Longridge stands on the SW slopes of Longridge Fell, from which it gets its name, the long ridge of the fell extends from the town, north eastwards towards the River Hodder at the boundary with Yorkshire. The town originally had no legal existence, it was a ‘courtesy name’ given two the two townships of Dilworth and Alston of which Longridge is comprised.
Rumour had it that Oliver Cromwell named the town in August 1648 when before the Battle of Preston, his army halted there before taking on Monarchist forces from Scotland. However, a hundred years before that, it was recorded that ‘Sir Robert Cotome, priest of Longryche in Ribblechester’ thereby proving the rumour untrue.
Longridge initially developed outwards from an area around St. Lawrence's Church, to the South of the town as it appears today. Though there was a thoroughfare called 'Market Place', there was no development around that area. Most of the development of the town occurred after 1800, with expansion northwards including a mill to the North of Kestor Lane.
It became a thriving town, the building of the mill developing a trade of cotton-spinning and manufacture of a variety of cotton fabrics. The quarrying of building stone from the Tootle Heights provided many jobs as did the nail-making industry, though it was the former that led to the building of the railway so as to transport the stone more easily.
The railway, which ran to Preston, opened in 1840, this prospered until the 1920s, then trade dropped and it became a quiet country branch line. The passenger service closed in 1930 but it continued to run as a goods line until 1967 when the station was demolished.
Preston Water Works built several reservoirs in Longridge, providing fresh water for industry and homes.
As well as the Churches of St Lawrence and St Paul there are an Independent chapel, built in 1865, a Wesleyan chapel, built in 1886, a Roman Catholic chapel, built in 1864, in lieu of a previous small one and a national school, built in 1832.
Photograph supplied by and © of Brian Young