Long Preston

Long Preston is a village and civil parish in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England, in the Yorkshire Dales. It lies along the A65 road, and is 12 miles (19 km) from Skipton and 4 miles (6 km) from Settle. The population of Long Preston in 2001 was 680, increasing to 742 at the 2011 Census.[1]

Long Preston
Long Preston is located in North Yorkshire
Long Preston
Long Preston
Location within North Yorkshire
Population742 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceSD835585
• London200 mi (320 km) south-east
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townSKIPTON
Postcode districtBD23
Dialling code01729
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
EU ParliamentYorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament


Early times

Human occupation of the area around Long Preston goes back to prehistoric times as remains have been found at Victoria Cave on the hills above Settle. A stone age axe head was also found in the area of Bookil Gill.

Middle Ages

In 1086, Long Preston was known as Prestune, meaning "the priest's farmstead or town". Later "Long" was added, referring to its linear development and distinguishing it from the many other Prestons.

A school was built in the village during the reign of Edward IV (1461–1483) as part of the Hammerton Chapel. It is likely that it was closed in 1541 during the dissolution of the religious houses. In 1672 the Petty School was held, most likely either in the chapel or in a building near an old vicarage. A new school replaced the Petty School in 1819.

Industrial age

The Boar's Head Inn, Long Preston
The Boar's Head, once a coaching inn serving travellers on the turnpike

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Long Preston was dominated by agriculture and the trades associated with it. In the 1750s a turnpike road was constructed from Long Preston to Settle. In the 1960s this road (now the A65) was raised, widened, and straighted. Several homes and farms were demolished to accomplish this.

In 1790, a cotton spinning mill was constructed, possibly on the site of an old corn mill. The mill was demolished in 1881 due to flooding. Later on Fleets cotton mill was built, which was three storeys high and water powered.

The railway was opened in 1849 and expanded in 1875 with the building of the Settle-Carlisle Line. It declined in the 1970s and '80s but is now seeing an increase in heavy freight and passenger traffic.

In 1801 the population of Long Preston was 573; this rose to 808 in 1831 but dropped to 610 in 1961.

Modern day

Between 1923 and 1935, Long Preston was the railhead for the construction of Stocks Reservoir built by the Fylde Water Board (FWB). Steam traction engines hauled material between the FWB depot, to the west of the current station, by road to Tosside where connection was made with a 3-foot gauge industrial railway system that served the dam construction project (Bowtell, 1988).

In the 20th century, most people were employed in the town at the garage, wool warehouse, auction mart, farms or in the surrounding area, e.g. Skipton. A number of houses were rented at Long Preston making it affordable to live there. In the 1960s people started to purchase their own homes.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, there was a livestock auction mart, shoe shop, tailors, butchers, bakers, post office, cafés, wool warehouse and corn mill.

A bypass was proposed and was given the go-ahead in 1994 but after the 1997 general election, with Labour gaining power, the bypass was scrapped.

Long Preston is the home of audiobook producer Magna Story Sound.

Long Preston is served by Long Preston railway station, which is on the Leeds to Morecambe Line.

Long Preston has a primary school, Long Preston Endowed School, with around 60 pupils attending over a range of six year groups. Children leave a year earlier than most primary schools towards Skipton, (who generally stay in primary school until the end of year 6), because most pupils go on to attend Settle Middle School, one of very few middle schools left in the country.


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Long Preston Parish (1170216770)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  • Bowtell, H.D., (1988), Lesser Railways of Bowland Forest and Craven Country - and the dam builders in the age of steam, Platewell Press, ISBN 978-0-9511108-8-1

External links

Media related to Long Preston at Wikimedia Commons

2012 Craven District Council election

The 2012 Craven District Council election took place on 3 May 2012 to elect members of Craven District Council in North Yorkshire, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Conservative party stayed in overall control of the council.After the election, the composition of the council was as follows:

Conservative 16

Independent 10

Liberal Democrats 4

2014 Craven District Council election

The 2014 Craven District Council election took place on 22 May 2014 to elect members of Craven District Council in North Yorkshire, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Conservative party stayed in overall control of the council.After the election, the composition of the council was as follows:

Conservative 18

Independent 9

Liberal Democrats 2

Vacant 1

A65 road

The A65 is a major road in England. It runs north west from Leeds in Yorkshire via Kirkstall, Horsforth, Yeadon, Guiseley, Ilkley and Skipton, passes west of Settle, then continues through Ingleton and Kirkby Lonsdale before terminating at Kendal in Cumbria.

Arthur Watson (priest)

Arthur Herbert Watson (b Bootle, Cumberland 15 May 1864; d Keswick, Cumberland 13 July 1952) was Archdeacon of Richmond from 1921 until 1937.Watson was educated at Marlborough College and The Queen's College, Oxford. Watson was ordained in 1890. After a curacy at Beeston Hill he was a Chaplain to the Forces in Natal then Vicar of St Peter, Maritzburg. He held further incumbencies at Ovingham, Long Preston and Kirkby Wiske. He was a Canon Residentiary of Ripon Cathedral from 1922 until 1937.


