History: the origins of 11 familiar towns and suburb names in Wigan

Townships in Wigan can trace back their history over many centuries, including names – if you’ve ever wondered the origins then read on!

When it comes to British place names, Anglo-Saxon origins tend to dominate in the south and Scandinavian languages in the North, mixing in with Old British or Celtic terms for natural features such as hills and rivers. Wigan demonstrates all three of these influences.

Often towns and villages share common endings such as -tun (settlement), -ham (homestead), -feld (farmland), -by (village), -caester (Roman stronghold) or -dun (hill). The first element is often the hardest to define, with some involving long forgotten people’s names.

To understand where these Wigan places’ names came from, we went looking in the Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names.