The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868
"KIRKHAM, a parish, post and market town, in the hundred of Amounderness, county Lancaster, 8 miles N.W. of Preston, 10 E. of Blackpool, and 5 N.E. of Lytham. It is a station on the Preston and Wyre railway. The parish is very extensive, embracing 13 townships and chapelries, the principal of which are, Freckleton, Goosnargh, Hambleton, Newton-with-Scales, &c. The town, which is ancient, is a polling place for the county elections. Petty sessions are held fortnightly, and county courts monthly. It contains a police station, market-place, and savings-bank. The inhabitants are principally engaged in the cotton and flax mills. The houses are in general well built, and the town, though small, may be considered as the capital of the surrounding district called the Fylde country. Within 3 miles of the town is the estuary of the river Ribble, and at Wardless, within 8 miles, is a small port on the N.E. bank of the river Wyre, which is navigable for vessels of 300 tons. The Preston and Wyre railway and the Lancaster canal pass through the parish. A constable and other officers are appointed annually at the court-leet of the lord of the manor. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Manchester, value £750, in the patronage of the Dean and Canons of Christ Church, Oxford. The parish church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a modern stone edifice with a square tower crowned by a lofty spire, and containing eight hells. It occupies the site of a very ancient one which was given by Roger de Poitiers to the abbey of Shrewsbury, and afterwards bestowed by Edward I. on Vale Royal Abbey. In addition to the parish church, there are eleven district churches at Goosnargh, Hambleton, Lund, Ribby-with-Wrea, Great Singleton, Treales, Warton, Freckleton, Weeton, and Whitechapel, the livings of all which are perpetual curacies, except Freckleton, varying in value from £382 to £90. There are chapels for Wesleyans and Independents. The Roman Catholic church, dedicated to St. John, is a modern erection with a tower surmounted by an octagonal spire. The grammar school, originally founded in 1655 by Isabel Wildinge, has an endowment of £596 per annum, besides an exhibition of £100 at Cambridge university. There is an endowed school at Newton-with-Scales, and in the chapelry of Goosnargh is a hospital with a considerable endowment. There are also an endowed school for girls, a National school for boys and girls, Roman Catholic schools, and Sunday-schools in connection with the various chapels. Market day is Tuesday, but little business is done. Fairs are held on the 4th and 5th February, 29th April, and 18th October."