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Southport's History

The town of Southport began to develop during the late 19th century in an area about 2 miles south of the, 'Doomsday Book,' village of Churchtown. This area was originally known as South Hawes and in those days the sea ran up some distance inland and formed an estuary. This provided secure at anchorage for the vessels of local fishermen and farmers.
 
 
In 1792, a Churchtown landlord, William 'Duke' Sutton, built a bathing house in South Hawes to cater for the fashionable new trend of sea-bathing. A few years later he built a hotel and named it South Port. The town took its name from Sutton’s hotel which was situated at the junction of Lord Street and Duke Street. A commemorative plaque is to be found nearby.

Southport catered for an influx of visitors and its population grew to 2,000 in 1801. Visitors first travelled by canal and road. Rail services became available from Liverpool in 1848 and Manchester (via Wigan) in 1853. Southport attracted thousands of workers from the Lancashire mill towns.

Many attractions were built during the 19th century to cater for visitors to Southport. The wide valley between the sand hills, which faced Sutton’s Hotel, developed into the famous Lord Street. Southport is proud of its Victorian Heritage. The town's parks, gardens, and tree lined streets, are a wonderful legacy and also provide the town its genteel image.