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Preston ( ) is a city and non-metropolitan district of Lancashiremarker, in North West England. It is located on the north bank of the River Ribblemarker, and was granted city status in 2002, becoming England's 50th city in the 50th year of Queen Elizabeth II's reign. Preston has a population of 131,900, and lies at the centre of the wider Preston sub-area, which has a population of 184,836, and the Central Lancashire sub-region, with a population of 335,000.

Preston and its surroundings have provided evidence of ancient Roman activity in the area, largely in the form of a Roman road which led to a camp at Walton-le-Dalemarker. The Saxons established Preston; the name Preston is derived from Old English words meaning "Priest settlement" and in the Domesday Book appears as "Prestune". During the Middle Ages, Preston formed a parish and township in the hundred of Amoundernessmarker and was granted a Guild Merchant charter in 1179, giving it the status of a market town. Textiles have been produced in Preston since the middle of the 13th century, when locally produced wool was woven in people's houses. Flemish weavers who settled in the area during the 14th century helped to develop the industry. Sir Richard Arkwright, inventor of the spinning frame, was a weaver born in Preston. The most rapid period of growth and development in Preston's history coincided with the industrialisation and expansion of textile manufacturing. Preston was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, becoming a densely populated engineering centre, with large industrial plants.

In the early 18th century a writer said Preston was "a pretty town with an abundance of gentry in it, commonly called Proud Preston". Preston's textile sector fell into a terminal decline from the mid-20th century. Preston has subsequently faced similar challenges to other post-industrial northern towns, including deindustrialisation, economic deprivation and housing issues. However, Preston has continued to develop; it is the seat of Lancashire County Council and Preston North End F.C., one of the oldest football clubs, now houses the National Football Museummarker.



Preston is recorded in the Domesday Book as "Prestune" in 1086. Various other spellings occur in early documents: "Prestonam" (1094), "Prestone" (1160), "Prestona" (1160), "Presteton" (1180), and "Prestun" (1226). The modern spelling occurs in 1094, 1176, 1196, 1212 and 1332. The town's name is derived from Old English Presta and Tun, the Tun(enclosure, farmstead, village, manor, estate). of the Presta (priest or priests).

Early development

During the Roman period, the main road from Luguvaliummarker (Carlisle) to Mamuciummarker (Manchester) forded the River Ribblemarker at Walton-le-Dalemarker, ¾ mile (1 km) southeast of the centre of Preston. Here was a Roman camp, probably a regional depot for military equipment or other supplies. At Withy Trees, 1½ miles (2 km) north of Preston, the road crossed another Roman road from Bremetennacummarker (the Roman fort at Ribchestermarker) to the coast.

In Riponmarker in 705 AD the lands near the River Ribblemarker were set on a new foundation, and the parish church was probably erected. This parish church was probably situated on the grounds of the present Anglican parish of St. John the Evangelist on Church Street, which was originally dedicated to St. Wilfrid and then later St. John the Baptist. Later, Edward the Elder endowed the lands to the Cathedral at Yorkmarker and then, by means of successive transfers the lands were exchanged between lesser churches, hence the origin of the name Priest's Town or Preston. An alternative explanation of the origin of the name is that the Priest's Town refers to a priory set up by St. Wilfrid near the Ribble's lowest ford. This idea is supported by the similarity of the Paschal lamb on Preston's crest with that on St. Wilfrid's.

When first mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book, Preston was already the most important town in Amoundernessmarker (the area of Central Lancashire between the rivers Ribblemarker and Cocker, including the Fylde and the Forest of Bowland). When assessed for tax purposes in 1218 - 19 it was the wealthiest town in the whole county.

Guild Merchant

The right to hold a Guild Merchant was conferred upon the Burgesses of Preston by a charter of 1179; the associated Preston Guild is a civic celebration held every 20 years, with the next one due in 2012.

Before 1328 a celebration had been held on an irregular basis, but at the Guild of that year it was decreed that subsequent Guilds should be held every twenty years. After this there were breaks in the pattern for various reasons, but an unbroken series were held from 1542 to 1922. A full 400 year sequence was frustrated by the cancellation of the 1942 Guild due to World War II, but the cycle resumed in 1952. The expression '(Once) every Preston Guild', meaning 'very infrequently', has passed into fairly common use, especially in Lancashire.

