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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 53°45′N 2°42′W / 53.75°N 2.7°W / 53.75; -2.7

City of Preston
From upper left: Deepdale, Preston England Temple, Preston's skyline viewed from the east, Preston bus station, Preston city centre.

Coat of Arms of the City Council
Nickname(s): Proud Preston
Shown within Lancashire
City of Preston is located in England
City of Preston
Shown within England
Coordinates: 53°45′N 2°42′W / 53.75°N 2.7°W / 53.75; -2.7
Country United Kingdom
Constituent Country England
Region North West England
County Lancashire
Founded ??
Guild Merchant charter 1179
City status 2002
 - Type Non-metropolitan district
 - Local Authority Preston City Council
 - Mayor of the City of Preston Cllr. Keith Sedgewick
 - Leader of Council Cllr. Ken Hudson
 - MPs Mark Hendrick, Michael Jack, Nigel Evans.
 - City 54.9 sq mi (142.22 km2)
Population (2008 est.)
 - City 132,000 (Ranked 152nd)
 Urban 365,000 (Central Lancashire)
 - Ethnicity 82.3% White British
11.6% S.Asian
2.6% White Other
1.1% White Irish
1.5% Mixed Race
1.1% Black British
1.0% E.Asian and Other
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)
Postcode PR
Area code(s) 01772
ISO 3166-2 GB-LAN
ONS code 30UK
OS grid reference SD535295
Demonym Prestonian

Preston (pronounced /ˈprɛstən/ ( listen)) is a city and non-metropolitan district in Lancashire, England. It is located on the north bank of the River Ribble, and was granted city status in 2002, becoming England's 50th city in the 50th year of Queen Elizabeth II's reign.[1] 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.[2]

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-Dale. 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 Amounderness 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".[3] 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 Museum.




Preston is recorded in the Domesday Book as "Prestune" in 1086.[4] 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.[5] The town's name is derived from Old English Presta and Tun, the Tun (enclosure, farmstead, village, manor, estate).[6] of the Presta (priest or priests).[7]

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.[8]

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 similarity of the Paschal lamb on Preston's crest with that on St. Wilfrid's.[9]

When first mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book, Preston was already the most important town in Amounderness (the area of Central Lancashire between the rivers Ribble 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.[10]

Guild Merchant

The right to hold a Guild Merchant was conferred upon the Burgesses of Preston by a charter of 1179;[11] the associated Preston Guild is a civic celebration held every 20 years, with the next one due in 2012.[12]

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.[13]

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.[citation needed]

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).[citation needed]

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”.[14] 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”.[15] 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.[16]

Industrial Revolution

Plaque in Fox Street commemorating the work of Reverend Joseph Dunn in bringing gas lighting to the town

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".[17] 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 Lancashire library has a great deal of information on Joseph Livesey and the Temperance Movement in Preston.[18]

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.


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.[citation needed]

Preston lies in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lancaster and the Anglican Diocese of Blackburn.

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.[citation needed]

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.[19] 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".[20] The temple is officially known as the Preston England Temple.

Preston also has a significant Muslim (Sunni Branch, particularly Hanafi school) population, the majority of which is of Indian descent (see Ethnicity below). The Muslim population is centred in the Deepdale, Fishwick, Fulwood, Frenchwood and Cottam areas of the city. The city has 13 mosques: 10 in Deepdale, two on Manchester Road and one in Fulwood. The concentration of population of Indian descent is due mainly to the workforce required by the Cotton Mills of the last century. After the 1970s it is also due to the Royal Preston Hospital being located in Fulwood.[citation needed]


Preston City Council

Entering the city centre from Fylde Road

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. Shortly after the election Councillor Christine Abram, a former Liberal Democrat leader, defected to the Conservatives leaving the Liberal Democrats with eight members and the Conservatives with 22, labour still with 24 members.

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

The current mayor is Councillor Keith Sedgewick.

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 2010 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 provides a southern border for the city. The Forest of Bowland forms a backdrop to Preston to the east while the Fylde lies to the west. At 53°45′N 2°42′W / 53.75°N 2.7°W / 53.75; -2.7, Preston is approximately 27 miles north west of Manchester, 26 miles north east of Liverpool, and 15 miles east of the coastal town Blackpool.

