TWO new books charting some of Warrington’s forgotten history are bringing to light never-before-seen photographs.

Harry Wells’ Warrington Parish Church and Horsemarket to Orford Hall pulls together his previous works from the 90s and adds new material not published anywhere else.

One book describes the history of St Elphin’s Church while the other takes a walk between the town centre and Orford Park to see what’s changed over the past 400 years.

Mr Wells, who lives in Orford, said: “This has given me a chance to update the old books and include some new material.

“I’ve been interested in local history since about 1970, so I’ve been accumulating material for these books since then.

“There’s a lot of my original photographs that you can’t find anywhere else.”

Horsemarket to Orford Hall follows the route from Horsemarket Street, down Winwick Road to Longford Brook, before heading down Orford Lane to finish at Orford Park.

Warrington Guardian:

Orford Hall

Using new material and some used in a previous book, Wells re-explores the history of Orford Hall, which stood on the site of Orford Park from 1616.

He said: “You’d have no idea walking round there today that there was anything historical at all, apart from the stone gateposts that date back to around 1722.”

Another highlight is the information he’s uncovered about Bluecoats School, once near Brickfields Park, where residential education was provided for poor children from 1782 to 1922.

The author covers the school’s child abuse scandal in the mid 1800s, which saw pupils undernourished, unclean and some even stripped and flogged for bad behaviour.

Warrington Parish Church includes never-before-published photos from his personal collection and Warrington Museum.

Warrington Guardian:

St Elphin's

Some believe St Elphin’s Church is around 12 centuries old, and Wells tells the tale of its features, secrets and role in the town’s community.

It includes a detailed look into the mysterious Alabaster Tomb, which draws attention from visitors for its two hand-holding effigies.

Mr Wells said: “If you want to discover a lot about the history of Warrington, you should read the book because that was where everyone was buried and baptised until the 19th century.”

The books will be available to buy from WH Smiths in Golden Square Shopping Centre for £9.99 each.