Report names Wigan area as one of the best rural locations

A small corner of Wigan has been named as one of the poshest villages in the UK.
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A report researched by estate agents Savills and published by the Daily Telegraph names Haigh as one of 54 of the smartest rural locations.

Haigh, which is one of only two areas of Wigan with its own parish council, was chosen for its striking architecture and its vast woodland park complete with its own former stately home.

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It also has one of the cheapest average house price of 257,020 beaten only by Dinnington in Tyne and Wear, and Newgale and Roch in Pembrokeshire.

General view of HaighGeneral view of Haigh
General view of Haigh
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“There’s an imposing country mansion, Haigh Hall, built between 1827 and 1840, and the restored Haigh Windmill, originally used to pump water to Haigh Brewery.

“It is also home to Haigh Woodland Park, with miles of winding trails through woodland and manicured gardens.”

Haigh was the only village in the whole of Greater Manchester to make it onto the elite list.

Coun Ron ConwayCoun Ron Conway
Coun Ron Conway
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Coun Ron Conway, Chairman of Health and Social Care Scrutiny for Wigan Council said: “I think it is marvellous but it should be further up the league.

“It is a lovely place and the people are really nice.

“A lot of people will be surprised, especially in the Wigan area that the borough has such a lovely area like Haigh.

“The area is going to get even better because there is that much going into it like people who are restoring a local air shaft.

Haigh HallHaigh Hall
Haigh Hall

“So that combined with Haigh Hall and the windmill makes it a sensational place.”

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The Wall Hey air shaft was repurposed as an upcast ventilation shaft. A huge furnace was constructed at the base of the shaft and the chimney you can see today was built to draw dangerous gasses (fire damp and black damp) from the surrounding mines.

This form of ventilation was soon superseded by ventilation fans and by the early 1900s the Wall Hey ventilation shaft was no longer in use.

It is one of four authentic structures in the UK which is now showing signs of decay.

A new group called Friends of Wall Hey has been constructed to help preserve the borough’s mining heritage.

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Coun Conway added: “What we’ve found is that people especially with Covid, couldn’t travel to stately homes, so people across the borough were visiting Haigh more frequently.

“We put a bus on over the summer and October half term from the town centre up to Haigh Hall and it was a great success.”

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