Poulton to Preston - distance 17 miles

LRO ref DDX 194/29 & 30

The last mile on the Map ref No DDX 194/30 showing the road from Lancaster to Poulton is detailed from the road junction to Shard Ferry over the river Wyre near “skippa” [Skippool] Bridge. The Following day when measuring the road for Map No 29 from Poulton to Preston, the surveyor commenced his readings at this road junction as the first mile was already measured albeit in reverse order. The calculation for his meter setting showing 1 : 0 : 28 is written on the left hand side of Map No30. He then entered his reading on Map No 29 as 1 : 0 : 38 an error of 10 poles or 55 yards.

The starting point was the market cross, where it stands today, with a note saying “The bull ring in ye middle of poulton market place”. These rings were used to tie the bull during bull baiting sessions. There were no buildings round the market place; not even a moot hall was shown. The drawing of the church was diagrammatic whereas the five properties, in what is now the churchyard were factual. The shape of Tithebarn Street leading to “Carlton and Biston” [Bispham] has not changed whilst Vicarage Road led to “Little Poulton”. Turning into Breck Road the third and fourth houses were set back as they still are. Mr Herson occupied the fourth house and 347 yards further along, where the road widened out, lived James Pateson at Breck Hall. On the opposite side of the road was “a back lane” and a road from Little Poulton with shrubs between the two.

There were seven houses/cottages/barns on the right between Breck Hall and “scippa” [Skippool] bridge with a lane leading off to the left at the side of the stream “to Thornton or Stauna”. Immediately upstream of the bridge was a watermill and about 200 yards along the road was “mains wdml.” [windmill] On the opposite side were shrubs most of the way to Little Singleton with occasional buildings at each side of the road. This village was one furlong from the river Wyre with a lane leading “to ye River at Bankfield”. “Mr Heslins” [Hesketh] occupied the Mains Hall.

The way meandered to “Gt Single” [Great Singleton] for a mile without any buildings but Shrubs at the roadside. Great Singleton, three and a half miles from Poulton, was a street village with about 27 houses/cottages /barns and a windmill two furlongs up what is now Church Lane.

The next hamlet had four houses and another mile on the way was High Moor with shrubs on the roadside and a lane leading “to ye mosse”. The surveyor made notes where there were shrubs. This suggests that they were relatively newly planted or were uncommon enough to warrant special mention.

The most unusually shaped road to Kirkham by-passed Weeton village, which hints at the existence of an open field system. The Weeton windmill was one furlong towards Thistleton from the crossroads. From here all the way to Kirkham were shrubs and quicksett [hawthorn] hedges. About one and a half miles before Kirkham lived Justice Parker, probably on the site of Bradkirk Hall with a windmill on high ground opposite.

The surveyors passed the branch road to Garstang by the present Lane Ends public house, itself on the site of the former gallows. The town end of Kirkham was an open area with three roads leading from it. One led to Westby, now Moor Street, another “to ye fields” [Orders Lane formerly Old Earth] and the third to Preston. The first house on the right hand side was 330 yards from the town centre whilst that on the left was 275 yards also from the town centre. The last house on the right on leaving town was 236.5 yards from the centre and that on the left was 269.5 yards. These dimensions relate to the west end of Robert’s the printer on the right and the Furness Building Society offices on the left. In Preston Street what was the last house on the right is now numbered 88 and on the left 59.

The houses were continuous on both sides of the wide main market-type street as there was no market place or a market cross at the time of the survey in 1685. At the crossroads in the centre of the town the road heading south was noted to Freckleton whilst that to the north was to Roseacre. They did not notice the parish Church!

Having past the halfway mark the surveyors carried gamely on, passing the road to Treales before Kirkham windmill on the high ground 33 feet from the road. Across “Daw Bridg” [Dowbridge] and entering Newton with Scales the road to “trales” [Treales] was on the left by Newton windmill at 220 yards. There were intermittent buildings on the Newton high road and these are currently known as Rydal, Church Farm, Highgate Inn and the Bell and Bottle Inn. Further along in Scales were two houses on the left opposite the Lane leading to Scale Village past Scale Hall occupied by Mr Fairclough. During the Civil War Major Edward Robinson, a lawyer, lived in Scale Hall. He was attributed the authorship of A discourse of the Warr in Lancashire, a trustee of Lund Chapel in Clifton cum Salwick and later of Buckshaw Hall in Euxton.

The next crossroads to Scales and Treales was the township boundary. Clifton Grange Farm was on the right and the lane from Scales passed through the farmyard. The Grange farms of Newton and Clifton were not linked to any monastery but were so called, as they were the most outlying farms from the village centre. The lane wandered round the field boundaries with some small trees and shrubs on both sides. The back lane, before reaching Clifton village at 11 : 6 : 19 from Poulton, led “to Ye Lea Town”. There were, and still are, 23 houses on the south side of the street but at that time there was only one barn on the north side approached from the back lane. The track, now Lodge Lane dropped off the escarpment over the next 200 yards, on its way to Savick Brook via marshland. Over the brook the way rose again to higher ground near to the river Ribble and 220 yards south of Lea Hall home to the deHorton family at 13 : 2 : 20.

The surveyors were obviously pretty tired by this stage as they recorded only “ye stakes”, now Five Lane Ends, at 14 : 4 : 20 before reaching the Market Cross in Preston at exactly 17 miles!