Located on the north of the river Ribble, Preston is Lancashire’s administrative center. This charming city can still show a few pieces of evidence that date back to the days of the Roman Empire. So, the city is older than it may seem. Even before a settlement appeared in the area where Preston lies today, Roman roads passed where the center of the city is today.

It is believed that a Roman camp or station was located southeast of the town’s center, which explains why these ancient roads existed in Preston. One of the roads is believed to be the one leading from Carlisle to Manchester, which used to cross the river and lead to the previously mentioned Roman camping site.

Concerning the name of the city, Preston, one theory suggests that it came from the town’s Priest. He made reference to a priory that was founded near the lowest ford of River Ribble, by St. Wilfrid. Similarities between the Paschal Lamb that is featured both St. Wilfrid’s crest and Preston’s crest can be considered as proofs to confirm this theory. The first time Preston was ever mentioned in a book was back in 1086.

​Its name appears in the Domesday Book, but by that time, Preston was already a developed city in the central Lancashire area, known as Amounderness in those days. Between 1218 and 1219, Preston underwent an assessment for tax purposes and the results showed that the city was the wealthiest one in the entire county.

The guild week that is still celebrated in Preston in nowadays dates back to 1179. King Henry II allowed the Burgesses of Preston to hold a so-called “Guild Merchant” and, since then, it is celebrated in Preston every 20 years, the last one being held in 2012, with its start on the 2nd of September. It is worth mentioning that the guild of Preston is the only guild that continues to be celebrated in the United Kingdom.

The pre-industrial era caught Preston in the middle of several decisive battles in the history of the UK. Because the city was located between London and Glasgow, at an equal distance of each, the location served as background for a few significant battles, such as the Battle of Preston in 1648, during the English Civil War.

During the 19th century, Preston transformed from a market town to a larger, more developed industrial city. The water frame, for example, was invented in Preston, by Richard Arkwright. According to certain writing, Preston was the first city located outside London that used gas for lighting the streets. Karl Marks even called Preston as being the next St. Petersburg.

When Preston reached the year 1901, it was a flourishing industrial city, with more than 120,000 people living there. Between the wars, new industries came to Preston, which improved the situation triggered by the decline of the cotton industry. Engineering and the manufacturing of electrical goods changed the economy of the city.

During World War II, the city recorded no fatalities and only endure several air raids. In 1960, the center of the city received a new face. Old buildings were torn down in order to make room for new and more modern developments, like the St. George’s Shopping Centre, opened in 1966, and, 20 years later, the Fishergate Shopping Centre.

Written by Digitec Aerials of Preston https://www.digitec-aerials.co.uk/tv-aerial-installation/preston

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