The Mitre

The Mitre was an inn on the east side of Preston’s Market Square. It is referred to frequently in the 17th-century diaries of Thomas Bellingham and Lawrence Rawstorne. Steve Halliwell has gathered together some material on his website, including a cutting from the Preston Chronicle for 1855 which records an extant 1629 date stone on the building. [1] It is not known whether it was built as an inn, but by later in the century it had become one of the principal hostelries in the town as witnessed by its appearance in the diaries. Henry Turnley was landlord from at least 1685 when he is recorded on the Townley Hall plans. [2] By October 1695 he appears to have moved to the Wheatsheaf on Fishergate, at which time a Mr Rigby had the Mitre. [3]

Some confusion is caused in the editing of the Bellingham/Rawstorne diaries by the appearance of the name Turlagh’s/Tirlagh’s (Bellingham) or Tirler’s (Rawstorne). This could be a phonetic rendering of the surname Turnley (the diarists probably did not see the name written). Hewitson in his editorial notes accepts the phonetic spelling and presumes there was a person of that name in Preston at this time, and that Turlagh’s was ‘either an inn or a sort of dining and refreshment place’. However, comparison of the diary entries for 25 August 1688 adds weight to the Mitre and Turlagh’s being the same establishment, of which Henry Turnley was innkeeper: on that day Rawstorne records being at the Mitre with the Liveseys, Bellingham with them at Turlagh’s. Rawstorne, in his entry for 2 March 1689, records being at Tirlers with Bellingham when Bellingham records the venue as the Mitre.

Link to plan of location

[1] Steve Halliwell, ‘Preston’s Inns, Taverns and Beerhouses: Mitre Inn, Market Place’, accessed 3 January 2016,
[2] ‘Town Hall, Market Place east, St. John’s Wind, Lord Street, Church Street north’, DDX194/2, Lancashire Archives.
[3]‘Preston Court Leet – October 1695’, accessed 24 April 2016,

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