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Longridge is a small town and civil parish in the borough of Ribble Valley in Lancashiremarker, Englandmarker. It is situated at the western end of Longridge Fellmarker, a long ridge above the River Ribblemarker, several miles north-east of the city of Prestonmarker. Its nearest neighbours are Grimsarghmarker and the Roman town of Ribchestermarker (Bremetennacummarker), 3.5 miles to the southeast. The parish of Longridge had a population of 7,546 recorded in the 2001 census,

History

The Battle of Prestonmarker started from Longridge, Cromwell halting there before taking on Monarchist forces from Scotland.

Longridge initially developed outwards from an area around St. Lawrence's Church, at the boundary of the townships of Dilworth and Alston and to the south of the modern-day town centre. Though there was a thoroughfare called 'Market Place', there was no development around that area. Most of the development of the town occurred after 1800. After this time, development occurred at a much faster pace, with expansion northwards including a mill to the north of Kestor Lane.

The demand for stone from Longridge's quarries led to the opening of the Preston and Longridge Railway in 1840 to carry the stone away, for use in such places as Lancastermarker Town Hall and Liverpool Docks. The arrival of the railway led to the opening of several cotton mills and the town grew considerably larger from the mid-nineteenth century. The mills and quarries have now all closed, although stone quarried in the town was used to construct the M55 motorway in the 1970s. One of the quarries was used as Longridge motor-racing circuitmarker between 1973 and 1978. Longridge railway stationmarker closed to passengers in 1930, and the railway was dismantled in 1967.

Modern Longridge

The appearance of the town centre has changed little from when it was first built. Many of the buildings are built of locally quarried Limestone and despite more modern developments the town centre remains largely as it was when it was first developed. The town itself has expanded since the closure of the quarries with the building of new housing estates, as well as social housing.

The town is home to 11 pubs, several restaurants, a public library, and a number of primary and high schools. It is also home to an Air Training Corps squadron, 143 (Longridge) SQN.

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