Preese Hall Farm, Weeton.
Preese Hall was the ancient
seat of the Prees family. On the death of Margery de Prees, about 1401, it passed
to her nephew, Edmund Skillicorne and it remained in the Skillicorne family until about
1612 when the manor was sold.
A deed of 1641 mentions the farm buildings:
"Wheate barne, the Stable, the Greate Barne, & the Barlie Barne", also the closes:
"Cookes Greene (7acres), Cowe Hey (17acres 3roods 30 falls), Wheatfeilde (16a), RoughHey
(10a), Owe-buts, Newe Medowe & Horse Heyes (25a2r30f), 3 Burned Carres (11a3r26f), Greate
Carr (14a2r), Chappell Flatt (12a24f), Stack-hill & Cunnery (1a3r), 4 acres of moss called
the Northside Mosse."
A deed of 1653 mentions the hall: "the ground
parlor in the west end, the lower Closett on the south of the ground parlor, the chamber over
the ground parlor, the upper closett over the lower closett, the ould house adjoining the
ground parlor, the garden adjoining the south side of the ground parlor & lower closett."
The same document also mentions closes called: "the Create Holme, West Granes, Drywood, Little
Calfe Croft, Greate Carre Meadowe, Bambers Carre, Oxehey Meadowe, & the Little
The farmlands were quite extensive; by the early 1700s they were being
leased out to three tenant farmers. The hall must have been a fair size as it was divided into
three parts for the families of the three tenants. In 1707 these tenants were Edward Jolly of
Mithop, Edward Rainford & Thomas Wilkinson.
With so many people living there its perhaps not surprising that there was a
fire in 1732 which destroyed parts of the hall, including the private chapel. What was left of
the hall was susequently repaired and the building remained in use until 1864.
Advert for the sale of Preese Hall Farm,
Weeton, and Moss House Farm, 1806.
These two farms (now either side of the M55
) were close to each
other and were being leased to three farmers; George Wilkinson, Thomas
Adamson and Thomas Dugdale.
In the 1830s Preese Hall was farmed by a single tenant, Robert Thornton (1772-1841).
Advert for the lease of Preese Hall
Farm, Weeton, and Higher House Estate, Freckleton, 1842. In the 1840s
& early 1850s Preese Hall was farmed by Thomas Bilsborrow.
About 1853, Thomas Miller purchased Preese Hall from the trustees of
the late Mr Hornby of Ribby. After the tenant's lease expired, Miller set about making
considerable improvements to the estate.
Advert for the
Sale of Fat Stock at preese Hall Farm, 9th February 1858. The sale included 45
head of prime cattle, consisting of Hereford oxen, short-haired heifers, and cows; also
The railway passed by Preese Hall & Todderstaffe Hall and the railway
company was planning the construction of a siding in the area for the use of
local farmers. Until then farmers would alight from trains at the
nearby Todderstaffe Cutting.
About twelve o'clock on Thursday night last, or early on
Friday morning, a fire was discovered to be raging amongst the stacks on the
premises at Preese Hall, in the township of Weeton-with-Preese, in the
occupation of the owner, Thomas Miller, Esq., of Preston.
Three hay stacks (two old and one new) were totally
destroyed, and an old oat stack, containing about 90 thraves of last year's
growth, was, with the exception of about 6 thraves, likewise destroyed. The
entire damage is estimated at about £200. The origin of the fire is at present
Guardian, Saturday, 21st August, 1858
The Preston Guardian, Saturday, 18th
KIRKHAM PETTY SESSIONS.—At
these sessions, on Monday, before Messrs. E. Burley, T. Langton Birley, F.
Kemp, and James Eden, the following cases were tried:
Thomas Whiteside, alias "Tearing Tom," and Thomas Shenty, two
notorious poachers, were taken by Thomas Hogarth and his assistant, John Bonny,
on Thursday night last, on the Preese Hall estate, in the act of netting hares,
Whiteside having one in the net at the time. The other had a net in his hand at
some distance. Whiteside, in his defence, in a very energetic manner asked
the keeper if he knew whether the animal in the not was a hare or a
cat.The Bench committed both to the House
of Correction, with hard labour, for six calendar
As Shenty was leaving the court, be told the Bench that he
had got 1,200 hares this season ; that he was going away for six months, and in
one month after that he would have 1,200 more. It is said that "Tearing Tom"
has had his Christmas dinner at the House of Correction for twenty-one years in
succession, and there is every prospect of his having
"Like the Singleton,
Hardhorn, and other property of Mr. Miller, in the Fylde, it has been so
changed by the judicious and enterprising course of improvement which that
gentleman and his agent, Mr. Fair, of Lytham, have carried on, that anyone who
had inspected the farm before it came into Mr, Miller's possession would
certainly not now recognise it."
The Preston Guardian, Saturday, 26th September, 1863
When Mr. Miller took Preese Hall Farm into his own hands it was
undoubtedly one of that class of farms which rendered Lancashire amenable to the complaint of
Sir James Turner, during the Civil Wars. He recommended the march of the Parliamentary forces
southward ,through Yorkshire instead of Lancashire, because this county " was full of ditches
The Preese Hall farm was split up
into 45 fields, divided by wide spreading hedges and broad ditches. One ditch, a
catch water draw from the high portion of the estate was actually in some places eleven
Ditches were drained and filled up, and the number of fields reduced
to 16, so that the cultivatable area of the farm was considerably
Six of these fields, averaging about 30 acres each, were laid
out for cultivation on the alternate system of husbandry, (three years in tillage, and
three years in grass) there were five fields of carr or moss land, containing an
aggregate of 90 acres, four of the fields being cultivated on the four-course system, and
one, which was irrigated, was permanent meadow. The rest of the farm, five
large fields, was permanent meadow and pasture land.
Advert for the lease of a
Dairy & Corn Farm at Westby-with-Plumpton, Kirkham; Preese Hall Farm, Weeton;
and Todderstaffe Hall, Newton-with-Hardhorn, 1863.
The first two farms had been leased to Alexander Begbie but the lease was about to expire
and he was retiring from farming. Mr. Butler, butcher & grazier, of Manchester took
over the lease.
At this point in time the old Preese Hall was about to be demolished and plans
for the new hall farm were ready and awaiting approval of the new tenant.
Todderstaffe Hall was being leased by T & R Parker at this time.
In September 1863, a steam plough was tested at Preese Hall
Farm. It was a huge event attracting several hundred people. To view
the original newspaper report
The farmhouse at Preese Hall Farm, rebuilt c1864. The
original Preese Hall probably stood near Preese Hall Cottages.
DISCOVERY OF A HUMAN HAND AND FOOT
Some workmen, whilst employed
in emptying a number of guano bags, on Saturday last, at Preese Hall Farm, in
Weeton, which belongs to T. Miller, Esq., of Preston, and is tenanted
by Mr. Butler, made a very strange discovery. The guano had come from
Liverpool, to which port it had been shipped from Peru, and after a number
of bags containing it had been emptied, one of the men observed a human hand
amongst the manure ; it had just rolled out of one of the sacks.
On being picked up the hand was
found to be in a wonderful state of preservation. The hand was full-grown, and
the flesh, muscles, skin, &c., seemed to be quite perfect ; but after it
had been exposed to the atmosphere for a short time decomposition set in
rapidly. Two or three days after some more bags of guano were being emptied, at
the same farm, when, strange to say, a human foot, of the full size, but with
some of the toes detached, dropped out of one of them. Like the hand, it was in
a good state of preservation. It was a left foot and had been severed from the
base of the ankle. No one can account for the hand and foot being amongst the
The Preston Guardian, Saturday, 1st April, 1865.
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