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Serving Rainhill community
since 1894
village pic

VILLAGE HISTORY


Rainhill is an ancient village with an Anglo-Saxon name. The name Rainhill is thought to derive from the Old English personal name Regna or Regan who would have been a settler who established the small settlement on a hill overlooking the river Mersey.

The earliest known reference is in 1190 when Richard de Eccleston granted to Alan the Clerk his brother, the vill of Raynhull. Little is known of life in Rainhill in the Middle Ages except that it was a small agricultural community. The bases of two medieval stone crosses still exist in the village. Early records indicate that in 1635 a Henry Thomas was a weaver in the village and in 1662 Edward Halsall carried on the trade of Blacksmith. In 1807 Bartholomew Bretherton, a famous stagecoach proprietor, came to live in the village making his home at what is now Loyola Hall, a retreat house occupied by the Society of Jesus an order of Roman Catholic Priests. By 1881 the Bretherton family owned all the land that makes up the parish of Rainhill.

The two most important events in the history of Rainhill were first, the construction in the mid eighteenth century of the turnpike road from Liverpool to Warrington that ran through the village. Secondly, the village was the venue in 1829 for the famous railway locomotive trials.