Lancaster to Preston and Ormskirk: 5th April

Monday, left Lancaster for Garstang, 12 miles. It is a small neat town, with a very fine inn. There seems to be no public business going on here. The country is ill farmed in general; fences still of the jungle kind, ivy on every tree, and little industry carried on. The dairy seems to be the main affair; butter, cheese, and milk the dependence. I have not seen an ox of any age or size since I left Carlisle. They feed and kill all the males and keep the females for cows. The whole of their crops of corn are put into barn for winter; no stacks in the yard; they keep their places very clean by everything being under cover.

Leaving Garstang for Preston, 12 miles, the soil here is very desirable to the right; to the left it seems more bleak and hilly. Preston stands upon the Ribble, which is very navigable up to the town. Coals are exported from this to foreign places. The town stands upon a gentle eminence, and has a showy appearance. There are considerable cotton works at no great distance, and some show of industry about the place. I think it is justly named proud Preston. Here I thought upon the defeat of poor ill-fated Charles Stuart; he was then too far from his friends.

From Preston I set out for Ormskirk, 10 miles, a small town but well built, and with some· appearance of industry; but being too soon to stop, I went on a few miles to a “publick” at a bridge, where I was well lodged. I never met a rider this day save one. All go in carriages of one kind or another. In this last ride or stage the soil is very variable. Coals and goods of every kind are here carried in waggons; few carts, and these of a very clumsy appearance, mostly with broad wheels. The coal trade from the hill country to the east is a great affair, and much spoken about. A coal agent lodged here all night, and told many wonderful stories about the work, sales, &c. I thought he shot wide, and cut him down in my estimate 70 per cent, same as ‘tocher goods’.

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