On this day … 4 May 1768

The Preston court leet was concerning itself with the state of the town’s streets, and threatening to fine the bailiffs and the highways supervisors if they did not get on with the job of putting them right. There’s a somewhat similar situation today with potholes.

The presentments to the court reveal a lot about the streetscape of Preston in the late eighteenth century. Winckley Square was still ‘Mr Winkley’s ffield’, the road from the Hole House in Ashton to the gates at the end of the drive to Tulketh Hall gets a mention, and there was a stream, the Brown channel, crossing the bottom of Friargate.

The mention of the Brown channel puts it near ‘where the Barrs stood’, which means that the toll bars that were used on market days to restrict entry to traders from outside the town until they had paid the market fees, had been removed by 1768.

However, the toll bar at the bottom of Church Street was still in place, for the bailiffs were ordered to repair ‘the Street betwixt Lord Stranges [Patten House] and Churchgate Barrs and also from the Barrs to opposite Thomas Smiths.’

Also, the townsfolk were still getting their water from communal pumps: one in Fishergate, two in Friargate, one in the Market Place and ‘one at the Top of the Back weend’ (now Market Street).

The town was surveyed shortly after by George Lang and his map was published in 1774, which helps visualise the town’s layout as described in the court leet records.

On the map pictured Mr Winckley’s Field is named Town End Field and Patten House is just below Lord Stanley’s Garden.

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐭 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬:

1. The Bailiffs for not Repairing the backweend and order them to pay ffive pounds if its not Repaired in three Months after Notice.

2. The Bailiffs for not Repairing the ffollowing Pumps; to wit, a pump at the Churchgate Barrs, a pump in the ffishergate, Two in the ffriargate, one in the Market places and one at the Top of the Back weend and if Not Repaired in one Month to pay the sum of ffive pounds.

3. The Supervisors of the Highways for not Repairing a Road at the ffishergate lane End and … to Mr Winkleys ffield. ffine ffive shillings.

5. The Supervisors of the Highways for not Repairing the Road from the Hole house up to Tooketh Hall yates and if not Repaired in one month order them to pay Three pounds.

7. The Bailiffs for not Repairing the pavement in ffriergate from the Brown channel to the part of the Street where the Barrs stood and if not Repaired in three Months after notice to pay ffive pounds.

9. The Bailiffs for not Repairing the Street betwixt Lord Stranges and Churchgate Barrs and also from the Barrs to opposite Thomas Smiths and for not cleaning the channels and if not Repaired in three months after notice to pay ffive pounds.


Source:
David Berry’s transcription of the court leet records: http://www.wyrearchaeology.org.uk/mw/index.php/Main_Page

One thought on “On this day … 4 May 1768

  1. Ashton’s boundaries are now rather randomly understood, but of course the key point of the highways problem between Hole House and the entrance to Tulketh Hall was that the road sat firmly – if only just – within Preston’s responsibility, as did Hole House. The Preston town plan from the late 1840s shows this clearly https://maps.nls.uk/view/231280338#zoom=4&lat=7963&lon=7742&layers=BT
    The building of the railway reconfigured the road layout almost beyond recognition. The highway behind Hole House is now Bray Street.
    The railway cut across Tulketh Brow, and the lower part of Waterloo Road now follows the original line of the highway until it disappears off under the railway to join the current Tulketh Brow.
    The building of the new route to the north-east of the railway line meant that at one point there were two roads – the original route which ended near Tulketh Hall and the new Tulketh Brow. Both were within Preston, and there is an entertaining report of a meeting where the corporation had to accept that they were now responsible for both, even though the orginal road now led only to the houses at Tulketh that were within Ashton township.

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