Lancaster to Poulton - Distance 20.25 miles

Part I - Lancaster to Pilling - LRO ref DDX 194/25

Starting at ‘ye White Cross of Lancaster‘, and heading towards the coastal route, the road was lined with small shrubs but no dwellings until they came to fortified Ashton Hall occupied by Mr Spencer. This is now Lancaster Golf Club with the professional’s shop located in the pele tower. Shortly after Ashton Hall was a gate to the park of Thurnham Hall followed by park “pales”. The Statute of Winchester 1258 stipulated that the wall or pailings of a park should be 200 feet from the king’s highway and that the intermediate area be cleared of bush and undergrowth so that ambush was made more difficult

Over the Condor Bridge they went on to Thurnham village with small shrubs at the roadside. Mr Dawton [Dalton] lived in Thurnham Hall and there was extensive moss land off to the right. The bends in the road have changed very little, since the survey was made, up to the present day. At Hill House road junction with its branch to Hallam Lane there was a footway to Ellel.

Approaching Cockerham the windmill was one furlong off to the right and Holell [Ellel] mill was off to the left. Turning right before “ye 2 fences High Gate” with plain banks was Mr Froste’s Cockerham Hall set back 165 yards. A furlong further along was the Schoolhouse and then Cockerham Church at 6 : 0 : 25 miles. On approaching Cocker flu [river] was Marsh House then a branch to Great Crimbles from where the road ran on open ground for four miles to Pilling. At first were salt cotes by plain mud sea-defence walls, then salt works followed by The Sands with occasional houses on the roadside.

Celia Fiennes described typical salt works in 1697. She said “the sea water was led into several clay lined ponds and left in the sun to dry some of the water from it. If it proves a dry summer they make the most and best salt but a rainy summer weakens the salt. When the strong brine is fit to boil it is drawn off [the ponds] and put into large shallow tanks indoors. The tanks would be iron or copper a yard or two square, if not more. These tanks would be set in rows twenty on a side, in a house under which is the furnace that burns fiercely to keep the pans boiling apace. When the salt candies about the edges or the bottom they shovel it up in great baskets and the thinner part runs through into moulds that they call salt cakes. The rest in the basket dries and is very good salt. As fast as they shovel out the boiling salt from the pans they replenish them with more salt water. The pans are attended night and day six days a week. The season for making salt is not above four or five months a year and that only in a dry summer.”

A stream crossed the way at House Mill and at 9.25 miles was George Bradshaw’s house at “Rampa”. [Wrampool] “peelin” [Pilling] Hall set back two furlongs, came next followed by “peelin” chapel set back four furlongs. This was Pilling’s first wooden church on Horse Park Lane. By “Broad fleet flu” stood “peelin” windmill and over the bridge at the T-junction was the Schoolhouse. (Now the Golden Ball Inn) at 11 : 0 : 13 miles from Lancaster. At this junction the choice was “Staumin” [Stalmine] by the moss or Staumin by the sands. i.e. summer or winter route.

Part II - Pilling to Poulton - LRO ref DDX 194/30

Being summer the surveyors chose the moss route passing twelve houses, each with a recorded measure against it. At this place they wrote “scarce a shrub between Cockerham Hall & Strawmin chap”. At the end of the row lived Ann Jolley at Townson Hill Farm on Wheel lane before several sharp turns and William Carter’s at Hooles Farm.

Poulton centre.jpg

After the village of Pilling the route carried on to the main road across the moss towards “preesa” windmill on top of Preesall Hill. Then on to Preesall Park crossroads passing, “Suke”[Sykes] Fold and Springfield Farms also John Nickson’s house at Park Farm. The mileage reading here was 14 : 4 : 23 with a note saying “the Right hand way goeth to preesa [Preesall] and so to Lancaster by way of ye sands which is the winter way and the houses at that cross way is called ye park” It is to this day called Park Lane!

Half a mile further along, after passing eleven houses was Stalmine Chapel. Continuing along Smithy Lane through the well populated village, turning left by the green but recording on what is now Occupation Lane “ye footway to poolton”. The surveyors carried on to Hambleton turning left over Carr Bridge, the right down Sower Carr Lane to join the modern road by shrubs and plain banks. Staynall lane is shown as “Stain”. Leaving Hambleton one way led to Rawcliffe and so to Preston. Another led to “Stauna”[Stanah] across the river Wyre whilst the other led to “Stauna”[Staynall} on this side. At a loop in the lane where it passed over a stream, via modern Salt Cotes Bridge, was a note “here ye Tide floweth”. Down to the Wyre riverside by Charles Shuttleworth’s house at Bank House and three other dwellings now the Bridge Inn, they crossed the river Wyre by ford or ferry to Mains Hall lived in by Mr Heslins. [Hesketh] They travelled on the riverbank as far as the Skippool stream then up stream to the watermill and Mains windmill on the main highway. Finally they went into Poulton as described in Route No 19. The measure at the Bull Ring in the middle of Poulton market place was 20 : 2 : 20 which means 20 miles 2 Furlongs and 20 poles.