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PENWORTHAM, a village, a township, and a parish, in Preston district, Lancashire. The village stands on the river Ribble, near the Northwestern railway, 1½ mile S W of Preston; and has a post-office under Preston. The township contains also the village of Middleforth-Green, and the hamlet of Charnock-Moss; and comprises 2,277 acres. Real property, £7,221; of which £30 are in fisheries. Pop. in 1851, 1,487; in 1861, 1,506. Houses, 271. P. Priory, P. Hall, P. House, the Oaks, Hurst Grange, White Friars, and Swallow House are chief residences. An ancient castle stood here, to guard the navigation of the Ribble; but was long ago erased. A Benedictine priory, a cell to Evesham abbey, was founded here, in the time of the Conqueror, by Warine Bussel; was given, at the dissolution, to the Fleetwoods; and has left no remains. The parish contains also the townships of Howick, Hutton, Longton, and Farington. Acres, 11,317; of which 1,450 are water. Real property, £26,169. Pop. in 1851, 5,722; in 1861, 5,488. Houses, 996. The property is subdivided. Bricks and tiles are made in Howick; and brewing and malting are carried on in Longton. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Manchester. Value, £125.* Patron, L. Rawstorne, Esq. The church is of the 14th century; was partly rebuilt, partly enlarged, in 1856; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with porch and low tower; and contains handsome monuments of the Fleetwoods and the Rawstornes. The p. curacies of Longton and Farington are separate benefices. A chapel of ease, a Wesleyan chapel, a workhouse for female children, an endowed grammar school, and charities £70 are in P. township; and dis-senting chapels and public schools are in the other townships.

John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)


Archives and Libraries

Local studies information is held at Leyland library.




Civil Registration

The Register Office covering the Penwortham area is Preston and South Ribble


Description and Travel

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1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland

  • "PENWORTHAM, a parish in the hundred of Leyland, county Lancaster, 2 miles S.W. of Preston, its post town. At Farington, in this parish, the London and North-Western and the Lancashire and Yorkshire railways have each a station. The village, which is extensive, is situated on the S.W. bank of the river Ribble. It is a petty sessions town for the hundred of Leyland, the sessions being held here alternately with Chorley, Cuerdon, Leyland, and Rufford. The parish comprises the townships of Farrington, Longton, Howick, and Hutton. There was formerly a Benedictine priory here, founded by Warine Bussel in the reign of the Conqueror, as a cell to Evesham. Its revenue at the Dissolution was £114 16s. 9d., when the site was given to the Fleetwoods. There are no traces of the buildings now remaining. The neighbourhood of the village is studded with villas. A portion of the inhabitants are employed in the cotton mills. The soil is of a marshy description, with red loam in one part of the township, and marl in the other. One of the heaviest cuttings on the line of the North Union railway was made through Penwortham Hill, and the embankment of the Ribble valley, for the same railway, was also a work of considerable labour; the bridge carrying the line over the Ribble is a massive structure of five semi-elliptical arches, each of 120 feet span, and the road 44 feet above the level of the stream. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Manchester, value £106. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, has a square embattled tower containing six bells. The interior of the church contains some monuments of the Fleetwood and Rawstone families, also a stained window. The nave was rebuilt in 1856, at which period two aisles were added. The register chest and contents were destroyed by fire in 1857, owing to the over-heating of the flues. There are also two district churches-viz: at Farington and Longton, the livings of both which are perpetual curacies, value £148 and £120 each. The parochial charities produce about £19 per annum. The Hutton grammar school, situated in that township, is open to all the children of the parish free, and has a branch school in each township. This excellent school was founded by Christopher Hutton, of Little Hoole, in 1552, and has an income of £1,000 arising from lands, which, at the time of the bequest, realised only £4 13s. 6d.

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Historical Geography

In 1835 the parish of Penwortham contained the townships of Penwortham, Howick, Hutton, Longton, and Farington.

You can see the administrative areas in which Penwortham has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Probate Records

For probate purposes prior to 1858, Penwortham was in the Archdeaconry of Chester, in the Diocese of Chester. The original Lancashire wills for the Archdeaconry of Chester are held at the Lancashire Record Office.


You can also see Family History Societies covering the nearby area, plotted on a map. This facility is being developed, and is awaiting societies to enter information about the places they cover.