Preston, John Smith, 1809-81, Confederate general in the American Civil War, b. near Abingdon, Va. He practiced law at Abingdon and Columbia, S.C., but made his fortune operating a Louisiana sugar plantation. Preston, an ardent advocate of states' rights in the South Carolina senate (1848-56), strongly supported secession. In the Civil War he first served as an aide to General Beauregard and later (1863-65) headed the bureau of conscription at Richmond, being promoted to brigadier general in 1864. He went to England after the war, and although he returned in 1868, he remained a defender of the Confederacy until the end.
Preston, city (1991 pop. 166,675) and district, Lancashire, N England, on the Ribble River. Preston has an active port and is a center of cotton and rayon manufacturing. Some mills have closed, but work has been created in the areas of engineering, as well as aircraft, motor vehicle, industrial machinery, and electrical appliance production. A guild-merchant festival has been held in Preston every 20 years for more than four centuries. One of the oldest administrative regions in England, Preston has sent representatives to Parliament since the 13th cent. It was the scene of a victory by Oliver Cromwell in 1648 and of the surrender of the Jacobites after the rising of 1715. The Gothic town hall was completed in 1867 from designs by George Gilbert Scott. The Harris Museum and Art Gallery is a notable attraction. The city is the birthplace of Richard Arkwright and Francis Thompson.
Manning, Preston, 1942-, Canadian political leader. Although he is the son of Ernest C. Manning, a leader of the Social Credit party who was premier of Alberta for 25 years, Preston Manning headed a management consulting firm for many years before he entered Canadian national politics. In 1987 he was one of the founders of the Reform party, a largely western, conservative, and strongly federalist party that arose in part in opposition to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's attempt to negotiate a special status for Quebec within Canada. Elected to Parliament in 1993, he became opposition leader after the 1997 balloting, when the Reform party won 60 seats. After the party reconstituted itself as the Canadian Alliance in 2000, he was defeated for leadership of the party by Stockwell Day; he retired from politics in 2002. Manning wrote The New Canada (1992).
Dickinson, Preston, 1891-1930, American painter, b. New York City. In New York he studied at the Art Students League. From 1910 to 1915 he traveled in Europe, returning often later in life. His still lifes and landscapes in oil and watercolor are built up of highly colorful planes. He is well represented in museums throughout the United States.
Sturges, Preston, 1898-1959, American film director, screenwriter, and producer, b. Chicago as Edmond Preston Biden. Educated in the United States and Europe, he turned to playwriting during the 1920s, penning works that included the hit Broadway comedy Strictly Dishonorable (1929, film 1931). Sturges moved (1932) to Hollywood and began to turn out screenplays, both for dramas and sparkling comedies. He debuted as a director with the screwball comedy The Great McGinty (1940), which he also wrote, and for which he won the best original screenplay Oscar. Sturges satirized many sacred cows in the witty, unsentimental, and stylish movies he wrote and directed during the 1940s. Among them are Sullivan's Travels (1941), widely considered his masterpiece; The Lady Eve (1941); I Married a Witch (1942); The Palm Beach Story (1942); Hail the Conquering Hero (1944); and The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944). After the successful Unfaithfully Yours (1948), his career faltered, and his subsequent films were few and undistinguished. After falling into relative obscurity, his romantic comedies were rediscovered in the 1970s, and he is now hailed as one of Hollywood's finest and most influential comic talents.

See his memoirs, ed. by his wife, Sandy Sturges (1990); biographies by J. Curtis (1982), D. Spoto (1990), and D. Jacobs (1992).

Preston (ˈprɛstən) is a city and local government district in Lancashire, England, located on the River Ribble. Preston was granted the status of a city in 2002, becoming England's 50th city in the 50th year of Queen Elizabeth II's reign. The Mayor of Preston from May 2008 to May 2009 is Councillor John Swindells. The population of the Preston City Council area is c 130,000. The 2001 census indicated 184,836 living in the Preston sub-area and c 335,000 living in the Central Lancashire sub-region, which also includes Leyland and Chorley.



Preston is first 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 (town or place) of the Presta (priest or priests).

Early development

During the Roman period, the main road from Luguvalium (Carlisle) to Mamucium (Manchester) forded the River Ribble at Walton-le-Dale, 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 Bremetennacum (the Roman fort at Ribchester) to the coast.

In Ripon in 705 AD the lands near the River Ribble 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 York 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 sameness of the paschal lamb on Preston's crest with that on St. Wilfrid's.

Preston was already the most important town in Amounderness (an area of Central Lancashire between the rivers Ribble and Cocker, including The Fylde and Bowland) when first mentioned in the Domesday Book, compiled in 1086; and it was the wealthiest town in Lancashire when assessed for tax purposes in 1218-19.

