Orrell, Billinge, Winstanley, Far Moor, Highfield, Marus Bridge
Lying west of Wigan close to the junctions of the M6 and M58, Orrell was originally known as Orrell-in-Makerfield, to distinguish it from Orrell in Sefton, Liverpool. Various branches of the Orrell family held small estates here for centuries; a William Orrell was living at Orrell Hall (now in Spring Road) in 1558.
Billinge and Winstanley, this area southwest of Wigan, boasts two of the borough’s oldest surviving halls. Bispham Hall, built around 1560 for the family of the same name, was gutted by fire in 1978 but has now been superbly restored. The grounds are used by the Scouts. Dating from the same period, Winstanley Hall was occupied by the Bankes family for nearly 400 years until 1984, although it has now been sold for conversion to upmarket apartments.
Two local beauty spots are Billinge Hill, with fine views across the Lancashire plain, and the tranquil Billinge Plantations - an important local nature reserve. Winstanley has given its name to a popular residential area, and up until 2004 Billinge was a familiar place for local parents as home to the borough’s maternity hospital!