Lytham St Annes

Lytham St Annes

infobox UK place
country= England
latitude= 53.7426
longitude= -2.9970
official_name= Lytham St Annes
map_type= Lancashire
population= 41,327
shire_district= Fylde
shire_county= Lancashire
region= North West England
constituency_westminster= Fylde
post_town= LYTHAM ST. ANNES
postcode_district= FY8
postcode_area= FY
dial_code= 01253
os_grid_reference= SD342278

Lytham St Annes is a conurbation in the Fylde district of Lancashire, England. The neighbouring towns of Lytham and St-Annes-on-Sea (the latter nearly always abbreviated to St Annes) have grown together and now form a seaside resort, sometimes seen as a smaller and more genteel alternative to nearby Blackpool. Lytham and St Annes, together with the smaller communities of Ansdell and Fairhaven, retain their individuality and are described in more detail below.

The towns are situated on the Fylde coast, south of Blackpool at the point where the coast line turns east to form the estuary of the River Ribble leading inland to Preston. St Annes is situated on the northern side of the turning and, like Blackpool, overlooks the Irish Sea, whereas Lytham is on the eastern side and overlooks the Ribble estuary.

Lytham St Annes is internationally renowned for golf, and has four courses, the most notable being the Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, one of the host courses for The Open championship. The coming of The Open - a major sporting event - approximately once every ten years, brings a major influx of visitors, including the world's media, into what is a fairly peaceful community.

The other significant local events are the annual St Annes and Lytham Club Days, both of which include a procession of decorated floats and a funfair. These events, held over a weekend, bring in many visitors from the surrounding towns. The Lytham Club Day, in late June, is the larger of the two events.

Like similar seaside resorts, the town is a popular place to retire to, which has resulted in the average age of the population being higher than the national average. [ [ UpMyStreet - My neighbours in Lytham St. Annes ] ] There are a considerable number of nursing and retirement homes, many located in former large houses along Clifton Drive, one of the main roads linking Lytham and St Annes. Many other large Victorian and Edwardian residences have been converted to apartments.

Since 1984 Lytham St Annes has been twinned with the German town of Werne.


Lytham was founded in about 600CE. For many centuries the economy of Lytham was dependent on fishing and shrimping, until the advent of tourism. After the start of the industrial revolution, wealthy industrialists moved from the east of the county.

Lytham's tree-lined streets are flanked by small shops, of which many are still family businesses. There are some particularly good speciality food shops. Lytham brims with old fashioned charm. The town is nicknamed "Leafy Lytham" due to the large number of mature trees along many of the town's streets.

Notable Lytham landmarks include the Green, a strip of grass running between the shore and the main road; the recently restored Windmill and Old Lifeboat House Museum are to be found here. The Green overlooks the estuary of the River Ribble and the Welsh mountains. The centre of Lytham contains many notable buildings including [ Lytham public library] , railway station, Market Hall and "The County" and "The Ship and Royal" public houses. Some of the oldest buildings are found in Henry Street and Dicconson Terrace.

Until the middle of the 20th century the Clifton family was the leading family in Lytham and two of the town's main thoroughfares are named in their honour. Their estate on the outskirts of Lytham and Ansdell originally occupied a huge area. Lytham Hall, the family seat, remained in the family's ownership until 1979 after which ownership passed to a number of corporate bodies. The grounds of the Hall are occasionally opened to the public for performances of open-air concerts and plays. Several of the ornate gates to the estate and much of the distinctive pebble-dashed boundary wall survive.

The Parish Church for Lytham is [ St Cuthbert's Church] located on Church Road overlooking the [ Lytham YMCA Football] Ground and the Ribble Estuary.

t Annes

St Annes-on-Sea (also known as "St Annes-on-the-Sea" or "St Annes") was a 19th century planned town, officially founded on 31 March1875. The village of Kilgrimol, which is believed to have been founded by Vikings in around 900CE, existed in what is now the north of St Annes. []

The town of St Annes was mostly laid out according to a plan drawn up by businessman Elijah Hargreaves, who saw the economic benefits of attracting large numbers of visitors from the mill towns to the east. It retains much of its original character today, and is fighting hard to become a stylish town to rival Lytham, its near neighbour. It is a traditional quiet Victorian / Edwardian seaside resort with up-market hotels, a sandy beach, donkeys, a small pier and ice cream stalls. Sand dunes fringe the beach, and the town has an excellent, but little-known sand dune nature reserve, and very good floral displays.

St Annes is the original home of Premium Bonds and their prize-selecting computer ERNIE, which were situated on the site between Shepherd Road and Heyhouses Lane. Premium Bonds operated from there for more than 40 years and then moved to Blackpool.

The shopping area declined towards the end of the twentieth century and was re-developed in an attempt to attract more retailers and shoppers. As part of this project a restaurant quarter centred around Wood Street was established.

