Preston History, United Kingdom
Preston is considered to be the cultural, commercial and industrial capital of Lancashire, United Kingdom. It is rich with traditions from the various settlements that have influenced the place. The history of Preston would narrate how this came to be.
Early Settlements of Preston
Preston's history dates back as far as the Bronze Age when the Romans started to inhabit the riverbanks of Ribble, which is the neighboring town of Preston. Preston gained its name sometime during the Dark Ages. This town was believed to be populated by monks thus, it was called 'The Priest Town.'
In the 7th century, Preston was under Archbishop Wilfred and the Cathedral of Ripon. For 600 years, the town has been ruled by the Romans, Saxons, Danes, Norwegians and Normans. Each brought their beliefs, laws and languages that Preston adapted.
Period of Privileges and Collapses for Preston
The first Charter of Preston was established in 1179 by Henry II. Gaining Guild Merchant and other privileges developed the town's economy. By 1343, Preston was declared as the richest town in Lancashire. In the 1700's, the first spinning machine was made. This set Preston as one of the forerunners in the Industrial Revolution. Aside from this machine, the first cotton mill was also constructed. The town's cotton industry soared and numerous factories were made. However, this caused illnesses that killed a lot of people, infants in particular. Moreover, the cotton industry regressed and continued to close with the emergence of the war. Nonetheless, Preston found a way to recover. The Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library opened in 1893. Consequently, during the First World War, the town became the key mobilization base and a major railway center.
In the early 1900's, Preston's economy changed from a mill town to an administrative center of the County Council. It also became a major route center of docks and railway yards. Furthermore, it was a major market and service center for agriculture.
The mid 1900's brought about development in housing, engineering, education and leisure. The town's economy progressed again. And before the turn of the century, Preston, being the natural business and administrative center of Lancashire, established itself to be one of the leading employers of the coming millennium.
Known for its Guild Merchant, Preston celebrates Guild Week where there are processions, different activities, street parties and a whole lot more. Albert Edward Dock has been transformed to a beautiful Marina, office, entertainment and shopping center, and is now called Riversway.
Harris Museum now houses the town's collection of art and sculpture. At the heart of Preston, lies the University of Central Lancashire currently acknowledged as an important feature and the biggest employer of the town since it accommodates over 15,000 students. Preston, therefore, is worth the visit because of its industrial heritage. It is truly the heart of Lancashire, United Kingdom. You may want to take some trip to the place and find out what their history had left behind.
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