The Duke of Gloucester was in Liverpool on Wednesday as he helped launched Runcorn’s 1100th anniversary celebrations. The Duke’s visit saw him drop in to Runcorn Town Hall where he was delighted to view a millennium’s worth of the town’s history in a specially designed exhibition.
Upon his arrival to Runcorn Town Hall, The Duke of Gloucester was greeted by the Mayor and Mayoress of Halton Shaun and Della Osborne as well as Runcorn and District Historical Society chairman, Mike Hodgkinson who enlightened the duke on how Runcorn was founded way back in 915 by a Saxon princess. Aethelflaeda built a fort to keep Viking invaders at bay and protect her Kingdom of Mercia.
Runcorn is a seaport town in Cheshire and sits on the River Mersey. Following it founding by Princess Aethelflaeda in 915, a priory was built at Runcorn in 1133 though the town remained a mere fishing village until 1761, when it was made the terminus of the Bridgewater Canal. Runcorn’s main industries include ship-building, ropemaking, quarrying and the manufacture of chemicals.
The Duke of Gloucester spent a considerable amount of his time in Runcorn viewing a special exhibition of the town’s history. An exhibition that included artefacts, photographs and documents depicting Runcorn through the ages.
Displays at the exhibition included the arrival of the Normans and construction of Halton Castle, effects of the English Civil War, opening of Bridgewater Canal and opening of the railway bridge across the Mersey. Each display offered their own depictions of Runcorn and its vast history.
As well as the exhibition at Runcorn Town Hall, a number of events are planned in celebration of the 1100th anniversary including a re-enactment of a siege at Halton Castle and the repulsion of a Viking longship invasion on the River Mersey.
Before leaving the town hall, The Duke of Gloucester spent a bit of time talking with members of Runcorn and District Historical Society. A spokeswoman for the anniversary celebrations said that the duke found the history of Runcorn “fascinating.”
Just before his departure from Runcorn, the mayor presented The Duke of Gloucester with a copy of Cheshire’s own Magna Carta, which also forms a part of the ongoing exhibition in the town hall.