In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Kirkham like this:
KIRKHAM, a small town, a township, and a sub-district, in Fylde district, and a parish partly also in Preston and Garstang districts, Lancashire. The town stands near the Preston and Wyre railway, 3 miles N of Naze Point on the Ribble estuary, and 8 WNW of Preston; has been regarded as the capital of the Fylde country; comprises several well built streets; has a good supply of water, and fair sanitary arrangements under a local board of health; is a seat of petty sessions and county courts; and has a post office† under Preston, a railway station, a magistrates' office, a church, Independent and Wesleyan chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a reading room and library, a free grammar school, a girls' charity school, a national school, a workhouse, and some charities. ...
The church succeeded a Norman one, which was given by Roger de Poitiers to Shrewsbury Abbey, and by Edward I. to Vale-Royal abbey; comprises a nave of 1822, a tower and spire of 1844, and a chancel of 1853, together with a N transept; and is convenient and spacious. The Roman Catholic chapel is at the Willows, ½ a mile from the town; was built in 1845, after designs by Pugin; is in the early English style; and consists of nave, aisles, chancel, and porch, with tower and octagonal spire. The grammar school was founded in 1658; affords both an English and a classical education; and has £596 a year from endowment, and two exhibitions of £60 a year to Cambridge. The workhouse is that of the Fylde district; has attached to it large garden ground; and, at the census of 1861, had 110 inmates. Fairs are held on 4 and 5 Feb., 28 and 29 April, and 18 and 19 Oct.; and there are flax mills in the town, and cotton mills in the adjoining township of Medlar-with-Wesham. -The town and the township are regarded as conterminate. Acres, 840. Real property, £7, 450; of which £162 are in gas works. Pop. in 1851, 2, 799; in 1861, 3, 380. Houses, 616.The sub-district contains also the townships of Freckleton, Warton, Bryning-with-Kellamergh, Ribby-with-Wrea, Westby-with-Plumpton, Weeton-with-Preese, Greenalgh-with-Thistleton, Cliftonwith-Salwick, Newton-with-Scales, Medlar-with-Wesham, Little Eccleston-with-Larbreck, Treals, Roseacre, and Wharles, and Elswick. Acres, 31, 464. Pop. in 1851, 8, 464; in 1861, 9, 141. Houses, 1, 740. -The parish contains all the sub-district, except Elswick township; and contains also the townships of Whittingham, Goosnargh-with-Newsham, Great and Little Singleton, and the chapelry of Hambleton. Acres, 48, 530. Real property, £73, 737. Pop. in 1851, 10, 926; in 1861, 11, 445. Houses, 2, 191. The living is a vicarage in the diocese o Manchester. Value, £1, 080.* Patron, Christ Church, Oxford-The p. curacies of Goosnargh, Great Singleton, Hambleton Lund, Ribby-with-Wrea, Treales, Weeton, White chapel, and Warton-with-Freckleton, are separate benefices.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Kirkham, in Fylde and Lancashire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 28th April 2017
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