The beach to the north of St Annes pier was an internationally-renowned sand yachting location for many years, but sand yachting has been suspended since 2002, when a visitor to the beach died after being hit by a sand yacht. St Annes beach also hosts a number of kite flying events each year. In 2006, kite enthusiasts raised concerns about the future of these activities following a decision by Fylde Borough Council in 2006 to ban the flying of any kites with two or more lines anywhere in the Fylde. Following representations from kite fliers, and completion of a risk assessment, the council rescinded the ban on condition that kite fliers remain at least 50m from the sand dunes.

A memorial statue of a lifeboatman looking out to sea on was placed on the promenade at St Annes after the Mexico Disaster of 1886. The original lifeboat station was established in 1881 [ [ Lytham St Annes History ] ] but closed in 1925 due to silting of the channel (a secondary channel of the Ribble that ran past the pier). A lifeboat was operating from Lytham, but the main channel of the River Ribble became silted up, so the lifeboat was moved to a new all-weather RNLI base a few hundred metres south of St Annes pier opened in 2000. [ [ Rnli Lytham St Annes Station ] ]

[ St Annes' Library and Information Service] is situated just outside of the town centre in an Edwardian, Carnegie-funded building.

There is some confusion, even among residents of the town, about whether the correct name is "St Annes" or "St Anne's". Although the name may originally have borne an apostrophe, it appears to have been dropped from the name by many of the residents of the town and has long been absent from many official publications, such as the local newspaper the Lytham St Annes Expresscite web
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] . In addition, the Parish church of St Annes is known as "St Annes Parish Church"cite web
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] and the local secondary school is known as Lytham St. Annes High Technology College. As such this has widely become accepted as the spelling of the town's name, although as is the case of the school, some still use "St. Annes" rather than "St Annes".cite web
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Ansdell is a small district between Lytham and St Annes, on the landward side of the railway line. It has its own railway station (shared with Fairhaven), the "Ansdell Institute" club and a [ public library] . It is famous because of Richard Ansdell RA, an artist who lived in the area and painted a large number of oil pictures depicting hunting scenes. In fact, Ansdell enjoys the distinction of being the only place in England to be named after an artist. ['Treasures to be put on display at gallery', Blackpool Gazette, December 28, 2006]

Ansdell hosts the largest school in Lancashire, Lytham St. Annes High Technology College with over 2000 students, a dedicated technology and IT department, and an integrated A-Level College. Ansdell also encompasses the southern end of Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, a course of the Open Championship, also known as the "British Open", a competition course since first hosting the Open in 1926. Ansdell is also the home of Fylde Rugby Club, established in May 1920, later to be closed during the war effort, and re-opened in 1946. FRC has reared many eminent players, notably Malcolm Phillips (a former President of the club) who earned 25 England caps, and Bill Beaumont who earned 34 caps before retiring in 1982.


Fairhaven is the district between Lytham and St Annes on the coastal side of the railway line. It is named after Thomas Fair, an early resident of Lytham St Annes. Its main claim to fame is an artificial lake, known as Fairhaven Lake or more formally as the Ashton Marine Park, which is an important wildfowl habitat. Its other famous landmark is the Fairhaven United Reformed Church, which is of unusual design, being built in Byzantine style and faced with glazed white tiles, and commonly known as the White Church. Fairhaven also contains King Edward VII and Queen Mary School.

The sands and tidal mudflats of the area (the mouth of the River Ribble) are an important feeding area for wintering waders and the RSPB operate a visitor centre from Fairhaven Lake to provide information and guided walks. [ [ The RSPB: Conservation: What are we doing? ] ] [ [ The RSPB: Conservation: Granny's Bay ] ]


The area is known to have been populated during the Bronze Age, and scattered hamlets have existed throughout the area since. Lytham and St Annes are part of the Fylde - a part of the ancient area known as Amounderness. Lytham is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Lidun and in 1199 Richard Fitzroger gave his Lytham estates (then known as Lethun) to the Benedictine monks of Durham. The monks established a Priory (although it was really too small to be called that as it comprised three or four monks only) on the site of the present Lytham Hall. The Priory existed until 1539 - in 1540 the monastery at Durham was dissolved and the Crown became the lord of the manor.

The manor of Lytham passed through several owners until in 1606 it was sold to Cuthbert Clifton for £4300. Clifton enlarged the manor house and made it the family seat. The house was replaced in 1757 with the present Lytham Hall, the architect was John Carr of York. At this time St Annes did not exist, but the town of Lytham was large enough to be called such - it had a promenade of sorts and had a minor reputation as a resort.

