1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland
"GARSTANG, a parish and market town, in the hundred of Amounderness, county palatine Lancaster, 10 miles S. of Lancaster, and 230 from London. It is situated on the Preston and Lancaster canal, and the river Wyre forms its eastern boundary. The parish is very extensive, and includes the twelve townships of Barnacre-with-Bonds, Bilsborough, Calms, Catterall, Claughton, Clevely, Garstang, Hambleton, Holleth, Kirkland, Nateby, Nether Wyersdale, Pilling, Winmarleigh, &c. The town was incorporated in the first instance by Edward II., and afterwards received a charter, with extended privileges, from Charles II., its government being vested in a bailiff and 7 burgesses. It was occupied by the Pretender for a short time in 1715. One main street forms the principal portion of the town, which is clean, and has communication with the opposite, side of the river Wyre by means of a handsome bridge. There is a town hall, in which the public business of the place is transacted. Petty sessions are held here fortnightly, and it is a polling-place for the northern division of the county. It is also the head of a Poor-law Union, embracing 23 parishes, and of a superintendent registry and new County Court districts. The river affords abundant sport to the lovers of angling. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Manchester, value £400. The parish church, which is situated in Church Town Kirkland, is dedicated to St. Helen. There is also in the town a chapel-of-ease, dedicated to St. Thomas, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, value £150, in the gift of the vicar. At Pilling there is a district church, a perpetual curacy, value £124. The parochial endowments, for various local purposes, produce nearly £190 per annum. The Independents, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics have each a chapel, and there is a free school with a small endowment, as well as National school, and one belonging to the Roman Catholics. There are also chapels and schools in some of the townships In the neighbourhood are the ruins of Greenhaugh Castle. Thursday is market day for provisions and grain. Fairs are held on the 12th April, Holy Thursday, 10th and 11th July, and 22nd and 23rd November; and for live stock every alternate Thursday, from the first Thursday in Lent to Holy Thursday."