South of Ribbleton Lane

A reconstruction of the land south of Ribbleton Lane based on Lang’s 1774 plan. This area might represent a 13th century ‘new field’. The numbers relate to the extract from the Lang index below.

See the introduction to Preston’s pre-industrial landscape for the context for this article

A mildewed and torn deed that dates to around 1290 is the first reference found to the township’s land south of Ribbleton Lane: ‘William Fulle of Preston grants to Henry Tyrell of Preston an acre next the land of the grantee on the east and extending along the high way to Ribbilton on the north and the way to Brocholis [New Hall Lane] on the south in a new field to the east of Preston and in its territory.’ (de Hoghton deed no. 234). Here ‘acre’ might be being used descriptively rather than as a measure.

It is quite possible that this ‘new field’ stretched from the bottom of Church Street, eastwards past Acregate Lane to the boundary with Ribbleton. It was a time of growing population, land for pasture and cultivation was in short supply and the town was pushing at its boundaries, as witness its encroachments on the land of the Forest of Fulwood. The naming of two fields stretching to the border as Higher and Lower Padway Fields suggests an early date, although no documentary evidence for them has been discovered prior to the Lang survey.

Acregate Lane can be traced to 1583 in a property contract between the Hodgkinson and Wall families of Preston. This deed refers to ‘two closes of land called le Knowlle heyes containing four acres in Preston, lying between the lands of William Hesketh Gent. On the East, a certain lane (venellum) called Ribleton Lane on the South, a certain road (via) called Daykergayte [Acregate lane] on the West, & the lands of Henry Lussell Gent. on the North. Which two closes formerly belonged to Ewan Wall Gent. deceased.’ The same collection of deeds dates Knoll Heys to earlier than 1544, possibly putting the origin of Acregate Lane back to the early 16th century or earlier. [1] A difficulty with the deed is that it places Acregate Lane north of Ribbleton Lane; one possibility is that at that time Acregate Lane dog-legged into what is now the street named West View, leading to the leisure centre. The light the deed shines on the early enclosure of the extensive Row Moor is discussed in a separate section. The next reference found to Acregate Lane is in a deed of 1619 in which George Rogerson set up a charity based on land including ‘3½ acres in Brettol Heyes, near a lane called Dagger Gate [Acregate Lane], in Preston’. [2]

The two names ‘Daykergate’ and ‘Dagger gate’ suggest that the name Acregate Lane is a later corruption, with the ‘Lane’ being a superfluous addition, as in the occasional use of Fishergate Lane found in the records. A possible original meaning is dykegate or ditch lane. The references to Brettol Heyes and ‘le Knowlle heyes’ in this area could mean that some of the more prosaic names attached to fields in the Lang survey below could have replaced earlier, more descriptive names.

The straightness of Ribbleton Lane, New Hall Lane and Acregate Lane is suggestive of enclosure roads. Whereas before the taking in of the ‘new field’ the route east across the moorland or waste would have probably found its best route according to the condition of the ground, afterwards the roads would have to be confined to protect valuable land. This would lead to the creation of Ribbleton Lane and New Hall Lane, and possibly Acregate Lane as early as the 13th century.

The derivation of New Hall Lane is uncertain. In the 13th century the road was named as the way to Brockholes (see above). The earliest named reference to it found is in a Quarter Sessions record of 1662 which speaks of ‘repair of Newe Hall Lane’. [3] Stephen Sartin records an earlier reference and a suggested source for the name: ‘New Hall Lane, a medieval road mentioned by name in a Preston rental of 1654. It gained its name from a large barn which stood on the south side near Acregate Lane.’ Unfortunately, he does not include his references. [4]

There is no trace of any building near Acregate Lane on Lang’s plan, but there is a barn-like structure on the plan on the south side just before the lane to Fishwick. Could this be Stephen Sartin’s barn, and could the new hall be Fishwick Hall? The court leet of Feb 1680/81 requires of ‘Mr John Cottam that he scoure his ditch at Acregate lane end all along towards ye now hall’. The first edition of the ordnance survey map shows another lane leading to Fishwick Hall from New Hall Lane slightly to the east of Acregate Lane.

Other fields

On the south side of Ribbleton Lane there is a field named Cutler Meadow, which seems to be named for John Cutler: In the court leet record for February 1705 a John Cutler was fined half a mark for not scouring his ditches in Ribbleton Lane. [5]

A nearby field named Higher Causey Field could link with the two Padway fields suggesting an ancient way. Alternatively it could refer to the pavement that flanked the lane from at least the late 17th century, as recorded in the court leet of February 1674: ‘That ye Supvisors shall set stoopes at ye side of ye Causey in Ribleton lane to prserve ye same Causey yt Carts may not go over it to ye annoyance thereof …’. [6] This does seem to indicate a pavement, rather than an ancient causeway. The usage is common in the court leet records in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Lang References

The first number in bold below refers to the field number on the figure above, the second figure references the owner in the Lang Survey and is followed by the name of that owner and the name of the field.