Guild week is always started by the opening of the Guild Court, which since the Sixteenth century has traditionally been on the first Monday after the feast of the decollation (the beheading) of St John the Baptist. As well as concerts and other exhibitions, the main events are a series of processions through the city. Numerous street parties are typically also held in the locality.

In 1952, the emphasis was on the bright new world emerging after World War II. The major event held in the city's Avenham Parkmarker had every school participating, and hundreds of children, from toddlers to teenagers, demonstrated different aspects of physical education in the natural amphitheatre of the park.

Pre-Industrial Preston

In the mid-12th century, Preston was in the hundred of Amoundernessmarker, in the deanery of Amounderness and the archdeaconry of Richmondmarker. The name "Amounderness" is more ancient than the name of any other "Wapentake" or hundred in the County of Lancashire, and the fort at Tulketh, strengthened by William the Conqueror, shows that the strategic importance of the area was appreciated even then.

Served by the River Ribblemarker which flows through the city, Preston was so much the principal port of Lancashire that in the run-up to the English Civil War King Charles I demanded a quarter more ship money from Preston than from nearby Lancastermarker and twice as much as from Liverpoolmarker.

The location of the city, almost exactly mid-way between Glasgowmarker and Londonmarker, led to many decisive battles being fought here, most notably during the English Civil War (1648), and the first Jacobite rebellion whose invasion of England was brought to a conclusion by the defeat of the pro-Catholic and pro-monarchial Jacobite army at the Battle of Preston marker which remains the most recent major battle on English soil (though there were further battles with Jacobite or allied forces in Scotland in 1718, 1745 and 1746).

In the last great Jacobite Rising, on 27 November 1745 the Jacobite Prince of Wales and Regent, Bonnie Prince Charlie passed through Preston with his Highland Army on the way south through Chorley and Manchester to Derby intending to take London and the Crown. Preston was the first of quite a few places in England where the Prince was cheered as he rode by and where he was joined by some English volunteers for his Army. One Jacobite eyewitness noted that from Preston onwards, “at every town we were received with ringing of bells, and at night we have bonfires, and illuminations”. Another Jacobite eyewitness noted in a private letter from Preston on 27 November 1745: “People here are beginning to join [us] very fast; we have got about sixty recruits today”. From 10 to 12 December the Prince gave his retreating Army a rest in Preston on their long, last and fatal retreat from Derby through Lancaster and Carlisle to their dreadful day of destiny the following 16 April on Culloden Moor near Invernessmarker.

Industrial Revolution

The 19th century saw a transformation in Preston from a small market town to a much larger industrial one, as the innovations of the latter half of the previous century such as Richard Arkwright's water frame (invented in Preston) brought cotton mills to many northern English towns. With industrialisation came examples of both oppression and enlightenment.

The town's forward-looking spirit is typified by it being the first English town outside London to be lit by gas. The Preston Gas Company was established in 1815 by, amongst others, a Catholic priest: Rev. Joseph "Daddy" Dunn of the Society of Jesus.

The more oppressive side of industrialisation was seen on Saturday 13 August 1842, when a group of cotton workers demonstrated against the poor conditions in the town's mills. The Riot Act was read and armed troops corralled the demonstrators in front of the Corn Exchange on Lune Street. Shots were fired and four of the demonstrators were killed. A commemorative sculpture now stands on the spot (although the soldiers and demonstrators represented are facing the wrong way). In the 1850s, Karl Marx visited Preston and later described the town as "the next St. Petersburgmarker". Charles Dickens visited Preston in January 1854 during a strike by cotton workers that had by that stage lasted for 23 weeks. This was part of his research for the novel Hard Times in which the town of "Coketown" is based on the city of Preston.

Preston now has a modern city centre.

The Preston Temperance Society, led by Joseph Livesey pioneered the Temperance Movement in the 19th century. Indeed the term teetotalism is believed to have been coined at one of its meetings. The website of the University of Central Lancashiremarker library has a great deal of information on Joseph Livesey and the Temperance Movement in Preston.

Preston was one of only a few industrial towns in Lancashire to have a functioning corporation (local council) in 1835, its charter dating to 1685, and was reformed as a municipal borough by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. It became a county borough under the Local Government Act 1888. In 1974, county boroughs were abolished, and it became the larger part of the new non-metropolitan district of Preston in Lancashire, also including Fulwoodmarker and part of Preston Rural Districtmarker.


