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were granted; at this day a guild implies a company united together, with private laws and orders, after licence obtained from the king for that purpose.
The mischiefs which were done to this town by the rebels, in 1715, were the cause of its being rebuilt in a more commodious and pleasant manner; for it is now a handsome well-built town, with broad regular streets, and many good houses. It has three weekly markets, on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; but the last is much the largest, and is under very particular regulations to prevent forestalling and regrating. Every necessary of life is here to be purchased, and in general at very reasonable prices. The town is supplied with coals by the Douglas navigation, which joins the river below Walton bridge; and the new Lancaster canal which is to pass near it, will add to the sources of supply of this useful and essential article of comfort to the inhabitants. By these canals communications are opened with the rivers Mersey, Dee, Ouse, Trent, Derwent, Severn, Humber, Thames, Avon, &c.; for the Ribble is only navigable for small vessels that coast it with goods from Liverpool and other parts, and transmit cotton and other manufactured articles, which are made here in prodigious quantities, in return.
As a military post, Preston, from its commanding situation, has been deemed of the utmost importance in all the civil commotions of the kingdom. Traces of a Roman military way may be discovered on the adjoining common, from the mouth of the Ribble to Ribchester. Near the town also are many fine walks; but the most favourite is that of Enim, as a MS. authority writes it, or Haynam; from which the Pretender is said to have viewed the town and the country below it, in 1745, with extraordinary emotions.
The Town-hall here is a very large and handsome building. Şir Edward Stanley, Bart. who was one of the knights of the shire, and afterwards Earl of Derby, made a present of the picture of George the Second to the corporation, which was placed in their town-hall on the birth-day of the king, October 30th, 1729, when he entered on the forty-seventh year of his age. The
Assembly-Rooms were built at the sole expence of the Earl of Derby, for the use of the ladies and gentlemen of Preston, and its vicinity, are elegant and commodious. The new prison, or penitentiary house, near the entrance of the town from Chorley by Walton bridge, is constructed on the plan of Mr. Howard, and appropriated for the criminals of Lonsdale, Amounderness, Blackburn, and West-Derby hundreds, being erected at the sole expence
of those districts. It bears much resemblance to the NewBayley prison at Manchester; and its purpose is for salutary confinement and reformation only. Each prisoner is allowed, daily, a pound and a half of bread, and a piece of butter, with a halfpenny worth of potatoes; and they are permitted to exchange what they do not eat for tea and sugar; but all strong liquors are absolutely prohibited. A new bridge was also built over the Ribble in 1781, under the authority of an act of parliament, the former one having been washed away by a flood. At the late return, in 1801, the population of the town of Preston was 11,887, and the number of houses 2231.
At Penwortham, which is about a mile south from the town, was formerly a priory of Benedictine monks, subject to the abbey of Evesham, in Worcestershire. It was founded in the Conqueror's time, by Warine Russel; and at the dissolution of monasteries, the site and buildings were granted by Henry the Eighth to John Fleetwood. Near this place, it is to be presumed, the Seal, or Sea-calf, mentioned by Dr. Leigh*, was taken in the river Ribble, near the seat of Thomas Fleetwood, Esq. called the Bank. Amongst the uncommon or scarce plants of this county, the spring Cinquefoil is found in some pastures near the town.
Is a market and corporate town, seated on the western bank of the river Wyer, on the great turnpike road which communicates Vol. IX.
* Natural History of Lancashire, &c. Fol. p. 185.
between Prestou and Lancaster, and at the distance of about eleven miles from each of those places. This town was incorporated by Charles the Second, and is governed by a bailiff, and seven capital burgesses. In the charter granted by that monarch, the corporation are invested with authority to try all misdemeanors committed within their liberty.
It has a market weekly, on Thursday, with three annual fairs; and the Lancaster Canal, which now passes by it, will be of essential advantage in a commercial view, and be a means of surmounting those obstacles which have heretofore operated against the establishment of any considerable manufactory in the town. The river Wyre, which runs parallel to the east side of the chief street, at a small distance, abounds with trout, chub, and gudgeons, and in the spring with smelts. It also supplies the inhabitants with abundance of fine soft water. This river, after several days incessant rain, was so swelled as to flow over the church yard, which is above a nile south, at a place called Garstang-church town, and break into the church; by means of which the foundations were so weakened and undermined, that it was obliged to be taken down and rebuilt in the year 1746, at an expence of 19101. The church was formerly impropriated to the abbey of Cockersand; and it has chapels at Market-Garstang and Pilling.
