In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Preston like this:
PRESTON, a parish in Weymouth district, Dorset; on Weymouth bay, 3¼ miles N E of Weymouth r. station. It includes the tything of Sutton-Poyntz; and its post town is Weymouth. Acres, 2, 679; of which 70 are water. Real property, £4, 766. Pop., 723. Houses, 164. The property is divided among a few. The manor belongs to J. Weld, Esq. There is a coast-guard station. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Salisbury. Value, £202.* Patron, the Bishop of Salisbury. The church is old, was recently restored, and has a tower. There are a Wesleyan chapel, and a national school.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Preston has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Weymouth and Portland. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Preston and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Preston, in Weymouth and Portland and Dorset | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 09th February 2016
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