THE VILLAGE OF FORTON IN
AND TRANQUILITY ARE EASILY LOCATED IN OUR VILLAGE
DO PLEASE EXPLORE OUR COLLECTIONS OF PHOTOGRAPHS
This lovely example was taken by a
fine amateur photographer,
the late Yvonne Tomlinson
famous "mushroom" on the M6,
a view of Forton seen by thousands
Please read on to discover that there is much more than this to see in our village.
Forton is in North Lancashire, situated just a few miles from the west coast of northern England, and close to the Forest of Bowland, which is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Forton is the civil parish, and the parish of the Anglican Church is called Shireshead. There are two main parts of the village lying east and west of the A6, that to the east is on Hollins Lane, by which it is usually named. In the past this part was named Shireshead on some old maps.
Forton appeared in the Domesday book under the name Fortune, and all the land was owned by wealthy families, or the Abbot of Cockersand, until most of it was sold to tenant farmers in the mid-17th century. This was perhaps the most significant social event in the area until the great transport revolution began in the late 18th century. In the 1790s a canal was built, then in 1822 the new high road for coaches (the present A6) appeared, soon to be followed by the railway in 1840. We had to wait over 120 years for the next big civil engineering operation, the construction of the M6 in the mid-1960s. This certainly put the name of Forton on the map, for millions of travellers have since stopped at our service station with its distinctive mushroom-shaped tower.
Forton was a scattered community until comparatively
recently, the main concentration of population being in Hollins Lane until the
1950s. Building then began on the west side of the A6, and this area is
now the main focus for village activities. There is a primary school with
a very good reputation accommodated in buildings erected over 40 years ago.
The former school was converted into a substantial village hall. There
is a good playing field, beside which is a splendid bowling green of a standard
suitable for county matches. The cricket club owns its ground which is
one of the finest in the Westmorland League.