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.[21]

Climate data for Blackpool (The nearest weather station to Preston at 15 miles to the west.)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 44
Average low °F (°C) 35
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.19
Sunshine hours 52.4 70.9 106.3 160.8 215.1 204.0 201.2 182.3 139.8 100.4 63.3 43.7 1,540.3
Source: [22] 2009-01-09

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 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:

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 2007 estimates is as follows (With national average in brackets): 81.9% White British (83.6%), 1.0% White Irish (1.1%), 1.6% Other White (3.5%). 1.6% Mixed Race (1.7%). 8.1% Indian (2.6%), 2.6% Pakistani (1.8%), 0.3% Bangladeshi (0.7%), 0.5% Other South Asian (0.7%). 0.6% Black Caribbean (1.2%), 0.4% Black African (1.4%), 0.1% Other Black (0.2%). 0.8% Chinese (0.8%) and 0.4% Other East Asian and Arab (0.7%).[23]

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 Liverpool and Manchester, 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 Deepdale and St George's wards, where 75% and 77% of children respectively are said to be living in poverty.[24][citation needed]


The 2001 Census recorded 71.5% of the population as Christians, 9.8% as having no religion, and 8.2% as Muslims.[25] 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 Church, designed by Joseph Hansom of Hansom Cab fame. At 94 metres (308 ft), it boasts the tallest spire in England on a church that is not a cathedral.[26] There are also many notable buildings dotted in and around the city centre including the Miller Arcade, the Town Hall, the Harris Museum, 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 Square. Many Catholic and Anglican parish churches are also to be found throughout the city. The chimney of the Grade II listed Tulketh Mill [4], recently fully exposed on the Blackpool Road, provides an impressive reminder of Preston's industrial heritage. HMP Preston is also a good example of a typical Victorian radial-design prison. Modern architecture is represented by the Guild Hall and Preston Bus Station.



Grade I Listed Buildings

  • Old Lea Hall Farmhouse, Blackpool Road, SD4822929822
  • Harris Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery, Market Place, PR1 2AR. SD5405929424
  • Church of St Walburge, Weston Street, PR2 2QE. SD5296129868


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.

A Typhoon, which is built at BAE Samlesbury and assembled at BAE Warton to the west of the city

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 Skelmersdale in 1998, the city still has the tax office for the company (located in Winckley Square).

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 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.[27]

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.

Goss Graphic Systems Limited, a global supplier of printing presses based in the United States, 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.[28]

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-Ribble 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.

The Riversway area (in the Ashton-on-Ribble area of the city) is also home to the Preston docklands, which has under gone redevelopment. Several office areas around the docks, along with significant residential presence. Several small businesses such as the English Football League's LFE headquaters[29] s3d designs [30] are based in the area.

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.

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[31] 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).

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 Blackpool and The Lake District. 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 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 and Edinburgh 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, Liverpool and Ormskirk. 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 Deepdale.

Preston is the home of the heritage Ribble Steam Railway, located in Riversway.


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.[32]


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.[33]

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 Penwortham, Longton, Fulwood, Walton-le-dale, Bamber Bridge, New Longton, Ribbleton, Bamber Bridge and Longridge and outside areas of Southport and Leyland. Stagecoach also provided links to , Blackpool, Blackburn, Bolton, Chorley, Liverpool and Manchester, as well as Lancaster and Morecambe 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.[citation needed]

John Fishwick & Sons, provides frequent services into the city centre for Lower Penwortham, Lostock Hall, Leyland, Euxton and Chorley. Transdev Lancashire United operates two routes into Preston: one is the 152 to Blackburn and Burnley; the other is the 280 to Clitheroe and Skipton.

Preston also has its own park and ride with three sites; one is at Portway, in the Riversway area, served by PR1, another is just off the A6 at Walton-le-Dale 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 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 claimed to be the largest or second largest station in Europe[citation needed].

Preston was one of the first cities in the UK to have its bus network fitted with Realtime,[citation needed] 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 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 20 miles (32 km) west from the city.
Manchester Airport is a large international airport about 40 miles (64 km) south-east of the city.


The city is home to the University of Central Lancashire. 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.[34]

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
  • Christ the King Catholic Maths and Computing College
  • Corpus Christi Catholic Sports College
  • Fulwood Academy, formerly Fulwood High School and Arts College
  • Larches House Short Stay School
  • Moorbrook School
  • Moor Park Business And Enterprise 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 UCLAN, 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)
  • Ramadan Radio - An FM radio that only operates during the Muslim Lunar month of Ramadan.

Other regional stations which include Preston within their coverage include:

The Lancashire Evening Post is based in Fulwood.


