Argleton, Lancashire – Aughton, England - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Aughton, England

Argleton, Lancashire

The town of Argleton has a postal code and appears on maps and even real estate listings, yet it does not exist. 

Argleton is a small English town which does not actually exist. It appears on Google Maps and Google Earth, but in reality, nothing is there.

The supposed location of Argleton, according to Google, was just off the A59 road within the civil parish of Aughton in West Lancashire, England, which in reality is nothing more than empty fields. Since data from Google is used by other online information services, Argleton was consequently treated as a real settlement and appeared in numerous listings for things such as real estate and letting agents, employment agencies and weather.

But although the people, businesses and services in those listings are all in fact real, they are actually based elsewhere in the same postcode district. The town was later marked as “closed” on Google Maps.

One possible explanation is that cartographers have often inserted fake places to catch copyright violators trying to copy the map, a trick that goes back to paper maps. There are also some stranger, more far-fetched theories. It has been noted that “Argle” seems to echo the word “Google”, while the name is also an anagram of “Not Large” and “Not Real G”, with the letter G perhaps representing Google. Alternatively, it has been suggested that “Argleton” is merely a misspelling of “Aughton”, although both names appear on the map.