Argleton- the town in Lancashire that doesn’t actually exist

IF you type Argleton into Google Maps, you will find a place near Ormskirk.

However, if you decided to get in your car and take a trip to Argleton you might be disappointed- as it doesn’t actually exist.

All that exists in the location is a muddy field, without a house or significant place of interest in site.

Despite being a phantom village, you can still check Argleton’s weather forecast (seven degrees with a chance of rain) and at one point you could even search for properties for sale in the area.

Since the anomaly was discovered, it has since been renamed by Google as a historical landmark- but it was once regarded as an entire settlement and village of its own in the L39 postcode area.

It’s just around the corner from Aughton- a genuine Lancashire village in West Lancashire.

The Westmorland Gazette: Argleton is just a muddy fieldArgleton is just a muddy field

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Small-town hero​/2009)

An Ormskirk man called Mike Nolan first noticed the mystery location back in 2008, writing about it on his blog.

Speaking to a national newspaper at the time, he said: “I grew up in the area and spotted on the map one day that it said ‘Argleton’.

“But it’s just a farmer’s field close to the village hall and playing fields. I think a footpath goes across the field, but that’s all.

“The name ‘Argleton’ is similar to ‘Aughton’. Maybe someone made a mistake when keying in the name?”

How did the phantom town come about?

To this day, no-one really knows for certain why the Google Maps anomaly exists.

However, people had their theories- some of which are more plausible than others.

As Mike Nolan suggests, it could be a genuine typo and misspelling of the nearby Aughton village.

Other publications called it the ‘Bermuda triangle of West Lancashire’, perplexed by the mystery surrounding it.

However, one of the most accepted theories is that it is a ‘paper town’, which is a fake town created by map makers to protect the copyright of their creations.


This Twitter user went ‘paper town hunting’ back in 2009(Photo: Twitter/@MrTBarrett)

‘Trap streets’ and ‘paper towns’ are located all over the world and can usually be spotted by their name.

Some theorised that Argleton is a paper town as it is an anagram of ‘G Not Real’.

It isn’t the only paper town in the world either- Agloe in New York is one of the most famous examples, as it appeared in the John Green novel, Paper Towns.

To this day, Google has never admitted to purposefully creating the paper town and it still exists on their Google Maps site. 

Have you ever taken a trip to ‘Argleton’? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

The Westmorland Gazette | North Lancs