19th Century Mills in LancasterNineteenth Century Lancaster

Coming into the 19th Century Lancaster had lost some of its historic importance, although still the county town of Lancashire the county administration had long since past to Preston. The towns position as a major port was under threat as the River Lune had silted up meaning that larger ships could no longer access the quay. The town settled down to become the commercial and industrial centre of north Lancashire, an area which at the time Lancaster was the only sizeable town.



approaching skerton bridge along a road which once was a turnpikeTurnpikes

The turnpikes entered Lancaster from the north in the form of the Garstang and Heiring Syke Turnpike Trust. in 1751 Turnpiking the A6 as we know it today. However up until the 1770's traffic north ran across a medieval bridge across the Lune very close to today's millennium bridge, in 1787 Skerton Bridge was opened with traffic north being rerouted via this bridge. A second Turnpike went out through the Lune Valley through Hornby to Ingleton along the route of the old Roman road later to become the A683

lancaster stationCanal and Railway

As with Carnforth, Lancaster benefited from both the Canal and Railway, indeed the canal was named the Lancaster Canal opening up in 1797. Lancaster was given extensive facilities on the canal at the White Cross area, as well as an aqueduct over the River Lune.

The railway arrived in Lancaster in 1840 courtesy of the Lancaster and Preston Junction Railway, terminating near to the canal at White Cross between the A6 at South Road and Ashton Road, the intention being for the line to continue north via the Lune Valley, however in the event the Lancaster & Carlisle Railway Company built the line via Carnforth thus a new line was built from just south of the original terminus and then to the west of the town to an new station just west of the castle before passing over the Lune on a viaduct. In 1848 a new line opened from Yorkshire, following the Lune Valley to a station just west of Skerton Bridge called Green Ayre, the line was subsequently taken across the Lune on Greyhound Bridge then onto the coast to a terminus on the Stone Jetty around which grew the town of Morecambe.

lancasters new town hallExpansion

As with a lot of towns Lancaster expanded in the nineteenth century, with new mills springing up, a new Town Hall and park, new houses where built on the hill to the east of the town centre, out to the west near to the new castle station, and south along the A6 towards the then village of Scotforth. As well as in parts of Skerton and Beaumont to the north of the River Lune. By the end of the century Lancaster was still the largest town of north Lancashire and the largest on the A6 southbound since Carlisle. The twentieth century would bring to Lancaster a new status in recognition of its long history.