Heritage Highlights

From mosses to Roman occupation the borough has had quite a chequered history over the last few thousand years. As well as its artifacts the museum is also considered a repository for historical and archaeological information.

Here we present just a few highlights.


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Local Mosses

Interpreting the past through the study of the environment

Today, Farington Moss encompasses Leyland Moss, Hoole Moss, Farington Moss, and Longton Moss, and covers an area of c 1100 ha. In addition Penwortham Moss is labelled on a plan of c 1596, but does not appear on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map, published in 1849.

Penwortham Church

Penwortham Church

The Changing Face of a Parish Church

St Mary's stands on the north-eastern side of Penwortham, at the edge of a steep spur of land overlooking the River Ribble. Penwortham is the only possible town in the whole of Lancashire named in the Domesday survey of 1086.

Penwortham Priory

Penwortham Priory

A Lost Benedictine Cell

Penwortham Priory was situated to the south-west of the parish church of St Mary's, in the area of Priory Crescent. However, although historical details, such as the names of the priors, have been recorded, there is little specific information relating to the nature, or even the layout, of the site.

Penwortham Castle

Penwortham Castle

One of the Earliest Castles in Lancashire

The remains of a castle at Penwortham now survive only as a large conical mound, 25 feet (7.6m) across the summit, to the north of the parish church, which may once have stood in its bailey. It stands at the end of a promontory of land, in a commanding position on the south bank of the River Ribble.

Preston Friary

Preston Friary

Excavation of a Lost Franciscan Friary

The Friaries were normally established in towns, and in 1260, a Friary of the Franciscan order was founded on the outskirts of Preston. Its general location is shown on historical maps, but the site was thought to have been destroyed by the construction of the canal and railway in the nineteenth century.

Samlesbury Pottery

Samlesbury Potteries

A Rare Find of a Medieval Production Site

Excavation along the Samlesbury to Helmshore Natural Gas Pipeline in 2002, carried out by Northern Archaeological Associates, on behalf of National Grid, revealed a previously unknown pottery production site dating from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries.

Cuerdale Hoard

Cuerdale Hoard

The Largest Viking Hoard in Western Europe

The Cuerdale Hoard, a huge collection of coins and silver, was discovered on 15th May, 1840, by Thomas Marsden, one of a group of labourers repairing an embankment of the River Ribble, close to Cuerdale Hall. The Duchy of Lancaster heard about this a week later, and they immediately issued instructions that the treasure hoard was claimed by the Crown.

Worden Hoard

Worden Hoard

Roman Coins from Worden

The Worden Hoard of Roman coins was found in 1850, on the outskirts of Leyland, and is, so far, the only evidence of Roman activity around the town. The hoard, said to have consisted of 126 copper coins known as radiates, dates to the late third century AD, and contains coins minted on behalf of most of the many emperors who reigned between AD 259 and AD 282.

Roman Walton-Le-Dale

Roman Walton-le-Dale

Background to the Excavations

The Roman site at Walton-le-Dale lies on the east bank of the river Darwen, near its confluence with the Ribble, in an area formerly known as the Flats, crossed by Winery Lane. Nothing suggests that there was any local knowledge of the Roman remains before the mid-nineteenth century, when local antiquarian Charles Hardwick recorded the discovery of Roman coins and sandstone walls by workmen digging gravel.

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