Northwards along the coast from Lytham, within the Clifton estates, were mostly sand dunes. All that existed as habitations were the tiny hamlet of Heyhouses and the rural Trawl Boat Inn (a name resurrected in recent times for a public house in Wood Street in St Annes, opened by Wetherspoons). In 1873 the Cliftons built a Chapel of Ease in this area, dedicated to St Anne, to encourage better religious observance as most inhabitants found the long journey to St Cuthbert's in Lytham too onerous. This was to become the Parish church of St. Annes. At the time it was built the church had no tower.

On 14 October, 1874, the St Anne's-on-the-Sea Land and Building Company Ltd was registered, mainly on the instigation of Elijah Hargreaves, a wealthy Lancashire mill owner from Rawtenstall whose intention was to develop the area as a resort. The land of St Annes was leased from the Clifton estate for 999 years although the lease still gave the Cliftons the right to kill game on the land for this period. Building rapidly commenced with the St Anne's Hotel (built in 1875, since demolished), the Hydro Terrace, which later became St Annes Square, and the railway station being among the first to be built.

A separate company was formed to finance the construction of the pier, which was opened on 15 June, 1885. At that time, the main channel of the River Ribble ran by the end of the pier and boats would bring people in from Lytham and Southport. The Ribble Navigation Act of 1883 which came into force in 1889, was intended to stabilise the often-silted River Ribble to allow a steady trade into Preston docks. However, this work moved the main channel much further out and left St Annes pier on flat sand banks where no ships could dock. In June 1910, the Floral Hall was opened at the end of the pier. It was a popular attraction and stars such as Gracie Fields, Leslie Henson and Claude Hulbert all performed there. In 1974 a major fire seriously damaged the hall. It was then restored to some extent, but another fire in July 1982 destroyed it. About half the pier was then demolished to make the beach safe to use. [Harrison (1971)]



Lytham station, St Annes station and Ansdell & Fairhaven station all lie on the Blackpool South to Preston branch of the Blackpool Branch Lines.

Previously there were stations in Station Road, Lytham (1846–1874) and at stnlnk|Gillett's Crossing Halt near the Old Links Golf Course, St Annes (1913–1949).

Local issues

Closure of public facilities

In 2008, Fylde Borough Council announced that the borough's two public swimming pools, in Kirkham and St Annes, would be closed. Public campaigns were started to oppose both closures. As of April 2008, the council have given Kirkham Baths a one-year stay of execution, but refuse to consider reversing their decision on the St Annes swimming pool. Supporters of the St Annes swimming pool have cited the lack of facilities for the town's children and young people, and the impact of the closure on the tourist industry.

A campaign against the planned closure of Warton Street Post Office, serving the eastern end of Lytham, was more successful. In March 2008. the post office was removed from the national list of post offices scheduled for closure.

Property developments

As of 2007 the most controversial political issue in Lytham St Annes concerns property development. No more greenfield sites are available and developers are now seeking to replace existing buildings or to build on open spaces such as Ashton Gardens in St Annes. Many historic buildings have been demolished and replaced with larger modern constructions of standard design as can be found in many other places. For example the art deco former headquarters of the Football League was demolished and replaced with a block of flats. Fylde Rugby Club's ground and other open spaces have been built on.

In 2005 a property development company submitted a proposal for a 2,800 apartment development called Lytham Quays to be built on industrial brownfield sites in the east of Lytham; the proposal was rejected by the council's development control committee after 98.4% of the population voted against the development in a poll organised by the local press. In spite of this, the developer, Kensington Developments, still claimed in a 2008 article [ [ article] ] in the Daily Telegraph that "In truth, the majority of people were for it". The "Defend Lytham" pressure group opposed the development. Objections included predictions of a loss of industrial land, increases in traffic congestion, and increased demands on local schools and health services. Environmental objections were also raised, given that the site is in an area prone to flooding and next to an important wildfowl habitat. The developers submitted a substantially smaller proposal for 260 dwellings which was approved in May 2006, and construction started.

In St Annes, another group of developers succeeded in gaining planning permission to build a block of flats on the site of a derelict children's home in the sand dunes to the north of St Annes. This plan was resisted by local campaigners, as a result of which the council initially refused planning permission, but their decision was overturned on appeal to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and building work was nearing completion by late 2007.


The Ribble estuary and sands of St Annes and Lytham are an Important Bird Area, mainly as a feeding ground for waders during winter and spring. There are flocks of thousands of red knots, dunlins, sanderlings and bar-tailed godwits, and other waders; over 100,000 birds winter there. Flocks of pink-footed geese are commonly seen in winter as they fly over St Annes between their feeding grounds around Southport and Over-Wyre. Many pintails and other ducks feed and rest in the estuary.


The Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club was founded in March 1886 and moved to its present site in 1926. Many world tournaments have been, and are, played there, including the Ryder Cup, the Open Golf Championship and the Dunlop Cup. The clubhouse is situated on Links Gate and the course runs southwards as far as Ansdell, adjacent to the railway line.