Barrowford () is a large village and civil parish in the Pendle district of Lancashire, England. It is situated to the north of Nelson on the other side of the M65 motorway, and forms part of the Nelson conurbation. It also comprises the area of Lowerford (not to be confused with its neighbour Higherford). The parish has a population of 6,171.Barrowford is situated on the Marsden–Gisburn–Long Preston turnpike. One of the original toll houses, dating from 1804–05, can still be seen at the junction with the road to Colne, complete with a reproduction of the table of tolls which were paid.

The toll house was restored in the 1980s and is owned by the trust which operates nearby Pendle Heritage Centre. Barrowford is located about half a mile from the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and a set of seven locks leads to the highest section of the canal between Barrowford and Barnoldswick.

About a mile on from the locks heading towards Leeds is Foulridge Tunnel known locally as the "Mile Tunnel". The packhorse bridge near Higherford Mill is the oldest in Barrowford, dating back to the end of the 16th century. It formerly lay on the old main road to Gisburn, which was superseded by the Turnpike road built in 1804. In September 2006, this mill was featured on the BBC's Restoration programme.

The village has a modern Anglican church (St Thomas') built to replace the original church of 1839, which burnt down in 1964. St Thomas's Primary School recently moved from its Victorian premises to a new building next door to the church.

The village has two rivers: Pendle Water, which flows through the town with trout that can often be seen, and Colne Water, which joins Pendle Water behind the site of the now demolished Samuel Holden cotton mill and flows down from the moors above the town of Colne; again this river holds good trout.

According to the United Kingdom Census 2011, the parish has a population of 6,171, a small increase from 6,039 in the 2001 census.

Egton railway station

Egton railway station serves the village of Egton Bridge in North Yorkshire, England. It is located on the Esk Valley Line and is operated by Northern which provides all of the station's passenger services.

Eric Heaton

Eric William Heaton (15 October 1920 – 24 August 1996) was an Old Testament scholar and a former Dean of Christ Church, Oxford (1979–1991).

Eric Heaton's father was a sheep farmer at Long Preston in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

He was educated at Ermysted's Grammar School and Christ's College, Cambridge (1939–1942) and a curate in Durham. He was appointed Chaplain of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge in 1945. After seven years he was appointed a Canon of Salisbury Cathedral.

He was Fellow, Chaplain, and Tutor in Theology of St John's College, Oxford (1960–1974) and Senior Tutor (1967–1973). He was Dean of Durham Cathedral (1974–1979).

In 1951, he married Rachel Dodd, daughter of the eminent theologian C. H. Dodd whose work on the translation of the New English Bible Heaton much admired.

Giggleswick railway station

Giggleswick railway station serves the village of Giggleswick and the town of Settle in North Yorkshire, England. The station is 41 1⁄4 miles (66 km) north-west of Leeds on the Leeds to Morecambe Line towards Lancaster and Morecambe. It is unstaffed and operated by Northern, who provide all passenger train services.


Hellifield is a village and civil parish in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England (grid reference SD855565). Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, the village was once an important railway junction on the Settle-Carlisle Railway between the Midland Railway and the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, but Hellifield railway station is now a shadow of its former glory. It is situated on the A65, between Skipton and Settle. Hellifield had a population of 1,060 residents at the 2001 census, increasing to 1,426 at the 2011 census.

Hellifield railway station

Hellifield railway station serves the village of Hellifield in North Yorkshire, England.

The station is 36 1⁄4 miles (58 km) north-west of Leeds on the Leeds to Morecambe Line towards Carlisle and Morecambe. The Ribble Valley Line from Blackburn also joins the Leeds to Morecambe Line at Hellifield which is managed by Northern, who provide all passenger train services. It is unstaffed, although the buildings are in private use and open to the public at certain times.

Long Preston railway station

Long Preston railway station serves the village of Long Preston in North Yorkshire, England. The station is 37.5 miles (60 km) north-west of Leeds on the Leeds to Morecambe Line and is managed by Northern who provide all passenger train services.

It is the last station before the Settle-Carlisle Line and the Leeds to Morecambe Line diverge at Settle Junction to the north of the village. Facilities at the station are somewhat basic - the original wooden station buildings were demolished in the early 1970s and there are now just simple waiting shelters on each platform.

It is unstaffed and passengers must buy their tickets on the train. There is level access to the southbound platform only - the opposite side has a ramp, but this is quite steep and is not recommended for use by disabled travellers. Train running information is provided by telephone and timetable posters.

