundation it laid with its early achievements in this arena. Our modern Haigh Music Festival takes place every year for a single day and is set against the picturesque backdrop of the Georgian Haigh Hall.
Traditionalists and those who are drawn to artwork that is more classical will feel more at ease in the Wickham Gallery, which is dedicated to exhibiting works of modern art of the highest possible calibre.