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ORMSKIRK, a market town and urban district in the Ormskirk parliamentary division of Lancashire, England, 11 m. N.E. of Liverpool by the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway Pop. (iQOi), 6857. The church of St Peter and St Paul is a spacious building in various styles of architecture, but principally Perpendicular. It possesses the rare feature of two western towers, the one square and embattled, the other octagonal and bearing a short spire. There are various Norman fragments, including a fine early window in the chancel. To the south-east of the church, and divided from it by a screen, is the Derby chapel, the exclusive property of the earls of Derby, whose vault is contained within. A free grammar school was founded about 1614. Rope and twine making, iron-founding and brewing are carried on, and the town has long been famous for its gingerbread.

The name and church existed in the time of Richard I., when the priory of Burscough was founded. A few fragments of this remain about 2 m. N. of Ormskirk. The prior and convent obtained from Edward I. a royal charter for a market at the manor of Ormskirk. On the dissolution of the monasteries the manor was granted to the earl of Derby.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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