Fields, Woods and Open Spaces
Even as late as 1824, maps and plans of Preston show the main town clustered within an area of less than 300 acres, and surrounded by fields, woods and moorland. Most of the fields had names and, quite naturally, some of these were retained in the names of streets which overran them. The most obvious are those with ‘field’ incorporated in the name.
Tenter Hey, the field where cloth was stretched and bleached by the tenters, gives the name to Tenterfield Street. The Well field and Briery Hey name Wellfield Road and Brieryfield Road respectively. Springfield Street, Springfield Place, Parkfield Avenue, Thornfield Avenue, and Banksfield Avenue have self-explanatory names. The Bloomfield was adjacent to the Moor Brook, and was where iron ore was smelted in charcoal-fired bloomeries. Bloomfield Cotton Mill was built on this field and gave its name to Bloomfield Mill Street. Similarly named Bloomfield Street off Brook Street was built on or near the Broomfield, mentioned in a boundary dispute of 1465 as Broomfield Bank, the field overgrown with broom. It was misspelt last century as Bloomfield. Whin, a plant akin to broom or furze, was apparently predominant in the vicinity of Whinfield Lane. Adjoining Tenterfield Street and Starch House Square was Colley’s Gardens, later known as Chadwick’s Orchard, cleared in 1870 to make way for the Covered Market. Orchard Street retains the name. Prior to the building of the new Market Hall, part of this site was occupied by Orchard Methodist Church and School.
Two large fields situated between Salter Lane (North Road) and Walker Street, were Crown Piece and Patten Field. The latter belonged to the Patten family who had extensive holdings and property in Preston. The Preston Gasworks, now demolished, was built on this field but Patten Street still remains. Oddly enough, the Electricity Board had their offices and works in Crown Street. Adjacent streets on the Crown Piece have been cleared and rebuilt with high-rise flats. Cragg’s Row and Harrison’s Hill were originally one long lane known as Crowne Lane. Harrison Hill refers to Quaker Harrison who tenanted land adjoining Moor Lane on the Greenbank Estate of Colonel Atherton. An associate of Harrison was Thomas Lawson who gave up his curacy to become a Quaker. Lawson Street is nearby. The Athertons lived at Greenbank House which was situated at the corner of what is now Greenbank Street and Fylde Road, Atherton Street lies within the former grounds of the house.
Straddling Salter Lane were the Salter Meadows which, until the early 19th century, were held by the Bushell Hospital Trust. In March 1830 it was stated:
The lands in the town belonging to the Bushells Hospital Goosnargh, have become valuable for building upon. The trustees intend to apply to Parliament for an act to authorise the sale of it, with authority to invest money from such sales in the purchase of Estates.
In October 1832, a plot of land was purchased from the Bushells Hospital Estate on a lease of 999 years for the building of St. Ignatius Church. The foundation stone was laid in May 1833 by the Rev. John Bird and the church was completed and opened for divine service on 5th May 1836. Meadow Street, on which the church now stands, and South Meadow Street, are named from the Salter Meadows; Bushell Street and Bushell Square off North Road pertain to the owners. Bushell Place, Avenham, refers to an earlier member of the family, the Rev. Seth Bushell who was Vicar of Preston in 1677.
John Werden, who died in 1607, had a field by the Ribble called Causey Meadow and two acres of a field called Great Annam, naming South Meadow Lane and Avenham. Further down the river and to what is now the lower end of Watery Lane is Swansea Street. The-district is locally known as Swansey or Swanee, but relates to neither the Welsh town or to Stephen Foster’s “Swanee River”, but to a field name, Swance Hey. A family by the name of Swance owned land and resided in Ashton. Edward and Henry Swance are mentioned in the years 1661-3. The Will of Henry Swance of Ashton was proved in 1673 and that of Ellen Swance of Ashton in 1691. The name appears on the Guild Rolls of 1682.
Great Simpson Field lay between the top of Marsh Lane and Friargate Brow, naming Simpson Street and Simpson Brow. Running down from Maudland to Marsh Lane is Croft Street, this was formerly a large field called Maudland Croft. Near to Albyn Bank at the south end of the town were the fields called Great Albin Hey and Little Albin Hey, on which the streets of Albyn Bank Road, Albyn Bank Street and Albyn Street were built.
The word leigh indicates a meadow or lea. In its original sense it referred to a woodland glade. Ashleigh Street could have been named from such a clearing among the ash trees. Ash trees are also featured in the name of Ashmoor Street off Moor Lane which, like Moor Lane itself, refers to the Moor to the north of the town, as do Moor Hall, Moor Brook, and Moor Park.