St John the Evangelist Minster Church in Church Street, Preston

Preston has a strong Christian (particularly Catholic) history and tradition, and has been called the most Catholic city in England . One of the proposed derivations of the name Preston is from 'Priests town' and the lamb on the city's shield is a biblical image of Jesus Christ, the same image that represented St. Wilfrid, a 7th century bishop and the city's patron saint, who is historically linked to the city's establishment. The "PP" on the shield stands for either "Proud Preston" or "Princeps Pacis" (Prince of Peace), another title for Christ invoking Him as protector of the city.

As well as mainstream denominations like Roman Catholicism and the Church of England, the city has seen a recent emergence of new evangelical churches. Preston has a strong history for Free Methodism, as there are currently four Free Methodist churches in the area. Preston's Guild Hall plays host to a large evangelical worship music event called 'Encounter' every year.

Preston was the location of the world's first foreign mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (commonly known as the Mormons). As early as 1837 the first Mormon missionaries to Great Britain began preaching in Preston and, in particular, other small towns situated along the river Ribble. Preston is home to the world's oldest continuous branch (a small congregation) of the Mormon Church. An official memorial to the church pioneers may be found in the Japanese Garden in Avenham Park. In 1998 the LDS erected a large temple at Chorleymarker, near Preston, described by The Telegraph newspaper as "spectacular". The temple is officially known as the Preston England Temple.


Preston City Council

Entering the city centre from Fylde Road
City of Preston is divided into 22 district council wards represented by 57 councillors. There are nine wards with two councillors and 13 wards with three councillors. The two seat wards cover c. 3600 electors and the three seat wards c. 5400 electors. Preston City councillors serve a four-year term. Preston City Council is elected "by thirds", 19 at a time. One councillor from each of the three-member wards is elected every year for three years. In each of those years six of the nine two-seat wards also elect a councillor. Every fourth year there are no Preston City Council elections, Lancashire County Council elections taking place instead.

After the 2007 local election the Labour Party was the largest Group with 24 members but the Conservatives with 20 seats in alliance with the Liberal Democrats with 10 seats took control of the Cabinet and all committees except the Scrutiny committee. This situation continued after the 2008 local election at which the Conservatives, with 21 Councillors took a net seat from the Liberal Democrats who had 9 seats. Labour remained the largest party with 24 members.

The local areas of Preston can be found at Districts of Preston

The current mayor is Councillor John Swindells.

Preston operates a Leader and Cabinet system. The current Leader is councillor Ken Hudson.

Freedom of the City

Freedom of the City has been granted to:

Lancashire County Council

The City of Preston contains ten Lancashire County Council electoral divisions with one county councillor in each district.


The City of Preston is currently divided between three Westminster constituencies, which will be altered in size and shape when proposed boundary changes are implemented for the next United Kingdom general election.

Currently the three constituencies are: Preston, Ribble Valleymarker, and Fylde. When the proposed boundary changes are implemented, the city will continue to be divided between Preston, and Fylde seats, whilst the northern quarters will be placed within Wyre and Preston Northmarker.

Historically, Preston has been divided between such constituencies as Preston North, Preston South, and Fylde Southmarker although until 1885 it comprised one constituency called Preston but which included most of west Lancashire.


Physical geography

The River Ribblemarker provides a southern border for the city. The Forest of Bowland forms a backdrop to Preston to the east while the Fyldemarker lies to the west. At , Preston is approximately 27 miles north west of Manchestermarker, 26 miles north east of Liverpoolmarker, and 15 miles east of the coastal town Blackpoolmarker.

Preston is located on top of a hill to the west of the Pennines. It therefore, like most of inland Lancashire, receives a higher than UK average total of rainfall, and is slightly colder. On 10 August 1893 Preston entered the UK Weather Records, with the Highest 5-min total rainfall of 32 mm. As of November 2008 this remains a record.

Areas and Estates

As with many cities, Preston has developed from a number of former towns and villages.

Civic geography

The city centre of Preston, taken from Ring Way.

The southern part of the district is mostly urbanised but the northern part is quite rural. The current borders came into effect on 1 April 1974, when the Local Government Act 1972 merged the existing County Borough of Preston with Fulwoodmarker Urban District and part of Preston Rural Districtmarker. Preston was designated as part of the Central Lancashiremarker new town in 1970. The former Preston Rural District part of the district is divided into a number of civil parishes:

Despite officially having been granted city status in the Queen's Golden Jubilee year in 2002, Preston has no cathedral, historically a requirement in the United Kingdom before city status can be granted by the monarch. However, Preston's parish church has attained the status of Minster.



