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‘Poor squalid deformed beings’ – cotton magnates employ child labour in Preston

Old photo of a girl Pic: Shutterstock Two cotton magnates dominated Preston in the 18th and 19th centuries: John Watson and John Horrocks. Watson ‘imported’ child labour from London to work in his factories. The ‘Wat apprentices’ […]

5 days ago
Historic maps reveal Preston’s long lost buildings and rivers

Old map of Preston Pic: Preston Digital Archive Maps are a great way of seeing how Preston has developed over the last 350 years, revealing some long lost buildings and rivers. The map above shows the original core […]

2 weeks ago
Preston’s lost leper hospital and friary

A typical leper hospital and chapel (in Winchester) Pic: Historic England Once lepers were shunned as cursed by God, often the only help they received came from the Church! Religion dominated the lives of medieval people in Preston. For example, the […]

3 weeks ago
The story of a night soil man in medieval Preston, John takes a tumble

Depiction of medieval times Pic: Find My Past Before public drainage, the only way to empty the cess pits and privies used by most houses was to deploy a wheelbarrow and shovel! Medieval Preston was small and largely […]

4 weeks ago
Advertisement Advertisement Red Scar House, lost stations and a lost mansion

Red Scar House with original thatched cottage Pic: Preston Digital Archive The story of Red Scar Manor is a romantic tale of a lost mansion and a now defunct railway. Once there was a rich lawyer who wanted to be Lord […]

1 month ago
Shipbuilding in Preston, a dangerous occupation?

Alsop's shipyard and the new Penwortham bridge 1912 Pic: Preston Digital Archive Shipbuilding in Preston arguably goes back to prehistoric times as log boats were uncovered during the building of the new docks, in the 1890s. The Romans sailed up the Ribble […]

1 month ago
Preston’s lost canal, drunk on the packet boats

The canal basin just off Fishergate. Dereliction had set in by 1960. Pic: Preston Digital Archive Preston once had a canal that terminated just off Fishergate. The Lancaster Canal still exists but now stops by Aqueduct Street in Ashton-on-Ribble. Trade was brisk as coal headed north, […]

2 months ago
Civil War part two: Hoghton Tower destroyed

The Battle of Preston Pic: Harris Museum Wikimedia After Preston fell to the Parliamentarians in 1643, the escaped Gilbert Hoghton was pursued to Hoghton Tower. Captain Sharkey the Parliamentarian commander, approached the stronghold with trepidation. Importantly, several cannon […]

2 months ago
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