Croston village is situated in Lancashire between Chorley and Southport and stands on the River Yarrow. It began in the 7th century when St Aidan arrived at the riverside settlements. In the absence of a church, a cross was erected as a place of worship. Croston gets its name from 'cross' derived from the Irish, and 'tun' the Scandinavian word for town (cross-town). It is unique as there are no other Crostons in the UK.
Centuries ago the parish of Croston was far larger than it is today. It included Chorley, Hoole, Rufford, Bretherton, Mawdesley, Tarleton, Hesketh Bank, Bispham, Walmer Bridge and Ulnes Walton. A charter granted by Edward I in 1283 permitted an annual medieval fair and market to be held on the village green. Ancient maps also depict a castle which is believed to have been of a wooden construction because there is no evidence of a stone structure.
Strong links with agriculture and farming are still vibrantly apparent in this delightful area. Town Bridge and Church Street are recognised as being symbolic of great architectural and cultural merit, with the latter being described as 'probably the finest example of a Lancashire Village Street'. Delightful open farmlands actually extend into the centre of the village
At one end of the picturesque Church Street and in the centre of the village stands St Michaels and All Angels church and at the opposite end of Church Street is a stone cross erected in 1953 on what is believed to be the base of the cross erected by St Aidan.
Town Bridge, a cobbled pack horse bridge, is situated on the north side of the church. When constructed it cost less than £30,000. It is a single arch with a span of 13 yards and the width between parapets is only 8 feet. The date 1682 is carried on the parapet. The bridge is built of well-shaped blocks of stone and is in sound condition. The date is at the centre of the north-facing parapet. The bridge is perhaps the most painted and photographed view of the River Yarrow.
Continuing through the village, the village green can be found surrounded by The Nelson, The Wheatsheaf public houses and Fresco Fresco Restaurant. The village green is the venue for the annual May Day Madness and Bastille Day celebrations.
Leaving Croston on Westhead Rd towards Rufford the Croston Sports Club can be found where football, cricket and tennis pitches are situated. Opposite the Sports Club is The Black Horse public house.
If you leave Croston via Station Road towards Bretherton you pass the Crown public house and the rail station on the Preston to Ormskirk line which is located on the edge of the village.
Croston has three churches providing services for the Anglican, Catholic and Methodist faiths.
At the centre of the village is St Michaels and all Angels Church of England church. This is the earliest of the three. A church has been on this site since before 1075 AD.
Catholic Church of the Holy Cross can be found in a secluded and peaceful area in Grape Lane.
Trinity Methodist Church is situated in Westhead Rd.
Croston Old School
Croston Old School is a Grade 2 listed building originating from 1660. It is situated in the centre of the village at the end of Church Street, next to the 900 year old church and the River Yarrow. Until 1999 the buildings were used as a school. Croston Old School Community Trust's grant from the National Lottery for £481,062 has funded the majority of the scheme to create the Community Resource Centre for Croston.
The building now provides:
Short tours of the centre (approximately 30 mins) are available and longer tours can be arranged which include the surrounding area. Refreshments can also be arranged. To book a tour please contact the Centre office direct.
- A new home for Croston Pre-school
- A large community space with meeting rooms
- An exhibition area for local arts and heritage projects
- A reference library and a reading room
Croston Hall was built by the De Trafford family and was the manor house to the village of Croston, unfortunately the Hall was demolished in the 1960's but there is a plan for some time in the future for a modern Country House hotel to be built on the site of the former mansion house, the family were catholic and built a church in the grounds of the house, which was left to the people of Croston upon the death of the last De Trafford in the 1960's.