Preston North End FC

Preston North End in 1888-89, the first Football League champions, subsequently doing 'The Double'

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[35]) and the National Football Museum, the home of English football heritage, currently located at Deepdale Football Ground, with the possibility of it moving to Manchester due to funding issues. Deepdale is the oldest continuously used professional soccer venue in the world[citation needed]. 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 Lancashire, 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

Plaque commemorating birthplace of Robert W. Service on Christian Road near the railway station

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 strong Lancashire accent.[36]

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.[37]

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.[38]

Actress Tupele Dorgu who is famous for her role as Kelly Crabtree in the british ITV soap Coronation Street 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


  1. ^ "'Proud Preston' wins city status", BBC News, 14 March 2002. URL accessed on 6 June 2006.
  2. ^ Census 2001: Preston, Office for National Statistics. URL accessed on 6 June 2006.
  3. ^ "The parish of Preston', A History of the County of Lancaster", A History of the County of Lancaster: 7: 72–91, 1912,, retrieved 2009-03-13 
  4. ^ Hunt, 1992. p. 9.
  5. ^ Hunt, 1992. p. 10.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Hunt, 2003. p. 31.
  8. ^ Hodge, 1997. pp. 3-5.
  9. ^ Walsh and Butler, 1992.
  10. ^ Hodge, 1997. pp. 6-10.
  11. ^ Preston's History
  12. ^ Once Every preston Guild
  13. ^ The County of Lancashire, England, UK
  14. ^ SP 36/75, fol.84, fols.177a, 179, Alexander Blair to Mrs Blair, 5 Dec.1745.
  15. ^ [SP 36/75, fol.87, - to Lady Gask, 27 Nov.1745].
  16. ^ Fitzroy Maclean, 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' 1988
  17. ^ "Karl Marx in the New York Daily Tribune 1854". 1854-08-01. Retrieved 2006-09-20. 
  18. ^ "The Livesey Collection". Retrieved 2006-09-20. 
  19. ^ "Media Newsroom". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-22. 
  20. ^ Mormons reveal secrets of the temple. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  21. ^ Met Office: Extreme Weather
  22. ^ "Blackpool 1971-2000 averages". Met Office. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  23. ^ Neighbourhood Statistics
  24. ^ [2]
  25. ^ Census 2001: Statistics. URL accessed on 6 June 2006.
  26. ^ "Guide to Preston". Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  27. ^ "Confirmation of Relocation" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-04-25. 
  28. ^ Coates, David (2009-03-25). "Goss in talks to axe 60 more staff". Lancashire Evening Post. Johnston Press. 
  29. ^ [3]
  30. ^ Hiscock, Matt. "s3d designs". 
  31. ^ "£800 million plan could cause more traffic chaos". Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  32. ^ "Flood plain housing plan slammed". Lancashire Evening Post, June 30th 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  33. ^ Lancashire County Council: Environment Directorate: Bus
  34. ^ "Pocket Facts"PDF (708 KiB), University of Central Lancashire. URL accessed on 6 June 2006.
  35. ^ Preston North End history - Preston City Council
  36. ^ Simpson, Jenny (2008), "Ey oop! Butch was a Lancashire outlaw", Lancashire Evening Post,,,10794~1357277,00.html 
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Wallace and Gromit statue planned for Preston". BBC News. 2007-09-06. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 


  • Hodge, A. C. (1997) [1984]. 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. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Preston Town Hall
Preston Town Hall

Preston [1] is a city in Lancashire, England.


Preston is the largest city in the county of Lancashire, and historically was a major port and industrial centre. It is one of the few cities that has an "old northern" culture, with many words of the Lancashire dialect still in use.

Get in

By plane

Nearby Blackpool Airport has flights to Dublin, Isle of Man, France and Spain, while Liverpool and Manchester airports offer a world-wide service. Manchester Airport's services include London. Local airlines include Jet2 [2], British Airways [3], British European [4], and VLM [5].

By train

Preston is a major terminal on the WCML "West Coast Main Line", and services to and from most major cities around the UK are offered by Virgin Trains [6]. The Virgin website sells tickets between any two stations in the National Rail network, so getting to Preston by train should be easy, wherever you are.

By car

Preston is well linked to the motorway network (M6, M61, M62, M60, M65). There are many reasonably priced taxi firms in the city - see by taxi in Get around.

There are two Park & Ride sites in Preston: Preston PortWay which is situated close to Preston Docks, and Walton-le-Dale. For more information consult Preston Bus [].