Preston is a diverse city, although the majority of the non-indigenous people are South Asians, in particular Indians. The ethnic makeup of Preston based on 2006 estimates is as follows (With national average in brackets): 82.2% White British (84.2%), 1.0% White Irish (1.1%), 1.6% Other White (3.3%). 1.6% Mixed Race (1.6%). 8.1% Indian (2.5%), 2.5% Pakistani (1.7%), 0.3% Bangladeshi (0.7%), 0.5% Other South Asian (0.6%). 0.6% Black Caribbean (1.2%), 0.4% Black African (1.4%), 0.1% Other Black (0.2%). 0.8% Chinese (0.7%) and 0.3% Other East Asian and Arab (0.7%).

Child Poverty

A new council survey in Preston has revealed that 50% of all children living in the city are living in families suffering from financial depression. An estimated 15,380 youngsters are part of the families on the breadline. The Campaign to End Child Poverty report defines children in poverty as children living in homes where occupants work less than 16 hours a week, or not at all, or where the full amount of tax credit is being claimed. The city is one of the most severely affected areas of the North West outside Liverpoolmarker and Manchestermarker, with 21% of children in the city living in households which are completely workless and a further 29% in families struggling to get by with working tax credits. And in some areas of Preston, more than 75% of children live below the poverty line. The two worst affected areas of the city are the Deepdalemarker and St George's wards, where 75% and 77% of children respectively are said to be living in poverty.


The 2001 Census recorded 71.5% of the population as Christians, 9.8% as having no religion, and 8.2% as Muslims. The Hindu and Sikh populations are smaller at 2.6% and 0.6% respectively, but in both cases this represents the highest percentage of any local authority area in the North West. 1.8% of the city's population were born in other EU countries. Though still small in number in Preston, the Mormons (officially known as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - LDS for short) maintain a large profile.


Saint Walburge's Church
Preston's premier landmark is St Walburge's Churchmarker, designed by Joseph Hansom of Hansom Cab fame. At , it boasts the tallest spire in Englandmarker on a church that is not a cathedral. There are also many notable buildings dotted in and around the city centre including the Miller Arcade, the Town Hall, the Harris Museummarker, St. John the Evangelist's Minster, the former Corn Exchange and Public Hall, St. Wilfrid's Catholic Church, Fishergate Baptist Church, and many beautiful Georgian buildings on Winckley Squaremarker. Many Catholic and Anglican parish churches are also to be found throughout the city. The chimney of the Grade II listed Tulketh Mill [13442], recently fully exposed on the Blackpool Road, provides an impressive reminder of Preston's industrial heritage. HMP Prestonmarker is also a good example of a typical Victorian radial-design prison. Modern architecture is represented by the Guild Hall and Preston Bus Stationmarker.




Preston is a major centre of the British defence aerospace industry with BAE Systemsmarker, the UK's principal military aircraft design, development and manufacture supplier, having its Military Aircraft headquarters located in nearby Wartonmarker. The company has two of its major facilities located some miles on either side of the city. BAE Wartonmarker is located to the western side of the city whilst BAE Samlesburymarker is located to the east, over the M6 motorway. BAe Systems also operate large office facilities at the Portway area within the city and at The Strand office complex.

The Westinghouse Electric Company (formerly BNFL) Springfields nuclear processing plant also lies to the west of the City boundary.

The city is home to Alstom Transport's main UK spare parts distribution centre. Matalan Retail Ltd was also founded in Preston under the name Matalan Cash and Carry. Although the head office of Matalan moved to Skelmersdalemarker in 1998, the city still has the tax office for the company (located in Winckley Squaremarker).

Entering Preston City Centre

Convenience store chain operator James Hall and Co who supply SPAR stores in the north of England have their head office located in the Ribbletonmarker district, although it is soon to be moved to a new building in the Bluebell Way area of the city, which would be the biggest building in the city.

The financial sector also has a large presence in the city with a large selection of consultancies, insurance and law firms including national debt collection agency Legal & Trade based in Winckley Squaremarker in the city centre.