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 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 Park 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 Amounderness,in the deanery of Amounderness and the archdeaconry of Richmond. 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 Ribble 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 Lancaster and twice as much as from Liverpool.

The location of the city, almost exactly mid-way between Glasgow and London, 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 (1715) 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 the very few places in England where the Prince was cheered as he rode by and where he was actually joined by some English volunteers for his Army. 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 Inverness.

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. Petersburg". 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.

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 Lancashire 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 Fulwood and part of Preston Rural District.


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 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from the American State of Utah (otherwise known as the Mormons). As early as 1837 the first LDS 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 Chorley, near Preston, described by The Telegraph newspaper as "spectacular". The temple is officially known as the Preston England Temple.


Preston City Council

The 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.

Recent electoral results in Preston can be found at Preston local elections. The local areas of Preston can be found at Districts of Preston

The current mayor is John Swindells.

Mayors of Preston

Since local government reorganisation in 1974 the Mayors of Preston have been:

  • Ian Hall J.P. 1974-75
  • Robert Weir 1975-76
  • Harold Parker 1976-77
  • Joe Hood C.B.E J.P 1977-78
  • Arthur Taylor 1978-79
  • Dennis Kehoe 1979-80
  • Robert Butcher 1980-81
  • Mildred Doris Scrowcroft 1981-82
  • Joseph Saul Pownall 1982-83
  • Dorothy Challenor J.P. 1983-84
  • Nancy Taylor 1984-85
  • Joan Ainscough 1985-86
  • Richard Atkinson 1986-87
  • Gerry Walmsley 1987-98
  • Joe Ward 1988-89
  • Ronnie Ball 1989-90
  • Albert Richardson 1990-91
  • Mary Rawcliffe 1991-92
  • Harold Parker 1992-93 Guild Mayor
  • Ken Hudson J.P. 1993-94
  • Ian Hall J.P. 1994-95
  • Terry Cartwright 1995-96
  • Ron Marshall 1996-97
  • Richard Evans 1997-98
  • Rose Kinsella 1998-99
  • Geoff Swarbrick 1999-2000
  • Joe Hood C.B.E J.P 2000-01
  • Alan Hackett 2001-02
  • Jonathon Saksena 2002-03
  • Neil Cartwright 2003-04
  • Pat Woods 2004-05
  • Bhikhu Patel 2005-06
  • Bill Tyson 2006-07
  • Christine Abram 2007-08
  • John Swindells 2008-09

Freemen of the City

Current Freemen of the City are:

  • Sir Tom Finney C.B.E. J.P. 6th September 1979
  • Councillor Harold Parker 21st May 1992
  • Alderman Ian Hall 21st May 1992
  • Alderman Joe Hood 21st May 1992
  • Nick Park 25th October 1997
  • Andrew Flintoff 20th June 2005
  • 14th/20th Hussars Regiment 6th November 1992
  • Minster and Guild Church of St John 29th November 1993
  • University of Central Lancashire 30th March 2000

Freedom of the City

Freedom of the City has been granted to:

This was subsequently transferred 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 Valley, 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 North.

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


Physical geography

The River Ribble borders the city. The Forest of Bowland forms a backdrop to Preston.

On 10 August 1893 Preston entered the UK Weather Records, with the Highest 5-min total rainfall of 32 mm. As of July 2006 this remains a record.

Areas and Estates

Adelphi, Ashton-on-Ribble, Avenham, Bartle, Barton, Broadgate, Brockholes, Brookfield, Broughton, Cadley, Callon, Catforth, Cottam, Cumeragh, Deepdale, Farringdon Park, Fishwick, Frenchwood, Fulwood, Goosnargh, Grange, Greenlands, Grimsargh, Haighton, Holme Slack, Inglewhite, Ingol, Ladyewell, Lane Ends, Larches, Lea, Longsands, Maudlands, Miller Park, Moor Nook, Moor Park, Nooklands, Plungington, Ribbleton, Riversway, Savick, St Georges, St. Matthew's, Sharoe Green, Sherwood, Springfields, Tanterton, Tulketh, Whitechapel, Whittingham, Woodplumpton, Wychnor.

Out of city Areas/Towns

Unlike other towns and cities Preston's city centre is on the city's southern border with the South Ribble borough. This means that some of the areas and towns associated with Preston are not actually in the city itself but in neighbouring boroughs. Listed below are towns and villages which, while associated with Preston, do not belong to the city boundaries.

Bamber Bridge, Coupe Green, Gregson Lane, Higher Walton, Howick, Hutton, Kingsfold Leyland, Longridge, Longton, Lostock Hall, Much Hoole, Middleforth, New Longton, Penwortham, Walton-le-Dale.

Civic geography

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



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%).


The 2001 Census recorded 71.5% of the population as Christians (mostly Catholics ), 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.