By bus

National Express [7] offer intercity coaches from most towns and cities in the UK, and many in France and Spain, while Megabus [8] offers extremely low cost (£1 one way) bus travel to and from London. Other bus companies are available, and can be booked via the UK public transport gateway transportdirect [9] which is a database of all British Public Transport, and can effectively link any two buildings in the UK with Public Transport using Postcodes

Get around

Preston has an extensive local bus network operated by Stagecoach Northwest and JFS (Fishwicks), details of which can be found via transportdirect.

Preston has a number of reliable taxi companies - the largest/most notable of which are:

  • Millers Taxi (Preston & South Ribble) - +44 1772 88 4000
  • Call-A-Cab (Citywide Service) - +44 1772 513344
  • 24-7 Taxis Ltd (South Preston Service)- +44 1772 424-247
  • Hutton Taxis Ltd (Rural West Preston Service)- +44 1772 610-610


Preston has several cultural attractions worth visiting, such as the city museum, Minster Church and the UK's National Football Museum [10].

  • Paulstaxi, Train Station, 07710 336388, [11]. 7 Seater Hackney carriage with wheelchair access  edit
The Harris museum is a Grade 1 listed building
The Harris museum is a Grade 1 listed building
  • Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Market Square, Preston. PR1 2PP., 01772 258248, [12]. Mon - Sat 10AM -5PM. Except Tues 11AM - 5PM. Collections of fine and decorative art, costumes, textiles, photography with displays about the history of Preston, in an impressive 19th Century Grade I listed building in the centre of the city. Includes a new gallery dedicated to ceramics and glass.  edit
  • Museum of Lancashire, Stanley Street, Preston. PR1 4YP., 01772 264075. Mon - Wed, Fri - Sat 10.30 - 5.. Museum dedicated to the county's past set in an old courthouse. Includes Victorian and World War II exhibitions.  edit
  • Queens Lancashire Regiment Museum, Fulwood Barracks, Preston. PR2 8AA., 01772 260362. Tues - Thurs 9.30AM - 4.30PM. The largest military heritage centre in the North West. Dedicated to the county's military history. Includes memorabilia collections, an archive and library.  edit
  • British Commercial Vehicle Museum, King Street, Leyland, near Preston. PR25 2LE., 01772 451011, [13]. Describes the history of the British road transport industry. Includes historic commercial vehicles and buses.  edit
  • Rail - visit the Ribble Steam Railway [14] on the docks.
  • Football - visit the National Football Museum [15] (free entrance); see Preston North End FC, the first ever team to win the English League (They achieved this without losing a game, also winning the FA Cup in the same year without conceding a goal) play at the 20,000 seater Deepdale Stadium [16]
  • Nightlife - Preston has a wide variety of clubs located on the main highstreet such as Lava Ignite and Wall St.


Preston is the home of the University of Central Lancashire [17] with over 30,000 students.

  • Shopping - Preston has several shopping centers including the Fishergate and the Mall. Their is also a Victorian Shopping Arcade located near the Harris Museum in the centre of Preston called the The Miller Arcade. Preston city centre is currently undergoing a £700 million redevelopment project.


Preston has a wide range of restaurants in its city center, and many local pubs serve meals as well.

A popular and tasty local delicacy is butter pie, which is made with potatoes, onions and butter. Originally created for Catholic workers to eat on days when they had to abstain from meat, it can be found in many fish and chip shops in the city.

  • Travelodge Preston [18] offers room rates from GB£20 per night
  • Norbreck Castle [19] offers room rates from GB£25 per night
  • The Novotel Preston South [20] is a mid-priced hotel with restaurant, room rates from GB£45
  • Holiday inn Preston A reasonably priced city centre hotel. It has a Restaurant, Bar and Lounge.
  • Swallow Preston[21] (Preston New Road, Preston, Lancashire, PR5 0UL, 01772 877351 (). Offers restaurant / bar and leisure facilities.
  • Marriot Preston [22] Set in 11 acres of gardens and woodland, the hotel is just minutes away from the M6 motorway.It was also once a grand victorian manor house. This might be a more expensive place to stay but the marriot is internationally regarded as an upmarket chain of hotels.
  • The Hotel Barton Grange [23] Rooms from £55. This is an exquisite four star hotel north of Preston, with several restaurants and a swimming pool with spa, Barton Grange is the perfect place for a high class stay in Preston.

Stay safe

Preston is relatively safe compared with larger cities like London or Manchester, but it is still wise to use common sense. If you are alone, avoid wandering around the City centre and other dark quiet areas at late unsociable hours.