Preston City Centre is now the location of many businesses

Preston is the home of, part of the Gold Medal Travel Group.

Goss Graphic Systems Limited, a global supplier of printing presses based in the United Statesmarker, formerly employed more than 1,000 people in Preston, but in 2007 the company moved manufacturing to the United States, China and Japan and now has around 160 employees in the city.

On the 20 February 2006, the telecommunications company The Carphone Warehouse took over Tulketh Mill (formerly the home of the Littlewoods catalogue call centre) in the Ashton-on-Ribblemarker area of the city. The building has undergone an extensive interior refurbishment and since March 2007 has been the workplace of some 800 employees . The site's main purpose is as a call centre for the company's broadband and landline services TalkTalk as well as its LLU business Opal Telecom. It was officially opened on 19 December 2006 by CEO Charles Dunstone and the Mayor of Preston.

Preston was also home to a small "new business" department of finance broker, which took over New City House when Norwich Union moved its call centre to India. ceased trading 6th Dec 2008, and closed its doors for good 6 March 2009, with the loss of 60 jobs in Preston.Retail is also a major contributor to Preston's economy. The city houses two major shopping centres:

Another shopping centre in Preston is the Miller Arcade, a specialist shopping centre in a listed building, which formerly included public baths, situated next to the Harris Museummarker.

One of Preston's main shopping districts.

Preston's main high streets are Fishergate and Friargate which offer shops, bars and restaurants with many more tucked away down the side streets. The first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in the UK was opened in Fishergate.

An £800 million regeneration project known as the Tithebarn Project is also planned for Preston. The project is being managed by property giants Grosvenor and Lend Lease Corporation and is dependent upon a number of requirements (such as the re-location of the current Bus Stationmarker).

Since city status was awarded in the Queen's Jubilee year, Preston has been targeted by a number of developers. Residential developments are particularly popular with new apartments planned in and around the city centre. Office and hotel space is also in demand and a new Central Business District is being planned as well as a number of new hotels.



The district around Preston Bus Station.

The Preston by-pass, opened 5 December 1958, became the first stretch of motorway in the UK and is now part of the M6 with a short section now forming part of the M55. It was built to ease traffic congestion in Preston caused by tourists travelling to the popular destinations of Blackpoolmarker and The Lake Districtmarker. The first traffic cones were used during its construction, replacing red lantern paraffin burners.

Preston has an extensive road network, especially around the city centre.

In the 1980s, a motorway running around the west of the city which would have been an extension of the M65 running to the M55 was started but never finished. That is the reason that the M55 has no junction 2, because it was reserved for the new western bypass. However, the existing M6 between junctions 30 and 32 was widened extensively between 1993-95 to compensate for this. A new junction, 31A was opened in 1997 to serve a new business park close to the motorway.As well as the M6 (North and South), there are 3 other motorways which terminate close to the city -

  • M61 - Preston to Manchester via Chorley and Bolton
  • M65 - Preston to Colne via Blackburn, Accrington and Burnley
  • M55 - Preston to Blackpool via Kirkham

Preston railway station


Preston railway stationmarker is a major stop on the West Coast Main Linemarker, with regular long distance train services to Londonmarker (Eustonmarker) and the South East, and Glasgowmarker and Edinburghmarker to the North. Preston is also a hub for connecting rail services in the North West, with direct services to Blackpoolmarker, Lancastermarker, Blackburnmarker, Bradfordmarker, Leedsmarker, Wiganmarker, Boltonmarker, Manchestermarker, Liverpoolmarker and Ormskirkmarker. Overall, Preston has direct rail links to twelve cities across the UK; Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, York, Bradford, London, Carlisle, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Lancaster, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Preston once had lines to Southport and Longridge which closed to passengers in 1965 and 1930 respectively. The disused tracks of the Longridge line still exist as far as Deepdalemarker.

Preston is the home of the heritage Ribble Steam Railwaymarker, located in Riverswaymarker.


The former Preston Port, known as Riversway or The Docks, has been the site of an expanding commercial and residential complex since 1988.

The Marina is just north of the River Ribble which enters into the east of the Irish Seamarker. This marina has its own chandlery and coffee shop, training courses and boat sales

There are multi-million pound plans to redevelop Preston's Docks (as well as large sections of the River Ribble running through the city) to introduce leisure facilities (ie watersports), new landmark buildings, a new central park opposite Avenham Parkmarker, office and retail space, new residential developments and the re-opening of some of Preston's old canals. However, these plans, collectively known as Riverworks, have yet to undergo public consultation, and have already raised concerns amongst locals due to the potential loss of green space and increased risk of flooding.