The woodland that enclosed the town was apparently putrid and foul-smelling: hence the spelling as Fulewde (1199), Fulewude (1228), Fulwode (1297) – literally the foul wood. This wooded valley of the Savick, which continues towards Ashton, was no sweeter-smelling where it formed the boundary between Ashton and Cottam Moor. The boundary wood, or shaw, was called Fulshaw, identical in meaning to Fulwood and retained in the name of Fulshaw Road near Ashton Lane Ends.
The Oxheys Estate was purchased by the Tomlinsons in 1834 to link up with their Greenbank estate. Oxhey, the cattlefield or enclosure, was at the upper end of Brook Street and gives its name to Oxhey Street. The bridge that carries Blackpool Road over the railway is Oxhey Bridge, and was also the name of the railway station that formerly served the Cattle Market. Also off Brook Street was Bouverie Street, the earlier name of the west end of Havelock Street. Another Bouverie Street, now gone, was in the upper New Hall Lane area. Bouverie in French has a similar meaning to Oxhey, a place for cattle.
The Greenbank Estate belonging to Colonel Atherton, covered an area of 34 acres, which the Tomlinsons laid out in streets to form a new residential district. The main street is Greenbank Street, with other streets going off it – Greenbank Place, Greenbank Terrace and Greenbank Avenue being associated names. Greenbank itself takes its name from the valley of the Moor Brook which, in the early 19th century, was described as “a pleasant and tranquil valley”. To this the Tomlinsons added, in 1856 by purchase from John Myres, 100 acres of Moor Hall Estate. The main streets here were built alongside the Moor Brook, being Moorbrook Street and Aqueduct Street, the last named stretching from Gallows Hill to the canal aqueduct. Moor Hall Mill, later to become a foundry, was built on or near the site of the original Moor(side) Hall, the home of the Roman Catholic Wall family who were later associated with Chingle Hall. Nearby is Moor- Hall Street, off Ripon Street.
The Park was the name given to a large area of land that belonged to Samuel Pole Shaw. It stretched from upper North Road, at that time called Park Lane, across to the present St Paul’s Road and down to the east end of Church Street. It was released for building land about 1822 and Park Road and North Road were opened as thoroughfares, but it was not until 1836 that any substantial building was undertaken, although several streets to the east of Park Road had been laid out. Hawkins’ Park Lane Mill was built on the northern boundary of the Park and the entrance road to the mill took the name Park Lane Place.
The Shawes are first recorded in the town at the beginning of the 17th century and had their town house in what is now Great Shaw Street. The family originated from Shaw Hall in the Parish of Leyland. In 1602, Richard Shawe was admitted to the Guild as a ‘stallenger’ on payment of £3 10s. 0d. At the Guild of 1622 he was an alderman, and later that year he was elected Mayor; his son was Mayor in 1644. In 1823, St. Paul’s Church, and later St. Paul’s School, was built on plots of land given by Samuel Pole Shawe. The church on Park Road was completed and opened in 1826. The school-in Pole Street was built in 1829 and had a school for the Deaf and Dumb, to accommodate 18 pupils, attached to it. The middle name, Pole, giving the name to Pole Street, was from Samuel Pole Shawe’s mother’s maiden name. She was the daughter and heiress of Charles Pole, Member of Parliament for Liverpool. Similarly, Samuel Pole Shawe’s father had adopted his mother’s maiden name. She was Ann Cunliffe, also the daughter of a Liverpool Member of Parliament, Foster Cunliffe – giving the name to Cunliffe Street off St Paul’s Road.
Shaw Street, off St Paul’s Road, and not to be confused with the previously mentioned Great Shaw Street, is connected to St. Paul’s square by Egan Street, named from Samuel Pole Shawe’s first wife, Mary Egan, who died in 1825. Caroline, his second wife, was the daughter of Mary Maria, widow of William Oakley, and names Oakley Street, also off St. Paul’s Road. The youngest sister of Samuel, Phillipa Emma, married Phillip Henry Powys of Hardwicke Hall, Oxford, naming Hardwicke Street off North Road and possibly Powys Road in Ashton.
The Shaws of Fishwick were a junior branch of the Preston Shawes. William Shaw, an Attourney at Law, purchased the moiety of the Manor of Fishwick 1n 1760 and resided for a time at Fishwick Hall. There are no street names that I can associate with this branch of the family, apart from a reference to them in the name of the Shaw Arms Hotel on the Preston side of the Walton Bridge.
Previous to the Shaws, the Manor of Fishwick was held by the Astleys who came into possession of the Hall about the year 1718. Thomas Astley was described as a grocer, possibly a wholesale grocer or merchant, for he was a man of considerable wealth. He was Mayor of Preston in 1749 and died at Fishwick Hall in 1758. In his will, among other things, he left a messuage and shop in Church Street and others in Friargate, along with adjacent land, to his son John. Astley Street off St. Paul’s Road and Astleyfield Mill were built on land belonging to the family.
