A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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Formerly this township was bounded by two brooks flowing south to the Ribble, which forms the boundary on that side, and the Naze was a projecting point in the south-east corner. A large tract of land reclaimed from the Ribble has been added to the township to the east of the Naze. The highest ground is in the centre and north, attaining about 85 ft. above the ordnance datum. The large but somewhat straggling village of Freckleton lies near the centre, having a mill by the brook to the east. The area of the township measures 2,417 acres, (fn. 1) and the population in 1901 numbered 1,239.
Sites of two ancient crosses are known. (fn. 2)
Before the Conquest FRECKLETON, assessed as four plough-lands, formed part of Earl Tostig's Preston lordship, (fn. 3) and afterwards became a member of the barony of Penwortham, (fn. 4) being head of a knight's fee of eight plough-lands. (fn. 5) This was held by a family assuming the surname of Freckleton. (fn. 6) In 1242 Richard de Freckleton, (fn. 7) who was a benefactor of Cockersand Abbey (fn. 8) and Lytham Priory, (fn. 9) held in demesne 2½ plough-lands in Freckleton, while another ploughland was held by Alan de Singleton and Swain de Freckleton, and the remaining half plough-land by Gilbert de Meols, Roger de Nutshaw and William de Pool. (fn. 10) Amid so many subdivisions the succession is not clear. (fn. 11) In 1297 Adam de Freckleton was the principal holder, (fn. 12) succeeded before 1324 by Ralph de Freckleton, (fn. 13) who was living in 1346. In that year Queen Isabella had a knight's fee in Freckleton &c, of the inheritance of Alice Countess of Lincoln, and by Ralph de Freckleton her tenant rendered 10s. for castle ward yearly. (fn. 14) Afterwards an heiress, Joan, daughter of a later Ralph, carried the manor to William Huddleston about 1427, (fn. 15) and he held the manor in 1446. (fn. 16) The Huddleston estate, not described as a manor, was sold to the Earl of Derby in 1496. (fn. 17)
Alan de Singleton's estate descended to Banastre of Bretherton and so to the heirs of Balderston. (fn. 18) Their right in part was granted to the Earls of Derby, (fn. 19) who thus became the principal holders in the 16th century.
Richard le Boteler of Rawcliffe obtained a portion of the vill in 1259 from Richard son of Richard de Freckleton, (fn. 20) and this descended in his family till I 541, about which time part of the inheritance was divided among the daughters of John Butler. (fn. 21) The shares were further subdivided by sales, (fn. 22) but the Sharpies family seem to have acquired part, (fn. 23) and in 1618 a 'manor' of Freckleton was held by them. (fn. 24) Nothing further is known of it.
The other fragments of the manor in 1242 disappear from view very quickly. The surname of Freckleton (fn. 25) occurs often but not prominently. In the 16th and 17 th centuries Clifton of Westby, (fn. 26) Hesketh of Poulton, (fn. 27) Cowburn, (fn. 28) Browne (fn. 29) and others held lands in Freckleton. (fn. 30)
There are 230½ cattle-gates on the marsh, but 231 are let yearly, the odd half-gate existing by a fiction for the benefit of the charity. (fn. 33)
For the worship of the Church of England Holy Trinity was built in 1839, services having begun in 1834. (fn. 34) A separate ecclesiastical parish was formed in 1874, (fn. 35) and the patronage is vested in the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, Oxford. The building contains an old oak pulpit removed from Kirkham. (fn. 36)
The Wesleyan Methodists had a chapel in 1814; their present one was built in 1885. The Primitive Methodists have one dating from 1861. (fn. 37) The Congregationalists formerly held services there, but do not seem to have established themselves. (fn. 38)
The Society of Friends had a meeting place from 1668. (fn. 39) They still have two ancient burial-grounds, and a meeting house, first built in 1720. No meetings are now held, but the room was in 1903 let to the Plymouth Brethren. (fn. 40)