The Square

The Square has a;ways been the hub of the village.  In the 1600s this area, which was far larger than it is now was simply earth covered.  Then later in its life it was cobbled using kidney cobbles.  It has even been planted up with trees, but the villagers did not like this idea and drove into them on a regular basis,. One tale is that one villager who was working at HMS Inskip reversed in the Square and hit one of the small trees which lodged on his land rover and he did not notice it dragging behind his vehicle until he reached HMS Inskip.  Thats his story and who are we to say it was not true.  So the trees vanished.  Now the Square is tarmaced.

The Square has always been a gathering place.  It was once the site of the annual horse fairs with people bringing horses from miles around.  Before 1914 there was a Club Day held in the Square every September around the time of the Agricultural Show; this continued until 1939.  In recent times it was the place where the Gala Queen was crowed.  It has held Music Events like the Arts Festival, Fun Days and the popular Christmas Market.  In its past it held three carttle markets per year now it only has the weekly market.

This is not actually a building but it dominates the village of Great Eccleston.   There are many different villages in the area shaped in different ways.  Little Eccleston has no central point; the shape of the village is the main road and therefore this is a classic Medieval Village..  Whereas places like Wrea Green have grown up around a green.  Great Eccleston has grown up around the Square.  

The current area known as the Square is much smaller than the original Square which ran from Chapel Street the the Veg Shop,  This can be seen from the size of the pavement and the position of the buildings.  If we start at the veg shop and look across the road, note how wide the pavement is at this point, very wide on one side and very narrow on the other.  the South side maps out the Square's dimensions.  At the other end of the area that is the Square is Chapel Street.  In the original Square Gorst Farm House, the old Post Office and Pebby's did not exist and were open areas.  Pebby's, once a Tailors, note the ornate railings, and Gorst Farm house were built in 1890, with the cobblers (post office) built in the 1930s..  No 69 The High Street and the Black Bull inn are in line with each other and show the line of the Square on the South Side.  On the North side again the pavement is very wide opposite the old post office and if you remove the old Police Station Garden then the line continues.

Most of what we now call the Square is in fact the High Street.  the modern Square is the area in front of Western House and the butcher's shop.

This is the 1844 map of the Square - notice its size


50 years later the Square does not look much different although you can clearly see the extra buildings down the road from the Black Bull Inn