There are three other golf clubs in the area, which have all hosted qualifying for The Open Championship. They are Fairhaven Golf Club, Lytham Green Drive Golf Club, and perhaps the most well known, St Annes Old Links Golf Club, which has also hosted many other top events in the golfing calendar. The Old Links course runs northwards from Highbury Road on the landward side of the railway line. [ [ St Anne's Old Links Golf Club - Lancashire, England ] ]

Fylde Rugby Club, who compete in National Division Three North, play at the Woodlands Memorial Ground, which is shared with Blackpool Panthers Rugby League Club who compete in National League two.

The headquarters of the English Football League were re-located to the former Sandown Hotel in Clifton Drive in St Annes in 1959, having previously been situated in Preston, Lancashire. They have since moved back to Preston, Lancashire.

St Annes Cricket Club are based at Vernon Road, St Annes. England and Lancashire cricketer, Andrew Flintoff played for St Annes, starting as a 12 year old in 1989 [ [ Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff MBE] ] .

Lytham Cricket and Sports Club is based in Church Rd, Lytham. It is the home of Lytham St Annes Hockey Club [ [ Lytham St. Annes Hockey Club ] ] and, also, provides facilities for cricket, tennis and football.



* [ "Lytham Methodist Church"] , The Serpentine - opened in September 1868
* [ "St Cuthbert's Church of England (CofE) Church"] , Church Road - the parish church, built in 1834. [ [ St Cuthberts at Genuki] ]
* "St John the Divine CofE Church", East Beach - built in 1848-49 by Edwin H Shellard. [ [ St.John at Genuki] ] [ [ Lytham St John] ]
* "St Peter's Roman Catholic (RC) Church", Clifton Street - built in 1838, the tower was added in 1878.
* [ "Lytham Christian Centre"] , Preston Road [ [ Lytham Christian Centre at Genuki] ]
* "Lytham United Reformed Church" Bannister Street - founded in 1863

t Annes

* [ "Church Road Methodist Church"] , Church Road
* [ "St Anne's CofE Parish Church"] , Oxford Road - built in 1873 by Paley & Austin. The tower was added in 1887.
* [ "St Annes Baptist Church"] , St.Andrews Road South - opened on Christmas Day 1886.
* [ "St Annes on Sea United Reformed Church"] , Clifton Drive - built by W.J. Porritt from 1880 onwards.
* "St Annes Hebrew Congregation", Orchard Road [ [ JCR-UK] ] [ [ Hebrew Congregation at Genuki] ]
* [ "Our Lady Star of the Sea RC Church"] , St Annes Road East - R.C., build 1890 by Pugin & Pugin.
* [ "St Thomas CofE Church"] , St Thomas Road - built in 1899 by Austin & Paley. [ [ St Thomas at Genuki] ]
* [ "Fylde Christian Service Church"] , Wood Street.
* "St Margaret of Antioch", St.Leonards Road West - founded in 1925 [ [ St Margarets at Genuki] ]
* "St Alban RC Church", Kilnhouse Lane - founded in 1964. [ [ St Alban at Genuki] ]

Ansdell and Fairhaven

* [ "Ansdell Baptist Church"] , Ansdell Road North - founded in 1908 [ [ Ansdell Baptist at Genuki] ]
* [ "Ansdell Unitarian & Free Christian Church"] , Channing Road - opened in 1930, new hall added in 1968.
* [ "St Joseph's RC Church"] , Woodlands Road - opened on 20 September 1914, built in 1909, by Pugin & Pugin.
* [ "Fairhaven United Reformed Church"] , Clifton Drive South -opened on 17 October 1912, built by Briggs, Wolstenholme & Thornley. Known locally as the "White Church".
* "St Pauls CofE Church", Clifton Drive - built in 1902 by Medland Taylor. [ [ St Pauls art Genuki] ]
* Fairhaven Methodist Church, Clifton Drive - founded in 1909. [ [ Fairhaven Church at Genuki] ]

The information in this section about the Church of England and Roman Catholic churches is mainly from Pevsner (1969).

ee also

*Blackpool Branch Line



* Harrison, Gabriel (1971) "Rage of Sand: the story of the men who built their own seaside town", London : Benn, ISBN 0-510-27118-3
* Pevsner, Nikolaus (1969) "The Buildings of England - North Lancashire", Penguin, ISBN 0-14-071037-X.

External links

* [ Defend Lytham] - Local Community Action Group
* [ Defend The Dunes] - Local Community Action Group
* [] - Local history site.
* [] - Clifton Primary School website.
* [ The Friends of Lytham Hall] - Local Charitable Lytham Hall Conservation Group
* [ St Cuthbert's Church] - The Parish Church for Lytham

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