The Story of Winckley Square, Preston, Lancashire
1850s Engraving of Winckley Square

Preston is one of the oldest Boroughs in England, tracing its history to 670 AD. The town is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. In 1179, the town was granted a charter by Henry II.

During the 17th Century, Preston became one of the wealthiest market towns in Lancashire. In the mid-19th Century, rapid industrialisation led to Preston's development as an important cotton and textile-finishing centre.


Circa 1796, William Cross, a wealthy attorney, acquired the land formerly known as Town End Field, from the daughter and heiress of Thomas Winckley. Mr Cross died suddenly in 1827 and his widow Ellen carried out the rest of the project which was largely completed in the 1830's.

The 'nouveaux riche' of the Industrial Revolution, Preston's wealthiest citizens, made their homes in Winckley Square.

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© Photograph - the collections of the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston.