The Lancashire villages of Hesketh Bank, Becconsall & Tarleton
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Hesketh and Becconsall

It has often been suggested that the name Hesketh comes from Hes + Skeidt - Viking and means Horse + Track. Which is basically "Race track". Apparently the Viking were quite passionate about pitting their horse against one another and the squire or lord of the manor (ancestor of the Heskeths) built a track for horse racing on the banks of the Ribble (probably Hesketh Marsh) and that's where the name possibly comes from. One of the old spellings of the name is "Heskaithe" or "Heskaite", which is very similar to the original.

Other research suggests that the name Hesketh derives its origin not from Norse but from the earlier indigenous Brythonic Celtic language spoken by the Cumbri tribe in fourth century Lancashire after the Romans had left. The etymology of Hesketh would thus be derived from Brythonic Celtic words 'hais' and 'caidd' mean thorny (or prickly) wood.

Becconsall is given as being derived from Beacons Hill. However, an alternative may be Beccan + haugr. This means "burial mound of Beccan". It would have been "Beccan his haugr" then "Beccan's haugr" then Becconsawe, which is the old spelling (1300s). Beccan is an old Irish name and it may be that the Vikings who settled in that area did not come straight from Scandanavia but came in under an agreement of A.D. 902 with King Aethelraed (Ethelred), which allowed peaceful settlement there. If so, then they came from a Viking settlement quite near Dublin.


A suggestion for the origins of Tarleton is that it was derived from Jarle's Town, an early Viking settlement on the banks of the river Douglas.


Researching local historyEvery place has its own history, - it may not have been as glitzy as Rome or Cairo - but most places will be able to reveal a few fascinating secrets from the past.

So if you want to dig them out, it's a matter of turning detective. Find out how with our online Help with researching local history.

Hesketh Bank & Tarleton
"Then and Now" Photograph Library

Old photos of Tarleton and Hesketh Bank

The Hesketh Bank WWII Newsletters
Hesketh Bank Newsletter Index


Tarleton Militia Book 1826

Transcript of the 1577 Manor Court held in Tarleton

The Tarleton & Sollom Stone Cross Mystery

Garlick's Cash Stores Hesketh Bank

Jeremiah Horrocks & The Transit of Venus

Hesketh Lane Sunday School 1952 - 2002

History of Hesketh Bank Post Office

Extracts from History of The County Palatine And Duchy of Lancaster, Baines, 1836

Hesketh-With-Becconsall Church & Chapel - Atticus 1872

Tarleton Church and Wesleyan Chapel - Atticus 1872

Rufford Church - Atticus 1872

Extracts from Southport & District by Rev. W. T. Bulpit, 1908

The Autograph Book of G. Boston of Holly Garth, Tarleton Circa 1908

Footage from the West Lancashire Railway filmed in the 1960's

Hesketh Bank Electoral Roll 1971

Tarleton Electoral Roll 1971

History and Recollections of Tarleton by Janet Dandy, 1985

Extracts from North Meols to South Ribble by John Catterall, 1985

Bank Hall, Bretherton - Various articles

Coe Lane, Tarleton: 1995 Geophysical Survey Report

A Brief History Of Becconsall Old Church by Stephen Trippier, 1999

Evolution of the Ribble Estuary Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 & Part 4

A Short History of Maritime Activity on the River Douglas at Hesketh Bank and Tarleton by Graham J. Fairhurst

A History of Tarleton Mill by Graham J. Fairhurst

A Short History of Brickmaking at Hesketh Bank by Graham J. Fairhurst

The West Lancashire Railway by Graham J. Fairhurst

When Time Stood Still - Hesketh Bank & Tarleton by John Crane (2008)

The History of Tarleton & Hesketh Bank and their Maritime Past By David Edmondson 7th December 2014

Interview with Bobby Bannister about the Becconsall Bomb (2017)


Local Interest Books ~ Local History Books

Local Genealogy

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