Croston (St. Michael)
CROSTON (St. Michael), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the unions of Chorley and Wigan, hundred of Leyland, N. division of the county of Lancaster; containing, with the townships of Bispham, Bretherton, Mawdesley, and Ulnes-Walton, 3939 inhabitants, of whom 1456 are in the township of Croston, 6½ miles (W.) from Chorley. In the third year of King John, 1201, Nicholas Pincerna, or Butler, is recorded as rendering "an account of 100s. in the town of Croston, for three parts of the year," probably the chief rent of his possessions; and at a very early date several other considerable families held lands here, among whom were the Fittons, Heskeths, and Ashtons. In a recent year the manor became the property, in moieties, of the Traffords, and of Thomas Norris, Esq., the latter by purchase of the Hesketh moiety about 1825. Croston anciently formed one of the most extensive and valuable benefices in the county; and for many ages the limits of the parish remained unaltered; but, at various periods since, it has been divided, by authority of parliament, into six independent parishes, viz.: Croston; Hoole, separated in 1642; Chorley, and Rufford, detached in 1793; and Tarleton, and Hesketh with Becconsall, detached in 1821.
The length of the parish is about eight miles, and its breadth four; the township of Croston comprises 2273 acres. The river Douglas forms the western boundary of the parish, discharging its stream into the estuary of the Ribble at Hesketh Bank, on the north; the Yarrow bounds the village of Croston on the south and southwest, and is joined by the Lostock half a mile below it. From the point of confluence of the Douglas and the Yarrow to the estuary of the Ribble, these waters are sometimes known by the name of the Asland, and are navigable, though they are not navigated. The market has fallen into disuse; but there is a cattle-fair on the Monday before Shrove-Tuesday. The living consists of a rectory and a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £31. 11. 10½.; patron, the Rev. Robert Mosley Master. The tithes have been commuted for £250; and the glebe contains 232 acres, with a glebe-house. The church stands upon the margin of the river Yarrow, and consists of a nave, aisles, chancel, and two chapels, with a strong tower, castellated, and adorned with pinnacles; the chancel, the roof of which is arched, is divided from the nave by a tall screen of ornamented oak: the font has the date 1663. This edifice was restored in 1743, at an expense of £1834, defrayed by a brief. At Bretherton and Mawdesley are separate incumbencies. The Rev. James Hiet, in 1660, built a school in the churchyard (rebuilt in 1827), and endowed it with £400; and a school of industry was established in 1802, to which Elizabeth Master in 1809 bequeathed £200.