On the Waterfront

The historic market and industrial town of Warrington stands on the border of modern day Lancashire and Cheshire. In the ninth century this area was the border between the kingdoms of Northumbria and Mercia.

The river which flows through Warrington was called the Merse (click here and here for references to land between the rivers Ribble and the “Merse” in the county of Lancaster). The river’s name comes from the Anglo-Saxon Maeres-ea meaning “border river”. Today we call it the Mersey.

In this section of the website we will look at the history of the rivers and canals flowing through the town, including the River Mersey and its tributaries, The Mersey and Irwell Navigation, Sankey Canal, Bridgewater Canal, Old Quay Canal, Manchester Ship Canal.

Did you know Warrington has TWO rivers flowing through the town? That’s right! As well as the famous Mersey, the second is the River Atherton which flows through Bewsey, Dallam and Orford. It is now called Dallam Brook and known locally as the “Stinker” or “Stinking Brook” for obvious reasons.

Having said that, it has had a bit of a clean up over recent years. The River Atherton runs along the border of the Bewsey and Dallam estates in north-west Warrington.