Preston's premier landmark is St Walburge's Church, designed by Joseph Hansom of Hansom Cab fame. At , it boasts the tallest spire in England 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 Building, St. John the Evangelist's Minster, the former Corn Exchange, St. Wilfrid Catholic Church, Fishergate Baptist Church, and many beautiful Georgian buildings at Winckley Square. Many Catholic and Anglican parish churches are also to be found throughout the city.




Preston is a major centre of the British defence aerospace industry with BAE Systems, the UK's principal military aircraft design, development and manufacture supplier, having its Military Aircraft headquarters located in nearby Warton. The company has two of its major facilities located some miles on either side of the city. BAE Warton is located to the western side of the city whilst BAE Samlesbury 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) Springfield 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 Skelmersdale in 1998, the city still has the tax office for the company (located in Winckley Square). Plumbs Ltd founded in the 1950s is still a family run business employing over 300 people at its Preston base.

Convenience store chain operator James Hall and Co who supply SPAR stores in the north of England have their head office located in the Ribbleton 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 Square in the city centre.

Preston is the home of Airline network.

On the 20 February 2006, mobile phone retailer The Carphone Warehouse took over Tulketh Mill (formerly the home of the Littlewoods catalogue call centre) a listed building in the Ashton-on-Ribble area of the city. The building has undergone an extensive redevelopment of the interior and is now the workplace of some 800 employees (as of 3rd March 2007). The main purpose of the site is a call centre for its broadband and landline service TalkTalk as well as its LLU company Opal Telecom It was officially opened on 19 December 2006 by CEO Charles Dunstone and the Mayor of Preston.

Preston is 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. 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 Museum.

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 Station).

Plans are also being drawn up to open a new Bentley car showroom close to the M6, M65 and M61 motorways. The new facility will enable greater accessibility for Lancashire's Elite and should serve to meet growing demand for this type of product from within Preston.

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 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 Blackpool and The Lake District. The first traffic cones were used during its construction, replacing red lantern paraffin burners.

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 is a major stop on the West Coast Main Line, with regular long distance train services to London (Euston) and the South East, and Glasgow to the North. Preston is also a hub for connecting rail services in the North West, with direct services to Blackpool, Lancaster, Blackburn, Bradford, Leeds, Wigan, Bolton, Manchester and Liverpool.


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 Sea. 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 Park, 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


Although lacking any rail based rapid transit network, Preston has a very comprehensive bus network. The 3 main local operators are:

  • Preston Bus - Serving Preston Borough and Penwortham
  • Stagecoach in Lancashire (formerly Stagecoach Ribble) - serving most areas outside the borough, particular emphasis on Walton-le-Dale, Penwortham/Longton and Longridge
  • John Fishwick & Sons - providing frequent services into the city centre for Lower Penwortham, Lostock Hall, Leyland, Euxton and Chorley

Preston also has its own park and ride at Walton-le-Dale and Portway.

Preston is also served by many national bus services. Stagecoach Express, National Express, Eurolines, and Megabus all have a large presence at Preston Bus Station - which is the second largest 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 all 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 Aerodrome is an active airfield west of the city and is the airfield for the BAE Warton factory. BAE Samlesbury to the east of the town is a former active aerodrome but today it serves as a facility for BAE Systems
Blackpool International Airport is located only west from the city.
Manchester Airport is a large international airport about south-east of the city.


The city is home to the University of Central Lancashire. Formerly known as Preston Polytechnic, "UCLan" is now the sixth largest university in the country. The university currently has over 33,000 students. As well as the university, the Preston area is home to many other higher and further education institutes:

High schools include:

  • Corpus Christi Catholic Sports College
  • Fulwood High
  • Our Ladys
  • Cadley
  • Ribbleton High
  • Ashton
  • Archbishop Temple


Preston has a number of local radio stations:

The Lancashire Evening Post is based in Fulwood.


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 Museum, the home of English football heritage, currently located at Deepdale 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 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.

England Test Cricket player Andrew Flintoff is a Preston native.

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 Yukon, 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 thick 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.

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

Twin cities/towns


See also

  • Hodge, A. C. (1997). History of Preston: An Introduction. Preston: Carnegie Publishing. ISBN 1-85936-049-1.
  • Hunt, D. (1992). A History of Preston. Preston: Carnegie Publishing. ISBN 0-94878-967-0.
  • Hunt, D. (2003). Preston: Centuries of Change. The Brredon Books Publishing Company. ISBN 1-85983-345-4.
  • Sartin, S. (1988). The people and places of Historic Preston. Preston: Carnegie Publishing. ISBN 0-94878-925-5.
  • Walsh, T. and Butler, G. (1992). The Old Lamb and Flag. Preston: Carnegie Publishing. ISBN 0-94878-979-4.
  • Dj Baby Boo (HTID) (1987) Leyland

External links

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