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Subjects

An 'Irish' district in Preston, Lancashire in 1851

Does the district known as Little Ireland that was firmly established in Preston by the middle of the 19th century qualify as a ‘ghetto’? It was home to Irish immigrants attracted by the town’s employment opportunities and driven by the famine that was devastating their country. See here.

The 15th Earl of Derby

When the 1871 census seemed to show just how much land was held in so few hands the Radicals were jubilant. The Conservative Earl of Derby was prodded to stand up in the House of Lords to demand a recount by way of a government survey. The result showed who owned most of the land in Lancashire. See here.

Avenham Colonnade Preston

Desirable Dwellings
– Nigel Morgan’s ‘lost book’: the best guide to middle-class housing in Victorian Preston and a detailed source for the social history of the town. Rediscovered only very recently. See here.

Why did so very few conscripts from Preston’s working-class districts find a place in the officer’s mess, and what does it say about the class divide in Edwardian Preston? See here.

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More articles here


People

Col Thomas Bellingham

The diaries of Thomas Bellingham (above) and Lawrence Rawstorne open a window on life in 17th-century Preston, and reveal the web of family and social connections that enabled the gentry to govern Lancashire. See here.

Septimus Tebay - Rivington Grammar School headmaster

From the back streets of Preston to the back streets of Farnworth by way of Cambridge and headship of Rivington Grammar School, the life of Septimus Tebay is a remarkable story of clogs to clogs in one generation. See here.

Fr Bernard Page in his army chaplain's uniform

A number of Catholic priests from Preston volunteered to serve as army chaplains in the Great War. They included Fr Bernard Page who saw service on the Western Front and in revolutionary Russia. See here

Sir Alexander Rigby of Lancashire

Alexander Rigby, one of the key figures in the Civil War in Lancashire, never let principles get in the way of a good deal: he was ‘never knowne to bee worth one [thousand] till hee became a publicke robber by law: but you must remember hee had beene a lawyer and a bad one.’ See here.

More biographies here


Places

Kim Travis has traced the history of the Tulketh district of Preston and its hall from pre-Norman times up to the present day. It is a marvelously detailed reconstruction. See here.

One of the foulest of the many obnoxious trades of Victorian England was the tanning of leather. The Dixon family of Bank Parade, Avenham, developed Preston’s largest tannery on their own doorstep. See here.

Map of Moor Park, Preston, in the 1840s

Preston’s claim to have created Britain’s first public park with the opening of Moor Park in the first half of the 19th-century was, some years ago, called into question by a leading academic. Was he right? Find out here.

Plan of Stand Prick fields in 18th-century Preston

Bow Lane, the Preston address of Lancashire Archives, was earlier named Spring Street. Even earlier it had a somewhat indecorous name: Stand Prick Lane. See here.

More of Preston’s historic places here


Maps and Plans

Preston Market Square in the later 17th century. Find this and other plans of the town at that date here.

Section of a 17th-century road map of Lancashire from Ribbleton, Preston, to Inglewhite

A plan of the route to Inglewhite from Ribbleton in the later 17th century. More Lancashire road plans here.

Plan showing principal landowners in Lang survey

Plan of Preston in 1774 showing the holdings of the principal landowners. More here.

Map of Domesday Preston

Map shows what the road network round Preston might have looked like in the late 11th century. Note no Walton bridge. More here

More Maps and Plans here