A Stagecoach in Preston Service on Watling Street Rd, Fulwood
Although lacking any rail based rapid transit network, Preston has a very comprehensive bus network. There are five main operators serving Preston.

Preston Bus, formerly the city's municipal bus company, used to serve the district of Preston, and also operated a route between Preston and Penwortham. In October 2006, Preston Bus started operating the city's two new orbital bus routes.

Many of the services between Preston and its surrounding area were operated by Ribble Motor Services, then owned by Stagecoach Group, using the name Stagecoach in Lancashire. Several of the company's routes were additionally branded as "Preston Citi"; they connected the bus station to areas of the city such as Penworthammarker, Longtonmarker, Fulwoodmarker, Walton-le-dalemarker, Bamber Bridgemarker, New Longtonmarker, Ribbletonmarker, Bamber Bridgemarker and Longridgemarker and outside areas of Southportmarker and Leyland. Stagecoach also provided links to , Blackpoolmarker, Blackburnmarker, Boltonmarker, Chorleymarker, Liverpoolmarker and Manchestermarker, as well as Lancastermarker and Morecambemarker under the Stagecoach in Lancaster service.

Competition for routes and passengers resulted in a "Bus War" between the two companies, since buses were deregulated in Great Britain.

On 23 January 2009, Preston Bus was sold to Stagecoach for over £10.4 million. Since then, routes have been changed and the services are now branded as Stagecoach in Preston, which is now the biggest bus operator in Preston.

John Fishwick & Sons, provides frequent services into the city centre for Lower Penwortham, Lostock Hall, Leyland, Euxton and Chorley. Blue Bus of Penwortham is based in the South Ribblemarker area of Preston with routes to Preston, Leyland, Chorley and Southport. Transdev Lancashire United operates two routes into Preston: one is the 152 to Blackburn and Burnleymarker; the other is the 280 to Clitheroemarker and Skiptonmarker.

Preston also has its own park and ride with three sites; one is at Portway, in the Riverswaymarker area, served by PR1, another is just off the A6 at Walton-le-Dalemarker next to Capitol Centre, served by PR2, and the last one is just off the Motorway Junction 31a at Bluebell Way, served by the Orbit..

Preston also served by many national bus services. Stagecoach Express, National Express, Eurolines, and Megabus all have a large presence at Preston Bus Stationmarker - which is claimed to the largest or second largest station in Europe .

Preston was one of the first cities in the UK to have its bus network fitted with Realtime, a satellite based technology fitted to every bus stop which aims to provide an accurate time and destination of the next bus arriving using GPS tracking. This service was initially restricted to services within the borough, however, it has now been expanded to cover Fishwick's 111 City Centre/Leyland route due to its popularity.


Although not a public airport; Warton Aerodromemarker is an active airfield west of the city and is the airfield for the BAE Warton factory. BAE Samlesburymarker to the east of the town is a former active aerodrome but today it serves as a facility for BAE Systemsmarker
Blackpool International Airportmarker is located only west from the city.
Manchester Airportmarker is a large international airport about south-east of the city.


The city is home to the University of Central Lancashiremarker. Formerly known as The Harris Institute, Preston Polytechnic, and more recently [1985 - 1992] as Lancashire Polytechnic, "UCLan" is now the sixth largest university in the country. The university currently has over 33,000 students.

Colleges of Further and Higher Education

High Schools

  • Archbishop Temple Church of England Humanities and Technology College
  • Ashton-on-Ribble Community Science College
  • Broughton Business and Enterprise College
  • Cardinal Newman Catholic Sixth Form College
  • Christ the King Catholic Maths and Computing College
  • City of Preston Community High School
  • Corpus Christi Catholic Sports College
  • Fulwood Academy, formerly Fulwood High School and Arts College
  • Larches House Short Stay School
  • Moorbrook School
  • Our Lady's Catholic High School
  • Penwortham Girls High School
  • Preston Muslim Girls
  • Sir Tom Finney Community High School


Preston has a number of local radio stations:
  • Frequency 1350 - student radio for UCLANmarker, on 1350 kHz AM MW
  • Magic 999 - Preston and Blackpool, classic hits
  • Central Radio 106.5 - Preston, launched mid-2008
  • Rock FM - Preston and Blackpool, pop music
  • Preston FM - Preston community radio station
  • City Radio Preston - internet and digital radio station (launched August 2008)

Other regional stations which include Preston within their coverage include:

The Lancashire Evening Post is based in Fulwoodmarker.