Preston Police are available on +44 1772 203-203 for non-emergencies, in Emergencies Only dial 999 or 112 from any phone for fire, police, or ambulance

  • The area dialing code for Preston is 01772. From overseas, dial +44 1772 XXX-XXX
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PRESTON, a municipal, county, and parliamentary borough and port, of Lancashire, England, on the river Ribble, 209 m. N.W. by N. from London by the London & North-Western railway, served also by the Lancashire & Yorkshire railway. Pop. (1891), 107,573; (1901), 112,989; at the beginning of the 19th century it was about 17,000. The nucleus of its site consists of a ridge rising sharply from the north bank of the river, while the surrounding country, especially to the west about the estuary, is flat. Among the numerous parish churches that of St John, built in Decorated style in 1855, occupies a site which has carried a church from early times. Among several Roman Catholic churches, that of St Walpurgis (1854) is a handsome building of Early Decorated character. Of public buildings the most noteworthy is the large town hall, with lofty tower and spire, in Early English style, built in 1867 from designs by Sir Gilbert Scott.

The free public library and museum were established in 1879 by the trustees of E. R. Harris, a prominent citizen. A new building was opened in 1893. Here is placed Dr Shepherd's library. founded in 1761, of nearly 9000 volumes, as well as a collection of pictures, &c., valued at £40,000, bequeathed by the late R. Newsham. The Harris Institute, endowed by the above-named trustees with £40,000, is established in a building of classical style erected in 1849, wherein are held science and art classes, and a chemical laboratory is maintained. For the grammar school, founded in 1550, a building in the Tudor style was erected in 1841 by private shareholders, but in 1860 they sold it to the corporation, who now have the management of the school. The blue-coat school, founded in 1701, was in 1817 amalgamated with the national schools. A Victoria Jubilee technical school was established under a grant from the Harris trustees in 1897. There is also a deaf and dumb school. Preston is well supplied with public recreation grounds, including Avenham Park, the Miller Park, with a statue of the 14th earl of Derby (d. 1869), the Moor Park, the Marsh, and the Deepdale grounds, with an observatory. Preston is one of the principal seats of the cotton manufacture in Lancashire. There are also iron and brass foundries, engineering works, cotton machinery works, and boiler works, and some shipbuilding is carried on. In 1826 Preston became a creek of Lancaster, in 1839 it was included in the new port of Fleetwood, and in 1843 it was created an independent port. The trade of the port was insignificant until the construction of spacious docks, in conjunction with the deepening of the river from the quays of Preston to its outfall in the Irish Sea, a distance of 16 m., was begun in 1884, and was carried out at a cost of over one million sterling. The main wet dock, opened in 1892, is 3240 ft. long and 600 ft. wide. The total quayage is over 8500 lineal feet. The channel of the river has been made straighter, and from docks to sea deepened, so that the dock is accessible for vessels of 17 ft. draught on ordinary spring tides. A canal connects Preston with Lancaster.

The parliamentary borough, which returns two members, falls between the Blackpool and Darwen divisions of the county. The corporation consists of a mayor, 12 aldermen and 36 councillors. Area of municipal borough, 3971 acres.

Preston, otherwise Prestune, was near the minor Roman station at Walton-le-Dale and the great Roman road running from Warrington passed through it. It is mentioned in Domesday Book as one of Earl Tostig's possessions which had fallen to Roger of Poictou, and on his defection it was forfeited to the Crown.' Henry II. about the year 1179 granted the burgesses a charter by which he confirmed to them the privileges he had granted to Newcastle-under-Lyme, the chief of which were a free borough and a gild merchant. This is the first of fourteen royal charters which have been granted to Preston, the chief of which are as follows: John in 1199 confirmed to Preston all the rights granted by Henry II.'s charter and also "their fair of eight days" from the Assumption (Aug. 15) and a three days' fair from the eve of Saints Simon and Jude (Oct. 28). Henry III. in 1217 confirmed the summer fair, but for five days only, and granted a weekly market on Wednesday. Edward III. (1328), Richard II. (1379), Henry IV. (1401), Henry V. (1414), Henry VI. (1425) and Philip and Mary (1557) confirmed the previous charters. The weekly market, though granted for Wednesday, was held as early as 1292 on Saturday. Elizabeth in 1566 granted the town its great charter which ratified and extended all previous grants, including the gild merchant, the weekly market on Saturday and the two annual fairs, in August for eight days and in October for seven days. Charles II. in 1662 and 1685 granted charters, by the latter of which an additional *eekly market on Wednesday was conceded and a three days' fair beginning on the ,6th of March. The most important industry used to be woollen weaving. Elizabeth's charter granted to the corporation all fees received from the sealing of cloth within the borough, and in 1571 the mayor reported that the cloths usually made near Preston were "narrow white kearses." Other early industries were glove-making and linen cloth. The first cotton-spinning mill was built in 1777 in Moor Lane, and in 1791 John Horrocks built the Yellow Factory. In 1835 there were forty factories, chiefly spinning, yielding 70,000 lb of cotton yarn weekly. A gild existed perhaps in Saxon times, but the grant of a gild merchant dates from Henry II.'s charter, about 1179. The first gild of which there was any record was celebrated in 1328, at which it was decided to hold a gild every twenty years. Up to 1542, however, they do not appear to have been very regularly celebrated, but ' The Court leet was held twice a year up to 1835.