Edward Geofrey Smith Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby, was elected Member of Parliament for Preston in 1820. His town house was situated on the north side of Church Street, near to what is now Derby Street. The house was known as Patten House, taken over by the Stanleys after the marriage of Sir Thomas Stanley in 1688 to Elizabeth Patten, the only daughter and heiress of Thomas Patten. Patten House was demolished in 1835 and replaced by a smaller house situated in Lord’s Walk at the corner with Everton Gardens which, together with Spring Gardens, were part of the grounds of Patten House. In 1809, Everton Gardens and Spring Gardens were described as “two rows of cottages with veritable vegetable enclosures intervening”. These have now been erased, the site forming part of the Central Bus Station. Derby Street, Lord Street, Lord’s Walk, Stanley Buildings, and Stanley Chambers are all within the former Derby Estate. The Stanleys also held land in other parts of Preston. The Preston Royal Infirmary was built on the Stanleyfield and names Stanleyfield Road. Stanley Street is not far away, while at the west end of town are Stanley Place and Stanley Terrace. There is a Derby Square in the New Hall Lane area, a Derby Place in Ashton, Derby Road in Fulwood, and Derby Terraces in Watery Lane, Addison Road and Lytham Road.
Preston Cemetery was originally part of the Farrington Hall Estate. The land was purchased from Sir Thomas Hesketh, Bart, for £150 per acre. In the early 16th century the Farrington Hall Estate came into the possession of Sir Thomas Hesketh of Rufford by marriage and passed by direct line to Sir Thomas Fermor Hesketh, Member of Parliament for Preston in 1868. The Hesketh Arms Hotel, Hesketh Road, Fermor Road and Fermor Street take the name. Fermor Street no longer exists, it was on a small housing estate opposite the cemetery on New Hall Lane.
In 1853, 100 acres of land, in the joint ownership of Messrs. Bray, Pedder and Smith in the Ashton and Tulketh areas were released for building upon. Joseph Bray was a solicitor in the town who purchased Tulketh Hall in 1848 and died there in 1862. His name is remembered in Bray Street which runs down from Waterloo Road to Tulketh Road. The historian, Peter Whittle, in his “History of the Borough of Preston” states:
At the west end of the town and on each side of Marsh Lane, now called New England, which was lately through fields and gardens, several new cotton mills and linen mills present themselves.
Among these fields were the Well field, Spring field, Briery Hey and Maudland Croft, naming Wellfield Road, Springfield Place, Brieryfield Road and Croft Street.
Henry Preston was Steward of the Guild in 1852 and Mayor in 1859. His main residence was given as Peele Hall, although, in 1852, Richard Bannister is described as “of Pele Hall, gent”. Peel Hall was situated on the east side of Deepdale Road, opposite the end of Meadow Street. It eventually became a farmhouse and was pulled down in 1854. Peel Hall Street runs between Deepdale Road and Deepdale Mill Street. In 1846, the Peel Hall Estate consisting of 135 acres, was the property of the trustees of General Fletcher. The Preston to Longridge Railway terminal was the first to occupy the land, followed by several cotton mills and factories. Fletcher Road and Deepdale Mill Street border the former grounds of the Hall on the south and east sides with Stephenson Terrace to the west.
Stephenson Terrace was erected by George Mould and named after George Stephenson the locomotive engineer – the name being suggested by the newly-built railway behind the Terrace. In front of the Terrace was the Washing Moor, so called from the fact that it was used by the local housewives for their washing. The locals took advantage of several ponds of pure soft water for their domestic washing, as town water was scarce and dear and sold at so much a canful, but the water that accumulated in the pits was free and soft. In 1856, this open space was enclosed by the corporation and a lodge built on it, to be preserved as a green belt between the rapidly encroaching built-up areas. This still exists and. is officially known as the Deepdale Enclosure, but locally as the Little Park.
The Hole House Estate belonged to Lady Shelley, it consisted of about 30 acres of good building land which was laid out in streets as a residential and industrial area. Shelley Road retains the name.
In 1852, Edward Stanley opened several detached fields in the vicinity of Fishergate as desirable building land, naming, among other streets, Stanley Terrace and Stanley Place.
Off New Hall Lane is Mete Street, named from the fields of Mete House Farm which is situated on Fishwick Bottoms close by the river. Mete is the old word for a boundary, this being the most easterly extent of the ancient township of Fishwick. Adjacent is Fishwick Hall, which the Shaw family held for several years. It passed to Colonel Joseph Knowles on his marriage to Sally, the daughter of William Shaw and his wife, the former Sarah Townley Rigby of Goosnargh. On lands belonging to the estate were built the residential streets of Knowles Street, Rigby Street, and Great Townley Street, as well as Townley Street off Astley Street in the St. Paul’s Road area.