1, 1, Garlicks Heirs Land, Garlick Fields a; 2, 1, Garlicks Heirs Land, Garlick Fields b; 3, 1, Garlicks Heirs Land, Garlick Fields c; 4, 1, Garlicks Heirs Land, Long Fields a; 5, 1, Garlicks Heirs Land, Long Fields b; 6, 1, Garlicks Heirs Land, Lane Field; 7, 1, Garlicks Heirs Land, Half Mile Field; 17, 2, Mr Richard Ingham, Lane Field; 18, 3, Mr John Watson, Long Acres a; 19, 3, Mr John Watson, Long Acres b; 21, 4, Thomas Fowler, Hardman’s Fields a; 22, 4, Thomas Fowler, Hardman’s Fields b; 23, 4, Thomas Fowler, New Hall Lane Fields a; 24, 4, Thomas Fowler, New Hall Lane Fields b; 25, 5, Miss Pearson, Cunny Brow; 26, 6, Mr Mauleverer’s Land, Three Closes a; 27, 6, Mr Mauleverer’s Land, Three Closes b; 28, 6, Mr Mauleverer’s Land, Three Closes c; 29, 6, Mr Mauleverer’s Land, South Side New Hall Lane; 30, 6, Mr Mauleverer’s Land, Brow Field; 44, 7, Late Mr Luke Astley’s Heirs Mr Asheton’s Part, Cocky Field; 48, 7, Late Mr Luke Astley’s Heirs Miss Astley’s Part, Acre Gate Lane Fields a; 49, 7, Late Mr Luke Astley’s Heirs Miss Astley’s Part, Acre Gate Lane Fields b; 53, 8, Mr Thomas Lorimer, Barn Field; 54, 8, Mr Thomas Lorimer, New Hall Lane Field; 55, 8, Mr Thomas Lorimer, Great Field; 56, 8, Mr Thomas Lorimer, Little Far Field; 57, 9, Joseph Crofts, Three Closes a; 58, 9, Joseph Crofts, Three Closes b; 59, 9, Joseph Crofts, Three Closes c; 60, 9, Joseph Crofts, Great Field; 61, 10, John Fletcher esq, Cutler Meadow; 62, 10, John Fletcher esq, Long Field; 63, 10, John Fletcher esq, Further Field a; 64, 10, John Fletcher esq, Further Field b; 88, 11, Lawrence Rawstorne esq, Close; 91, 12, Mr Astley late Mathers, Two Closes a; 92, 12, Mr Astley late Mathers, Two Closes b; 93, 13, Mr Walshman’s Heirs, Long Meadow; 94, 13, Mr Walshman’s Heirs, Two Closes a; 95, 13, Mr Walshman’s Heirs, Two Closes b; 105, 14, Mr Joseph Myers’s Land, Croft in Acre Gate Lane; 106, 15, Mr William Shaw jun, Two Meadows a; 107, 15, Mr William Shaw jun, Two Meadows b; 108, 15, Mr William Shaw jun, Croft; 109, 15, Mr William Shaw jun, Barn Field; 111, 16, Lord Stanley, Nearer Meadow; 112, 16, Lord Stanley, Further Meadow; 114, 17, Nicholas Winckley esq, Brick Croft; 137, 17, Nicholas Winckley esq, Two Closes on the East Side of Acre Gate Lane a; 138, 17, Nicholas Winckley esq, Two Closes on the East Side of Acre Gate Lane b; 198, 26, Miss Stanley, Long Croft; 499, 76, Mr John Atherton of Walton esq, Higher Causey Field; 500, 76, Mr John Atherton of Walton esq, Lower Padway Field; 501, 76, Mr John Atherton of Walton esq, Higher Padway Field; 639, 76, Mr John Atherton of Walton esq, Acre Gate Lane Fields b; 641, 76, Mr John Atherton of Walton esq, Acre Gate Lane Fields a.

[1]The Palatine Note-Book for 1884, vol. IV (Manchester: J. E. Cornish, n.d.), 188-9.
[2] Henry Fishwick, The History of the Parish of Preston (Rochdale: The Aldine Press, 1900), 387.
[3] ‘Quarter Sessions Petition’, 1662, QSP/222/21, Lancashire Archives.
[4] Stephen Sartin, The People and Places of Historic Preston (Preston: Carnegie Press, 1988), 80.
[5] ‘Preston Court Leet Records’, accessed 29 January 2017, http://c5110394.myzen.co.uk/mw/index.php?title=Main_Page.
[6] Ibid.

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