since that year they have been and still are held at intervals of twenty years. A special gild mayor is appointed on each occasion. The first mention of a procession at the gild is in 1500. One of the most important items of business was the enrolling of freemen, and the gild rolls are records of the population. In 1 397 the gild roll contained the names of over 200 in-burgesses and too foreign burgesses; in 1415 the number of in-burgesses was 188, which in 1459 had declined to 72. In 1582 there were over 500 in-burgesses and 340 out-burgesses. There is no evidence for, but rather against, the common statement that Preston was burnt or razed to the ground during the Scottish invasion of 1322. The town suffered severely from the Black Death in 1349-1350, when as many as 3000 persons are said to have died, and again in the year November 1630 to November 1631, 110o died of pestilence. During the Civil War Preston sided with the king and became the headquarters of the Royalists in Lancashire. In February 1643 Sir John Seaton with a Parliamentary force marched from Manchester and successfully assaulted it. A strong Parliamentary garrison was established here and its fortifications repaired, but in March the earl of Derby recaptured the town. The Royalists did not garrison it, but after demolishing the greater part of the works left it unfortified. After the battle of Marston Moor Prince Rupert marched through Preston in September 1644 and carried the mayor and bailiffs prisoners to Skipton Castle, where they were confined for twelve months. On the 17th of August 1648 the Royalist forces under the duke of Hamilton and General Langdale were defeated at Preston by Cromwell with a loss of t000 killed and 4000 taken prisoners. During the Rebellion of 1715 the rebel forces entered Preston on the 9th of November, and after proclaiming the Chevalier de St George king at the cross in the market-place, remained here for some days, during which the government forces advanced. The town was assaulted, and on the 14th of November General Forster surrendered his army of about 1400 men to the king's forces. In 1745 Prince Charles Edward marched through on the way south and north, but the town took no part in the rebellion. The borough returned two members from 1295 to 1331, then ceased to exercise the privilege on account of poverty till 1529, but since that date (except in 1653) it has always sent two representatives to parliament. The curious institution of the mock mayor and corporation of Walton, which was at its foundation in 1701 a Jacobite association, ceased after 1766 to be of any political significance and lapsed in 1800. There was probably a church here in Saxon times and it is believed to be one of the three churches in Amounderness mentioned in Domesday Book. In 1094 it is named in a charter of Roger de Poictou. The early dedication was to St Wilfrid, but probably about 1531, when it was rebuilt, it was re-dedicated to St John. At the time of the Reformation, many, especially among the neighbouring gentry, clung to the old faith, and there is still a large Roman Catholic population. There were two monastic foundations here: a hospital dedicated to St Mary Magdalene, which stood on the Maudlands, and a Franciscan convent of Grey Friars situated to the west of Friargate. In the 18th century Preston had a high reputation as a centre of fashionable society, and earned the epithet still familiarly associated with it, "proud." See H. Fishwick, History of the Parish of Preston (1900).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




Old English prēost (priest) + tūn (settlement).


Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:





  1. An industrial town in Lancashire, England.
  2. Several other towns and villages.
  3. An English surname derived from any of the placenames.
  4. A male given name, transferred from the surname.


  • Greek: Πρέστον
  • Macedonian: Престон (Préston) m.


Simple English

Preston is a city in the north-west of England. It is near the River Ribble. It became a city in 2002. This was the 50th year of Queen Elizabeth II's reign.

The city is near Chorley and Leyland. In 2001, a census said that there was 335,000 people living in Preston.

The football team in Preston is Preston North End F.C.. They play at Deepdale. They were the first team to be English football champions.

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