Preston North End FC

Preston is famous for Preston North End F.C. (one of the founder members of the Football League and the first team to be crowned English football champions) and the National Football Museummarker, the home of English football heritage, currently located at Deepdalemarker Football Ground. Deepdale is the oldest continuously used professional soccer venue in the world . Dick, Kerr's Ladies, one of the most famous early women's football team in Britain, called Preston home. Preston were champions of the Football League in its first two seasons, but have not won it since. Their last major trophy came in 1938 when they won the FA Cup, and they have not played top division football since 1961. They are one of the few English league clubs to have been champions of all four tiers of the English professional league.

Other Sports

Preston Hockey Club was established in 1903 and has since remained one of the North's most prominent clubs.

The Preston Arena is used for cycle racing. The Preston Arena is frequently used by the University of Central Lancashiremarker, based in Preston.

England Test Cricket player Andrew Flintoff is a Preston native, and was granted freedom of the city following the Ashes victory of 2005.

The Preston Mountaineering Club is based in the town and has been in existence for over 70 years.

Speedway racing, then known as Dirt Track Racing was staged at Farringdon Park in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The Preston team raced in the English Dirt Track League of 1929 and the Northern League of 1930 and 1931. The best known rider of the team was Joe "Iron Man" Abbott who went on to Test Match successes riding before the war for Belle Vue. After the war Joe appeared for Harringay and Bradford.

Notable people

Robert W. Service, the poet associated with the Yukonmarker, was born in Preston and lived for a time on Winckley Street in the city centre. There is a Blue Plaque commemorating him on Christian Road, near the railway station.

The parents of legendary American outlaw Butch Cassidy lived in Victoria Road in Preston and emigrated to escape religious persecution of their Mormon faith. It was said that, unlike Paul Newman's cinematic portrayal, Butch spoke with a strong Lancashire accent.

Benjamin Franklin (one of the Founding Fathers of the United States) once owned a property on the corner of Cheapside and Friargate in the city centre (on the site of what is now a coffee bar). A Blue Plaque on the wall of the building commemorates the spot.

Preston is the home city of the animator Nick Park, the creator of Wallace and Gromit, and in September 2007, the City Council announced that it would be raising £100,000 in order to build a bronze statue of the two characters.

Actress Tupele Dorgu who is famous for her role as Kelly Crabtree in the british ITV soap Coronation Streetmarker was born in Preston and her family still live in the area.

Kenny Baker the actor who played R2D2 in the Star Wars films, also lives in the city.

Preston is the home of Sir Tom Finney who played for Preston North End and England.

Television and radio football pundit Mark Lawrenson was born in the then town. He was educated at Preston Catholic College and was a product of the Preston North End youth system before moving to Brighton and Hove Albion and then on to an illustrious career with Liverpool FC.

Twin cities/towns


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  2. Census 2001: Preston, Office for National Statistics. URL accessed on 6 June 2006.
  3. Hunt, 1992. p. 9.
  4. Hunt, 1992. p. 10.
  5. [1]
  6. Hunt, 2003. p. 31.
  7. Hodge, 1997. pp. 3-5.
  8. Walsh and Butler, 1992.
  9. Hodge, 1997. pp. 6-10.
  10. Preston's History
  11. Once Every preston Guild
  12. The County of Lancashire, England, UK
  13. SP 36/75, fol.84, fols.177a, 179, Alexander Blair to Mrs Blair, 5 Dec.1745.
  14. [SP 36/75, fol.87, - to Lady Gask, 27 Nov.1745].
  15. Fitzroy Maclean, 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' 1988
  16. Mormons reveal secrets of the temple. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  17. Met Office: Extreme Weather
  18. Neighbourhood Statistics
  19. [2]
  20. Census 2001: Statistics. URL accessed on 6 June 2006.
  21. Lancashire County Council: Environment Directorate: Bus
  22. [3]
  23. , University of Central Lancashire. URL accessed on 6 June 2006.
  24. Preston North End history - Preston City Council


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