Lytham (St. Cuthbert)

LYTHAM (St. Cuthbert), a parish, and a fashionable bathing-place, in the union of the Fylde, hundred of Amounderness, N. division of Lancashire, 13 miles (W. by S.) from Preston; containing, in 1841, 2082 inhabitants, and at the present time a much larger number. Lytham is mentioned in the Domesday survey under the name of Lidun. It early belonged, by gift of Richard Fitz-Roger, to the monks of Durham, and after the Reformation was granted to Sir Thomas Holcroft, whose descendant, Sir John, is said to have sold the property in 1606 to Sir Cuthbert Clifton, ancestor of the present lord of the manor. The parish is situated on the coast, on the northern shore of the estuary of the Ribble, and comprises 5170 acres. There is some excellent arable land to the north-east of the village, though a large tract of sandy common, scarcely capable of affording pasture for rabbits, extends for some miles to the north-west, along the shore of the Irish Channel. Some improvements were effected a few years ago in the village, by pulling down an extensive range of old buildings, and after leaving an opening from the Clifton Arms hotel to the beach, erecting several new houses, among which is a billiardroom. Part of the beach was also levelled, and a public walk formed along it, affording a pleasing view of the scenery on the southern side of the estuary. The village has been since almost entirely rebuilt by the proprietor, and is now one of the neatest and most improving places in the county. In 1847 an act was passed for paving, lighting, watching, and otherwise improving the village, for establishing a market, and providing a supply of water. About a mile eastward is Lytham Pool, a large natural basin, where vessels bringing corn, &c., to the port of Preston, discharge their cargoes into small craft; and its northern extremity is a graving dock for building and repairing vessels. In May, 1847, the corner stone of a new lighthouse was laid at the Double Stanner, in the estuary of the Ribble, off Lytham, at the instance of the Ribble Navigation Company; the work promises to largely benefit the navigation in this part, and to lead to the saving of life and property. The Lytham branch of the Preston and Wyre railway was opened in the early part of 1846, and is 4¾ miles in length: the station here presents a façade in the Roman-Doric style, of Longridge stone. Lytham Hall was built by Thomas Clifton, Esq., between 1757 and 1764, from the designs of Mr. Carr, of York, and is an elegant residence standing in beautiful grounds.

The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £131; patron and impropriator, Thomas Joseph Clifton, Esq., whose tithes have been commuted for £568. The church was rebuilt in 1834, at a cost of about £3500, and is a handsome edifice in the later English style: the three chancel windows are of richly stained glass; the eastern window is to the memory of Mrs. Fisher, a benefactor to the parish. A second church, for which Mr. Clifton gave the site, at the entrance to the village from the Preston road, and close to the beach, was commenced in June, 1847; it is in the early style, consists of a nave, chancel, and north and south aisles, with a tower and spire, and accommodates 450 persons, onefourth of the sittings being free. A Methodist meetinghouse has been recently built, and in the village is a Roman Catholic chapel. Three schools are supported by various benefactions, yielding £120 per annum. Lytham Hall comprises, in its kitchens and out-offices, a portion of the buildings of a Benedictine priory, founded as a cell to the monastery of Durham, by Richard Fitz-Roger, in the latter part of the reign of Richard I., and dissolved by Henry VIII.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.