Saturday, 5 March 2016

Runcorn Shopping Centre

It was snowing when we awoke this morning however the ground was too warm for it to settle.  Son and I decided to walk to the Runcorn Shopping Centre which was about 5km away from the mooring.  The centre was opened by the Queen in 1972 as the centre of the new town of Runcorn.  Both Daniel and I thought it was older having a design and layout very similar to the Milton Keynes centre.  There wasn’t much of interest in the centre although I had noticed what appeared to be the ruins of an abbey or castle on an adjacent hill.


I could tell you these are the ruins of Halton Castle which date back to the 11th century.  Except the three visible walls are a folly constructed around 1800.  A courthouse was built on the site of the castle gatehouse around 1737 and continued to function until the beginning of the 20th century.

On the return trip to the boat we noticed another interesting building in a park to our right.


It’s Runcorn Town Hall.  The building was constructed in 1853 as a home for Thomas Johnson the wealthy owner of a soap and alkali manufacturing business.  He and his brother became involved in the American Civil War attempting to run the blockade but their ships were sunk.  They subsequently went bankrupt and the property was sold.  In 1932 Runcorn District Council purchased the house and grounds converting it into the Town Hall.  It’s currently used as the local office of the Registry of Births and Deaths.  More info here.

There was one important highlight during the walk.  We discovered a famous local road.



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