Ashton ward

A ward in the western part of Preston that includes the docklands area that was largely open space and fields until around the late 19th century, which saw the merger of the Preston and Wyre railway and harbour company and the Preston and Wyre Dock company. Alongside this expansion, Ribble navigation companies were set up to firstly reclaim land at the estuary and retain the river banks, then to expand to accommodate larger ships. This transformed the Ashton conservation area from an agricultural area to a suburban development with formal street patterns, detached and semi detached houses with distinctive features such as bay windows, grand entrances and ample gardens.

The area hosts several Grade 2 listed buildings that include St Andrews church, the first church in the area, erected in 1836, St Andrews school, St Andrews vicarage, and St Michael’s church. In addition, Ashton house on Ashton park, which was built, and privately owned in the early 1800’s, was soon bought by one of Preston’s most famous families, the Pedders, who made their fortune by founding the first bank in Preston. The Pedders eventually ran in to financial difficulty in the late 1800’s, resulting in the estate and its contents being sold. 

Haslam Park is a grade 2 listed park and was donated to the city by Mary Haslam in 1910 and designed and built in memory of her father, John Haslam, who owned to cotton mill on Parker Street. The park used to include a swimming baths, and aviary and has since attained the green flag status with the area north of the park becoming the Haslam Park nature reserve.’