St John's Church and Square

Visit St John’s Square in the Town Centre

St John’s Square is at the heart of Blackpool Town Centre. It’s the pedestrianised space between the Winter Gardens and St John’s Church.

Have a look around with this walking tour of St John’s Square, filmed in August 2020 –

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Look around St John’s Square

Not familiar with where St John’s Square is? Find out before we look around…

Church Street is the main road which passes the front door of the Winter Gardens. It’s joined by Abingdon Street and Cedar Square.

The address for St John’s Church is Church Street, Blackpool, FY1 1BP.

Google Map of St John's Square Blackpool. Click on it to look around.
Google Map of St John’s Square Blackpool. Click on it to look around.

Now, with the traffic gone (except buses and access) it’s all attractively paved with cobble setts – a multi-use open public space. It’s where you’ll sometimes find open air events throughout the year. It’s also a popular meeting point.

In the buildings around the perimeter of the open space there are lots of cafes and restaurants. Most of them have pavement seating so it’s a lovely spot to head to for a bite to eat. Sit outside in the sunshine and soak up the atmosphere.

Outside seating at one of the many pavement cafes
Outside seating at one of the many pavement cafes

It’s particularly interesting when one of the big events is on in the town. Like Rebellion Festival when the punks come to town in summer!

Punks in Blackpool for Rebellion Festival

Public Art in St John’s Square

Have you seen this sculpture in St John’s Square? A huge stainless steel wave towers above, with a transparent glass person high diving from the top of it.

Around the base are the droplets of water displaced by the performer – in the shape of huge watery-coloured glass pebbles.

Sculpture in St John's Square
Sculpture in St John’s Square

Not a sculpture as such, but an attractive thing nonetheless. Keep an eye out for the water fountains in front of St John’s Church. Dogged by technical problems in recent years, they were working when we were there in August 2020!

Water fountains at St John's Square Blackpool
Water fountains at St John’s Square Blackpool

At the Heart of the Town

It feels like the improvement of Blackpool town centre has been happening forever. Huge amounts of work are taking place all over resort, and will be for some time. Improvements are being made to transport, public facilities, conference facilities, entertainment and even pavements.

The downside of all of this work is a certain amount of disruption and road closures. St John’s Square steps up to the mark when needed, to become a diversion route. Bollards and road markings are installed when needed, to later be moved when everything returns to normal again.

Connecting Blackpool

St John’s Square is a bit of a hub for that end of town. Not only is it a meeting place and home to activities, it also connects a number of streets together. Church Street bisects it, right through to the seafront. Adelaide Street joins it at a right angle, with Birley Street in eyeshot. It’s a busy spot!

It’s only going to get busier when the new Conference Centre is complete. Being built on Leopold Grove at the side of the Winter Gardens, the building is rapidly reaching completion.

The next video clip dates back to summer 2018 –

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A Place for Events

The beauty of St John’s Square is that it’s not as exposed to the weather as the seafront! With a little more shelter from those harsh winds blowing straight off the sea, it’s a good spot for public events.

Over the years all kinds of events have taken place here. How many of these do you remember?

2013 Mascot Games in St John's Square
2013 Mascot Games in St John’s Square
Spitfire at Armed Forces Day in 2015. Photo: Maria Potter
Spitfire at Armed Forces Day in 2015. Photo: Maria Potter
One of the Lightpool Festival Shows in the town centre
One of the Lightpool Festival Shows in the town centre
2014 Chilli Festival in Blackpool
2014 Chilli Festival in Blackpool

It’s also the place where you might see big names and musical stars from time to time! Like in 2013 when the cast of Mamma Mia! took a photocall to launch the new musical –

2013 launch of Mamma Mia Musical
2013 launch of Mamma Mia Musical

Looking After St John’s Square

Blackpool Town Centre BID look after St John’s Square, as they do the whole of the town centre area, right to the promenade.

The BID supports the town centre with wardens, litter collections, CCTV and security, along with many other functions.

St John’s Square in the Past

Here at Live Blackpool, we clearly remember when this section of Church Street was a normal highway, a main route through Blackpool town centre. Do you remember the days when it was a normal road?

St John’s Church was built in 1878 by Garlick, Park & Sykes, it’s the main Parish Church of Blackpool. When it was built it was complete with a graveyard at the front of it. The graves were later moved to Layton Cemetery.

St John's Church
St John’s Church

In 2009 some improvement works were carried out, where the remaining grassy areas at the front of the church were removed and laid to paving. While the workmen were carrying out the changes they found the remains of a woman, an occupant of the graveyard at the Cedar Square side of the church. She was respectfully removed and reburied at Layton.

Did you know that the tramway once passed this way? You can see the rails in the bottom right of the next photo.

St John's Church
St John’s Church

While you’re here…

Have a look at the homepage of the Live Blackpool website for more of the latest updates.

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