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.
Look around St John’s Square
Church Street is the main road which passes the front door of the Winter Gardens. Abingdon Street joins it at a right angle, or at least it did before the days of pedestrianisation. The address for St John’s Church is Church Street, Blackpool, FY1 1BP.
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.
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!
Street Art at St John’s Square
Have you seen the 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.
A Useful Diversion
It feels like the improvement of Blackpool town centre has been happening forever. Huge amounts of work are taking place all over resort, to improve 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 has stepped up to the mark and become a diversion route on more than one occasion. Then, the bollards and road markings are moved and everything returns to normal again.
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 growing rapidly.
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. You might remember the days when it was a normal road too.
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.
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.
While you’re here…
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