Orrell, Greater Manchester facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Orrell shown within Greater Manchester
Population 12,000 
OS grid reference SD531051
Metropolitan borough
  • Wigan
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WIGAN
Postcode district WN5
Dialling code 01942
Police Greater Manchester
Fire Greater Manchester
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament
  • Makerfield
List of places
Greater ManchesterCoordinates: 53°31′55″N 2°42′30″W / 53.5319°N 2.7082°W / 53.5319; -2.7082

Orrell is a ward of the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. The population of the ward had fallen at the 2011 Census to 11,513. The centre of the area lies 3 miles (4.8 km) to the west of Wigan town centre and serves as a predominantly residential suburb of Wigan. The area is contiguous with the district of Pemberton.

Historically in Lancashire, Orrell was a centre of the coal mining industry, though today no evidence of the area's industrial past is present. The electoral ward of Orrell has a population of 11,203, however, the ward covers a larger area also containing parts of Billinge and Winstanley.


Orrell derives from the Anglo Saxon ora and hyll, a hill where ore is dug. It has been variously recorded as Horul in 1212, Orel in 1292, Orhull in 1294 and Orul in 1307 and subsequently known as Orrell-in-Makerfield. It was the extreme north-west berewick of the manor of Newton-in-Makerfield before the Norman Conquest of England.

In 1212 the manor was held by Richard de Orrell but became divided and was acquired by the Hollands of Upholland and descended to the Lovels and subsequently to the Earls of Derby. After several changes of ownership it belonged to Roger Leigh of Aspull. Orrell was the family name of a number of landowners in the area and branches of the Orrell family held small estates here for centuries. There are records from 1558 showing William Orrell living at Orrell Hall.

Industrial history

The coal measures of the Lancashire Coalfield were mined extensively at the Orrell Collieries between 1740 and 1850. A tramroad modelled on John Blenkinsop's railway at Middleton was built in 1812 from the pits to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Crooke. Robert Daglish was its engineer. A cottage nail making industry flourished at the same time. Another employer was the Sandbrook cotton mill where raw cotton was spun into thread. No significant industry is present in the area which is primarily a residential suburb for commuters.

Post war

Divided by the M6 and M58 motorways, the area has developed two unofficial 'sections': the southern section with railway station and Orrell Rugby Union Club's former 'Edge Hall Road' ground; and Orrell Post, at the northern side of the M58. The original Orrell 'post', signifying a halt on the turnpike road, is still outside the Stag public house at a crossroads. The area's proximity to Wigan town centre and its position at a junction of the M6, make it an attractive location from which to commute.


The area's northern section surrounds junction 26 of the M6 motorway. The M6 motorway passes north-south through the area and the section of Orrell to the east of the M6 directly adjoins the district of Pemberton. Orrell and Pemberton form one contiguous residential area.

Orrell is one of twenty five electoral wards that make up the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan. Orrell is part of the Wigan Urban Area.

Community facilities

Orrell Library [1] used to be located on Orrell Road but was closed in March 2010 and moved to the new nearby Abraham Guest High School, despite local attempts to keep the original site open.

To the south of the area is Orrell Water Park, a disused water storage reservoir, which has now been turned to leisure use and attracts walkers, fishermen and picnickers.

The broadcasting studios of Wish FM, radio for the Wigan/St Helens area, are located in the area. on the eastern side of the M6.


The area's principal road is the A577-Boothstown to Ormskirk. The M6 motorway runs north-south through the area. The easily accessible East Lancashire Road and M62 give access to Salford and Manchester. The M58 provides the Wigan area with a link to West Lancashire and the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton and the areas to the north the City of Liverpool. It was proposed that the Orrell area (Junction 26 of the M6) be the starting point of the A5225 Wigan and Hindley bypass road linking the M6 and the M58 with the M61 at Bolton. Orrell railway station is located at the southern section of the area providing services eastbound to Manchester (passing through Wigan Wallgate) and westbound to Kirkby (passing through Upholland railway station and Rainford railway station).

Orrell, Greater Manchester Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.