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Southport lies on the Irish Sea coast and is fringed to the north by the Ribble estuary.The town is 16.7 miles (26.9 km) north of Liverpool and 14.8 miles (23.8 km) southwest of Preston.Local fauna include the Natterjack toad and the Sand lizard.

A design from James Brunlees was approved at a cost of £8,700 and on 4 August 1859 a large crowd witnessed the driving home of the first support pile.

The opening of the pier was celebrated on 2 August 1860.

The Domesday Book states that there were 50 huts in Otergimele, housing a population of 200.

The population was scattered thinly across the region and it was at the northeast end of Otergimele (present day Crossens), where blown sand gave way to alluvial deposits from the River Ribble estuary, that a small concentration of people occurred.

Other seaside bathing areas couldn't really get going until the railways were built some years later.

The Leeds and Liverpool canal brought people from Liverpool, Manchester, Bolton and Wigan amongst others.

By 1820 Southport had over 20,000 visitors per year.

Southport Pier is referred to as the first true "pleasure pier", being one of the earliest pier structures to be erected using iron.

Parts of the parish were almost completely surrounded by water until 1692 when Thomas Fleetwood of Bank Hall cut a channel to drain Martin Mere to the sea.

From this point on, attempts at large-scale drainage of Martin Mere and other marshland continued until the 19th century, since when the water has been pumped away.

The alluvium provided fertile agricultural land and the river itself stocks of fish.