Skippool

Skippool

Skippool is the area around the River Wyre roundabout on the A585 – the main road between the coast and motorway network.

Skippool Creek is a fascinating place where small fishing boats are moored on the muddy tributaries which lead into the nearby River Wyre.

Take a look around Skippool Creek on a sunny winter morning in February –

In the distance, across the flood plain, you can see the River Wyre and Shard Bridge.

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As you might imagine it’s a haven for wildlife, and the air is usually alive with the sound of birdsong.

The tidal tributaries provide a rich source of food for the wildlife which lives there or visits. The mud flats, which you can see at low tide in the photo below, are an excellent source of food for birds.

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Skippool Creek with the A585 in the distance

Tributary at Skippool Creek with the A585 in the distance.

Fishing boats moored at Skippool Creek
Fishing boats moored at Skippool Creek


How to get to Skippool Creek

Nearest postcode for SatNav to Skippool Creek: FY5 5LF

Turn off the A585 at Skippool Road and head as if to Thornton. 

Not very many yards along the road, turn right onto Wyre Road, before you reach the Thornton Lodge pub. Be careful, it’s very narrow at the beginning. Click here or the map to go to Google maps

Google map of the Skippool area at Thornton

Wyre Road follows the creeks and widens out slightly. There is a car park a little further along where you can leave your car to explore on foot.


History of Skippool

For hundreds of years Skippool Creek was a major trading port, along with Wardleys Creek at the other side of the River Wyre.

It was in constant use from the end of the Medieval period and in 1837 was described as ‘The Metropolis of the Fylde’.

Goods arrived here from all around the world, from as far away as Russia and North America.Flax was imported from Ireland and the Baltic, timber came from across the Atlantic, and tallow from Russia.

Records from 1806–08 show that limestone and oats were imported from Ulverston and coal from Preston, then Cheese was exported back to the same places. By the 18th century, markets were held regularly in nearby Poulton.

Postcard of Skippool Creek from Juliette Gregson
This postcard of Skippool Creek in days gone by was shared by Visit Fylde Coast Contributor Juliette Gregson

There are tales of smuggling and skullduggery in these creeks, which you can just imagine when you see them!

Nowadays, the mud berths are used as moorings for small pleasure boats, accessed by wooden walkways.


Local History of Skippool Creek

Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook Group is the best place to find out detailed local history of the area.

Andy Ball shared this information about Skippool Creek:

In 2012 I was provided this information via a prominent local historian based on newspaper reports from the 1880s

Was there a pub called the Throstle’s Nest at Skippool?

I don’t know of a pub called the Throstle’s Nest. Directories list a few pub names at Skippool. In 1824 James Bickerstaff was the licensee of the “Crackers Head”. Ten years later he is said to be at the White Horse and the 1839 Tithe map shows a field near the present River Wyre Hotel as the White Horse Bowling Green. By 1866 it was the Brockholes Arms with Robert Lee as licensee.

From the Blackpool Herald, 13.5.1881

RECOLLECTIONS OF BLACKPOOL AND THE FYLDE – A Ramble by the River Wyre [extracts]. 
Early last March I walked with a young friend … My friend admired the quaint appearance of two thatched cottages on the right hand side of the road after passing Skippool bridge. The first is known as “Throstle Nest”, home of Edward Blackburn and family [In 1881 a Railway Porter in Thornton]. The other has been known from time immemorial as “Ouzle* Inn”. There is no reason to doubt that when Skippool had its little shipping trade this was a veritable inn. If all tales about smuggling are true, the landlord would be able to supply his customers with something stronger than ale. 50 or 60 years ago smuggling was looked upon in a far different light than at the present time. Men of respectability and position thought it no harm to connive at it. A vicar in one of our Fylde parishes, well-known for miles around for telling his hearers to “do as he said and not as he did”, was ready at any time to give a helping hand in “landing of cargo”.
Early in the present century the little cottage was used as a school, taught by a person named Peter Whiteside. *An Ouzel is a type of thrush.

From the Blackpool Herald, 11.8.1882 

Within the last two or three years the roadside cottage once known as the “Ouzel Inn” has disappeared. It stood in a narrow lane near Skippool. In its palmist days the Ouzel Inn had the reputation of being the resort of the smugglers who flourished when George III was King. It is said that the inn was never exactly a licensed house, but carried on an illicit trade.


Find out More

History of Poulton-le-Fylde

Add your photos and knowledge to this article by emailing jane@theRabbitPatch.co.uk 

Links to external websites

Google map for Skippool Creek

Thornton Cleveleys Past Facebook Group

TCP thread on the subject of Skippool


Your Photos of Skippool Creek

Skippool Creek by Steve Berger
Skippool Creek by Steve Berger

Skippool Creek by Steve Berger
Skippool Creek by Steve Berger

Skippool Creek by Shirley Donovan
Skippool Creek by Shirley Donovan

Skippool Creek by Shirley Donovan
Skippool Creek by Shirley Donovan

Skippool Creek by Shirley Donovan
Skippool Creek by Shirley Donovan

Skippool Creek at Thornton

Skippool Creek at Thornton

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