Crossens is the northernmost district of Southport and is part of the ancient parish of North Meols.
Formerly Crossenes or Crosnes meaning a “ness” or
headland with a cross. The cross was possibly a guide for shipping
or people crossing the Ribble Estuary from Freckleton (near
A hospice or lodging house was sited in Crossens where
travellers could rest after making the crossing. It is also
believed to be the point at which 2,000 horsemen from a retreating
Royalist force crossed the Ribble estuary following the battle
of Marston Moor. They later joined the battle at Lathom Hall.
Crossens was originally a detached settlement lying on the western edge of Martin Mere which formed the basis of a substantial fishing industry supporting the surrounding area and the nearby village of Banks. After Martin Mere was largely reclaimed for farmland, the focus of the town turned to agriculture.
The Industrial Revolution led to Crossens incorporation into Southport as a site for housing for the larger town’s growing worker population. The second-half of the 20th century saw the area becoming home to some light industry (including the Vulcan motor works), but apart from some small industrial units the area is now primarily a commuter suburb for Southport, Preston and Ormskirk.
Crossens railway station was located on Rufford Road, Crossens, on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway main line between Southport and Preston. It was opened to passengers by the West Lancashire Railway. In April 1904 it became the last electrified station on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway's suburban lines from Liverpool Exchange railway station, forming a mock terminus of the Southport - Crossens electric branch. This line has the reputation of being the only electrified passenger line closed as a result of the Beeching cuts, services ending on 6 September 1964 with the closure of the Southport to Preston line.
The station consisted of two platforms with an additional turnback siding provided for the electric Class 502 stock if a through train to either Southport or Preston was scheduled. Just beyond the end of the electrified section was a level crossing with a controlling signal box on the line from Southport to Preston.
“CROSSENS - Southport’s Cinderella Suburb” -
by Harry Foster