A large printing cotton and calico manufactory has been long established at Catteral, about two miles to the south; and at Seorton, three miles, Dolphinholm, five miles, and Catstraw, seven miles, all to the north-east, are various spinning manufactories ; and another about three miles to the south-east.
About a mile to the north-east of the town, are the ruins of GREENHAUGH CASTLE. At present there is only one tower remaining, and that in a very shattered state; but it seems to have consisted originally of seven or eight towers of great height and strength. Some writers have dated its foundation in the times of the Saxon heptarchy; but others attribute it to Thomas Stanley, the first Earl of Derby, in the reign of Henry the Seventh, as a place of protection from the nobility of the country, whose estates he had obtained on their being proscribed as guilty
of treason. The surrounding tract of country has been noted for producing a fine breed of cattle, and a great abundance of potatoes. There were 731 persons here in 1801.
About one mile south of the town is KIRKLAND-HALL, the seat of Alexander Butler, Esq. MYERSCOUGH-HOUSE, an ancient mansion, is the seat of Charles Gibson, Esq. CLAUGHTONHALL, about three miles south-east, is a seat of William Fitzherbert Brockholes, Esq. a gentleman who has greatly improved a large morass on his estate, by means of draining, &c*. The Brockholes family appear to have resided here from the time of Henry the Seventh.
About three miles to the west of Garstang, is the east side of PILLING-Moss, which exhibited a similar phenomenon to that of - Solway-moss, in 1771. The account of it was given in the Philosophical Transactions to the following effect t. Saturday the 26th of January, 1744-5, a part of Pilling-moss, lying between Hescomb houses I, and Wild Bear, was observed to rise to a surprising height. After a short time it shrunk as much below the level, and moved slowly towards the south side; and in half an hour it covered twenty acres of land. The improved land adjoining to that part of the moss, which moves in a concave circle, containing near 100 acres, is nearly filled up with moss and water, and in some parts is thought to be five yards deep. One fainily is driven out of their house, which is quite surrounded, and the fabric is tumbling down. The part of the moss, which is sunk like the bed of a river, runs north and south, and is above a mile in length, and half a mile in breadth. When the moss began to move, a man was passing over it from the west, who perceived, to his great astonishment, that the ground moved southward. By a speedy return, he had the good fortune to escape being swallowed
* Holt's Agricultural Survey.
+ See No. 475, p. 282.
Is a small town of only 197 houses, and 769 inhabitants. The lordship, with that of Biscopeham, between it and the sea, were given to the abbey of Shrewsbury by Roger de Poitiers. The vicarage also of this place, with the curacy of Biscopeham, were both impropriated to the nunnery of Sion, in Middlesex; but the patronage of both is, or lately was, in Messrs. Fleetwood and Ramsden.
At the distance of five miles west of Poulton is BLACKPOOL, which, within the last thirty years, has attained some distinction as a watering-place. For this purpose its situation, and other characteristics, are peculiarly favorable, whether we consider its fine breezes from the western ocean, its flat and smooth beach, to the breadth of half a mile when the tide is out, the straight coast for nearly twenty miles, or the purity of the water with which its visitors are supplied. The name is derived from a pool of water, of a black, dark, or liver colour, which formerly was known to be at its south end, but now filled up and converted into meadow ground. Some faint views of the Isle of Man, to the north west, may be seen from the land behind it, in a clear evening; to the north, the fells of Westmoreland at forty miles distance, the crags of Lancashire, and the hills of Cumberland, are visible; to the south, even at fifty miles distance, are seen the mountains of North Wales; but the rising ground to the east, limits the prospect on that side. Such is the situation of Blackpool. The sea has encroached upon the land here very considerably within the memory of persons now living; and from the fatness of the beach, no vessel can approach the shore, and even the smallest boat cannot be entered without wading. The tradition of the country is, that a public honse stood upon firm land, near a stone called Penny-stone, which is now at least half a mile from the shore. The sea, probably from its little depth, affords but few fish; though fresh water fish, and those of a mixed nature, are abundant from the