The lands of Calland House Farm, near to Fishwick Hall, were acquired by Preston Corporation for a new housing development, which they misspelt and called the Callon Estate, on which there is a Callon Street. Also on the estate is Pinfold Street, named from Pinfold Farm, the ‘pinfold’ being the field where straying farmyard animals were impounded.
Farrington Hall was originally part of the Manor of Ribbleton. Hugh Farrington was settled there in or about 1540, at which time the Hall was described as an ancient building. The name Farrington Hall was adopted and retained after the estate passed, through marriage, to John Gregson. The grounds and hall were late bought by a private company and developed as the Pleasure Gardens in which, apart from field sports and a cycle track, dancing and band concerts were held. The gardens fell into disuse during and immediately after the First World War, with a short respite in the twenties and thirties when the new sport of motor-cycle speedway racing was introduced. The gardens, or Farringdon Park as it is now known, became a council housing estate. Farringdon Lane runs alongside the estate on which there is a Farringdon Crescent.
The Cross family owned much of the land in the Avenham district. In 1843, Preston Corporation bought the rights to this land to create Avenham Park. Prior to this, William Cross lived at Avenham House which was situated between Avenham Lane and Ribblesdale Place, the site now occupied by the Harris Institute. William Cross, along with Thomas Winckley, laid out Winckley Square and several adjoining streets, including Cross Street which takes the family name. He was for some time a Deputy Prothonotary, and in 1800 built the first house in Winckley Square, where the Winckley Square School is now situated. Here he resided, having his office at the corner of Winckley Street, next to his house. Afterwards, he purchased Red Scar and Cottam Hall and lived at the former until he died in 1827. Avenham Lane, Avenham Colonnade, Avenham Street, Avenham Place and Avenham Walks are all named from the Avenham Estate. The name Avenham derives from the Old Norse nam, meaning an intack, that is land taken into an existing estate. The neighbouring land belonged to Alderman T. Miller, who, in 1864, gave it to the town to become Miller Park. The Miller Arcade was the brainchild of another Miller, Nathaniel, a dental surgeon, who laid the foundation stone in 1896.
Moor Park has been the property of the Borough of Preston since 1602, with pasturage rights for the freemen of the Borough. On 29th November 1833, this right was repealed, the moor enclosed, and limited to its present area, bounded in the north by Eaves Brook and in the south by Ladies Walk (now Moor Park Avenue). For many years after its enclosure, the land was in agricultural condition; Matthew Brown, who had a large house on the Avenue, was the tenant until his death in 1883. The park was laid out to designs by Mr. E. Milner of London, possibly giving his name to the nearby Milner Street, although, as mentioned elsewhere, this could have been named after Viscount Alfred Milner. Named from the park is Park View Terrace on St. Thomas’s Road and a Moor Park Terrace on St. Paul’s Road. Park Walk extends from Fulwood to the park, although it is better known as Plum Pudding Hill. On St. Thomas’s Road, facing the park, is Park View Terrace (already mentioned) and a Park Terrace, also one similarly named on Garstang Road.
The cotton magnate, William Birley, had the controlling interest in the Fishwick Mills and became Mayor of Preston in 1858. His residence was at the Larches in Ashton and this estate was taken over by Preston Corporation in the 1930’s for their Larches Housing Estate. He opened land for building houses for his workforce in the vicinity of Fishwick Mills. This amounted to about seven acres purchased from Lord Derby in 1851, of which Birley Bank now forms a part.
Fields on a slope are usually called banks; in Fulwood there are the Higher Bank and Lower Bank Roads; Daisy Bank occurs in Ashton, Fulwood and New Hall Lane. Near Croft Street is Fern Bank, there is a Spring Bank off Fishergate Hill and another in Ashton; Holly Bank is on New Hall Lane where there is also a Laurel Bank, as well as in Ashton and Cadley.
A small enclosure near to farm buildings used for cattle or horses is called a fold. Charnock Fold off St. Paul’s Road is the name of a short street, originally the fold of Charnock House Farm. Mill Fold, off Moor Lane, was by the Cragg’s Row windmill; Melling Fold, Fishwick, is a personal name which is also applied to the adjoining Melling Wood.
Ribbleton Moor, to the east of the town, is well known as the site of the Battle of Preston. It gives its name to Moorland Avenue, Moorcroft Crescent, and Moorside Avenue. The nearby Corporation housing estate of Greenlands is named from a farm of that name and has a Greenlands Crescent.
Gardens which have been incorporated into street and place names include Spring and Everton Gardens (which have already been mentioned), Garden Walk in Ashton, Garden Street off Chapel Street, and Waverley Gardens, now a park and recreation ground.
There was a Cuckstool Field in the vicinity of Peel Hall, a Cockpit Field near the present Adelphi Hotel, and a Schoolhouse Field in the Fishergate area, but none of these can be identified in any street or place name.