The station was opened on 30 July 1849 by the "little" North Western Railway, later taken over by the Midland Railway.

Pennine Bridleway

The Pennine Bridleway is a new National Trail in Northern England.

It runs roughly parallel with the Pennine Way but provides access for horse riders and cyclists as well as walkers. The trail is around 205 miles (330 km) long, extending from Derbyshire to Cumbria. It includes the 47-mile (76 km) Mary Towneley Loop and the 10-mile (16 km) Settle Loop. In its southern part, it follows the High Peak Trail along the trackbed of the former Cromford and High Peak Railway.


Rathmell is a village and civil parish in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. The population of the civil parish in the 2011 census was 305. It is close to the River Ribble and about three miles south of Settle. Other towns and villages nearby include Wigglesworth, Tosside, Giggleswick and Long Preston.


Ribblesdale is one of the Yorkshire Dales in England. It is the dale or upper valley of the River Ribble in North Yorkshire. Towns and villages in Ribblesdale (downstream, from north to south) include Selside, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Stainforth, Langcliffe, Giggleswick, Settle, Long Preston and Hellifield. Below Hellifield (sometimes below Settle) the valley of the river is generally known as the Ribble Valley.

Above Settle the dale is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is a popular tourist area, particularly for walking. The Yorkshire Three Peaks rise to the east and west of the dale. The Ribble Way runs the length of the dale. At the head of the dale is the Ribblehead Viaduct, crossed by the Settle to Carlisle railway which runs through the dale.

The dale was historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire. In 1974 it became part of the Craven district in the new county of North Yorkshire.

Settle Junction railway station

Settle Junction railway station was located near the town of Settle, North Yorkshire, England, immediately to south of the junction between the Midland Railway's North Western and Settle-Carlisle branches, 39 3⁄4 miles (64.0 km) northwest of Leeds.

It was opened five months after the main line to Carlisle to serve as an "exchange station" with the older route to Morecambe (as stated in an 1872 report submitted to the Settle and Carlisle Construction Committee of the MR by General Manager James Allport and Chief Engineer John Crossley). However, the expected traffic failed to materialise and after just one year of operation, it was closed on 1 November 1877.Its remote location (1 3⁄4 miles (2.8 km) south of Settle and 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Long Preston) undoubtedly contributed to its early demise, as potential travellers had the choice of three alternative stations (Settle, Giggleswick or Long Preston) that were all more conveniently sited for their respective communities.

Staincliffe Wapentake

Staincliffe, also known as Staincliff, was a wapentake of the West Riding of Yorkshire.

The wapentake was named from a place called Staincliffe, now lost, in Bank Newton, not to be confused with Staincliffe near Dewsbury. Staincliffe was presumably where the wapentake originally met, although in the 12th century it met at Flasby.The wapentake was split into two divisions. The East Division included the ancient parishes of Barnoldswick, Bracewell, Broughton, Burnsall, Carleton, Gargrave, Hebden, Keighley, Kettlewell, Kildwick, Linton, Marton in Craven, Skipton, Thornton in Craven and parts of Arncliffe and Addingham.

The West Division included the parishes of Bolton by Bowland, Giggleswick, Gisburn, Kirkby Malhamdale, Long Preston, Slaidburn and parts of Arncliffe, Browsholme, Mitton, and Sawley. Some parts of the Forest of Bowland attached to the Chapelry of Whitewell, where part the Lancashire parish of Whalley in neighbouring Blackburnshire.

Stocks Reservoir

Stocks Reservoir is a reservoir situated at the head of the Hodder valley in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire, England (historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire until 1974). The reservoir has a fly fishing club which is very popular in the summer months and a small cafe which is popular with walkers. The Board House is a building used for meetings by United Utilities and is located on the western shores of the reservoir, near the Hodder Water Treatment Works. Stocks Reservoir was opened on 5 July 1932 by HRH Prince George, K.G.

Thomas Nuttall

Thomas Nuttall (5 January 1786 – 10 September 1859) was an English botanist and zoologist who lived and worked in America from 1808 until 1841.Nuttall was born in the village of Long Preston, near Settle in the West Riding of Yorkshire and spent some years as an apprentice printer in England. Soon after going to the United States he met Professor Benjamin Smith Barton in Philadelphia. Barton encouraged his strong interest in natural history.


Wigglesworth is a village and civil parish in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. The population of the civil parish taken at the 2011 Census was 379. It is on the road between Long Preston to the east, Clitheroe to the south and the small village of Rathmell lies just to the north. It is about 5 miles (8 km) south of Settle.

Despite the small size of the village, it has a public house called the Plough Inn. Wigglesworth consists of a few small scattered houses and farmsteads. The heart of the village lies on the crossroads between Clitheroe, Rathmell and Long Preston.

A former Wesleyan chapel stands on the B6478 road in the western part of the settlement.

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