By Tim Lambert
1179 Preston is given a charter (a document granting the people certain rights). Preston is a small market town with perhaps 1,500 people.
c. 1260 Franciscan friars (called Grey friars because of the colour of their costume) arrive in Preston
1539 Henry VIII closes Preston friary
February 1643 During the Civil War parliamentary troops capture Preston. The royalists quickly recapture the town in March 1643 but soon withdraw.
1648 A Scottish army invades England but is totally defeated near Preston
1680 Preston has a population of about 3,000 making it a fair sized market town
1699 Preston is lit by oil lamps
1715 A Scottish Jacobite army enters Preston and many of the people are sympathetic. English troops surround Preston and the Scots surrender. Afterwards 12 people are executed for treason.
1771 The first cotton mill opens in Preston. Stagecoaches begin running from Preston to Wigan and Warrington.
1792 A canal is built from Preston to Lancaster
1800 Nightwatchmen patrol the streets of Preston
1801 Preston has a population of 11,887. By the standards of the time, it is a large town and it is growing rapidly.
1809 A dispensary opens where the poor can obtain free medicines
1816 The streets of Preston are lit by gas
1824 A corn market is built
1832 There is an outbreak of cholera in Preston. The town gains a piped water supply.
1838 The railway reaches Preston
1841 The first museum in Preston opens
1848 There is another epidemic of cholera in Preston
1851 Preston has a population of 69,361
1855 A cemetery opens in Preston
1864 Miller Park is laid out
1867 A new Town Hall opens in Preston. A cattle market is built. Moor Park opens.
1870 Preston Royal Infirmary opens
1879 Horse drawn trams run in Preston. A free library opens in the town hall.
1881 The first telephone exchange in Preston opens
1892 Albert Edward dock is opened
1893 The Harris Museum and Art Gallery opens
1896 The Leyland Steam Wagon Company is formed
1901 The population of Preston is nearly 120,000
1903 Sessions House is built
1918 Aircraft manufacture begins in Preston
The 1920s The cotton industry in Preston collapses
1926 A cenotaph is built in Preston
1939 A rayon factory opens in Preston
1944 Sixty-one people are killed when a plane crashes in Freckleton
1950s Immigrants from India, Pakistan and the West Indies came to Preston. The cotton industry continues to decline.
1958 Preston by-pass is built
1964 St Georges Shopping Centre is built
1979 The Courtaulds Factory closes
1999 Preston Town Hall is refurbished
2001 A Football Museum opens in Preston
2002 Preston is made a city