BRETHERTON, a township and ecclesiastical district, in the parish of Croston, union of Chorley, hundred of Leyland, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 10 miles (N. N. E.) from Ormskirk; containing 833 inhabitants. This place was the manorial residence of the Banastres or Banisters, previously to the reign of Edward III.; and a Thomas Banastre, who is conjectured to have been of this family, was beheaded in the reign of Edward II. by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, for his active opposition to that powerful and factious baron. The township comprises 2292 statute acres, of which 816 are arable land, 618 meadow, 732 pasture, 13 woodland, and 113 acres gardens, &c.; the surface is rather flat, and the soil a stiff clay, marsh, loam, and hazel. The river Lostock bounds the township; the rivers Douglas and Yarrow meet here, and run into the Ribble about a mile distant: here is also a branch of the Leeds and Liverpool canal, and the Liverpool and Preston turnpike-road runs across the township from Bank bridge to Cara-House bridge. Bank Hall, the seat of George Anthony Legh Keck, Esq., was built in 1608, and restored in the Elizabethan style, in 1832. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Rector of Croston; net income, £150, with a house erected in 1847. The tithes have been commuted for £325, payable to the rector of Chorley, and £45 to the rector of Croston. The church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, was consecrated on the 26th of June, 1840; it is in the early English style, and cost £1260. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Independents. A free school was built in 1654, at the expense of James Fletcher, who endowed it with £230, to which various donations have been added.