PRESTON, a town, a township, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Lancashire. The town stands on a tabular eminence, adjacent to the S end of the Lancaster canal and to the N bank of the river Ribble, at aconvergence of railway s, near the expansion of the Ribbleinto estuary, 14 miles E N E of that estuary's mouth, and 21¼ S by W of Lancaster; is so situated, with referenceto the Ribble's navigation, as to be a head port; and has railway communication with all parts of the kingdom, by lines diverging at or near it toward Lancaster, Fleetwood, Liverpool, Warrington, Manchester, Blackburn, and Longridge. The town has a head post-office, two receiving post-offices, a general railway station, two telegraph offices, five banking offices, and five chief inns; is a seat of quarter sessions, petty sessions, and county courts, and a polling place; and publishes two weekly and two bi-weekly newspapers. Markets are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays; a fair for horses begins on the Monday before the Saturday after Epiphany, and continues a week; and fairs for cattle and earthen-ware are held on 27 March, 25 Aug., and 7 Nov. A cotton trade struck root early, grew rapidly, and is now carried on in 72 factories. There are also three flax-mills, several iron and brass foundries, and a variety of establishments for the making of engines, steam-boilers, rollers, mules, and spindles. Ship-building is carried on in four yards; and the making of railway carriages, railway wagons, and all other kinds of railway stock and plant, is carried on by an extensive company. The township of P. comprises 2,081 acres. Real property, in 1860, £314,390. Pop. in 1851, 68,537; in 1861, 81,101. Houses, 14,732. more ...

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


Archives & Libraries

Local studies information is held at the

Reference & Information Dept. Harris Library, Market Place



The LFH&HS have published monumental inscriptions with burial register/ grave occ. lists for St George the Martyr: July 1742 - May 1899 and for St Mary's: Mar 1843 - July 1855.





There are more than 30 churches identified in this place. Please click here for a complete list.

Civil Registration

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


Description & Travel

A description of Winckley Square.

You can see pictures of Preston which are provided by:



The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

"PRESTON, a parish, market and manufacturing town, and municipal and parliamentary borough in the hundred of Amounderness, county Lancaster, 21 miles S. by E. of Lancaster, and 218 from London by road, or 2.10 by the London and North-Western railway. There is a joint station for the East Lancashire, North Union, and Preston and Wyre lines, which, with the Lancashire canal, afford ready communication with all the great centres of manufacturing industry in the N. of England. The parish, which is of large extent, comprises, besides the borough of Preston, the chapelries of Ashton-on-Ribble, Broughton, and Grimsargh, and the townships or hamlets of Barton, Claughton, or Gloton, Fishwick, Haighton, Lea, and Ribbleton. The manor was held by Earl Tosti, brother of Harold II., before the Norman conquest, but was subsequently forfeited, and came in the reign of Richard I. to Theobald, brother of Archbishop Hubert. The town, which was anciently called Prestum, or Prieststown, from the number and extent of its ecclesiastical establishments, stands on an eminence near the head of the estuary of the river Ribble, about 10 miles from the sea at Lytham. It is of great antiquity, and is supposed to have arisen from the ruins of the Roman station Coccium, or Rigodunum, 11 miles higher up the river, now occupied by the village of Ribchester, near Stonyhurst. It was made a borough by Henry II., who granted the merchant guild, which is still commemorated by a jubilee held by the corporation every twenty years. It was assaulted and partly destroyed by fire by the Scots under Robert Bruce in 1323. In the civil war of Charles I. it declared for the king, and was besieged and taken by the parliamentary forces under General Fairfax. In 1648 the Scottish army, under the Duke of Hamilton, advanced to Ribbleton Moor, in the neighbourhood of the town, but were there met by the parliamentary forces under Cromwell and Lambton, and sustained a severe defeat.


Historical Geography

In 1835 the parish of Preston contained the townships of Preston, Ashton, Lea, Cottam and Ingol, Barton, Broughton, Haighton, Ribbleton, Grimsargh and Brockholes, Elston, and Fishwick.



The history of Preston from Pigot's Lancashire directory, 1830.

A description of Preston in times past.




View maps of Preston and places within its boundaries.

View a map of the boundaries of this town/parish.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SD541299 (Lat/Lon: 53.763253, -2.697669), Preston which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law

The Workhouse site has an interesting description of Preston workhouse.


Probate Records

For probate purposes prior to 1858, Preston was in the Archdeaconry of Richmond. The original wills for the Archdeaconry of Richmond 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.