A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Meretun, Dom. Bk.; Merton, 1176; Mereton, Merton, 1212; Marton, 1297.
The hamlets of Great Marton and Little Marton stand on slight elevations, to west and east respectively, near the northern boundary of the township. Marton Mere lies on the boundary itself. The two-thirds of the area to the south of the hamlets named is a level and comparatively dreary district, largely sand-covered and moss land extending west to the sea; but in the extreme south-east corner is the ancient homestead called Peel on ground about 40 ft. above sea level. Revoe adjoins Blackpool. The township contains 4,707½ acres, (fn. 1) of which Great Marton has 1,973 and Little Marton 2,734½. In 1901 the population was 1,603 for the reduced township. (fn. 2)
There are various roads through the township connecting Lytham and Blackpool, with cross roads. The branch railway line forming the direct route between Kirkham and Blackpool crosses Marton from east to west, but there is no station.
Marton Mere (fn. 3) was formerly very extensive and liable in time of floods to spread further over the country around. An agreement as to clearing the watercourse leading from it was made in 1731. (fn. 4) 'During the work of draining large quantities of the trunks of oak and yew trees were found imbedded in the soil, all of which were in a slanting position towards the sea and some of them bore evidence of having at some far-distant time been cut down. (fn. 5)
The soil is peaty, sand and clay; wheat and potatoes are grown, but much of the land is in pasture.
Thomas Fleetwood in 1700 procured a charter allowing three fairs to be held at Marton Mere, viz. 23–4 April, 22–3 June and 27–8 September each year. (fn. 6)
In 1894 Great Marton was added to Blackpool and part of Little Marton to St. Anne's-on-the-Sea (fn. 7); the remainder, the existing township of Marton, is governed by a parish council.
Before the Conquest MARTON, assessed as six plough-lands, was a member of Earl Tostig's Preston fee. (fn. 8) Some time afterwards, probably early in the 12th century, it formed part of the honour of Peverel, forfeited in 1153. The Pipe Rolls record the receipts from Marton (fn. 9) till the honours of Lancaster and Peverel were in 1189 given to John Count of Mortain. Before this time probably it had been divided, one moiety being held immediately by a family bearing the local surname and the other by Hervey Walter, lord of the adjacent Weeton.
GREAT MARTON was about 1200 held by Adam son of Matthew de Marton, a benefactor of Stanlaw Abbey. (fn. 10) Adam died in 1242 and was succeeded by his son William, (fn. 11) a benefactor of Cockersand (fn. 12) and Lancaster, (fn. 13) as well as of Stanlaw. (fn. 14) From the later descent of the manor it appears that William de Marton and Richard his son and heir (fn. 15) conveyed the manor about 1260 to William le Boteler of Warrington and his brother Richard le Boteler of Rawdiffe, (fn. 16) and in these families—the latter having a branch, Boteler of Marton (fn. 17) —it descended (fn. 18) until the middle of the 16th century, when it was acquired by Thomas Fleetwood. (fn. 19) It was given to a younger son William, who in 1596 conveyed it to his brother Edmund. (fn. 20) From that time it descended in the same way as Rossall until 1841, when Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood sold it to Thomas Clifton. (fn. 21)
The estate of the Botelers of Marton descended by marriage to the Crofts of Dalton and Leghs of Lyme. (fn. 22) There were a few minor holders of land in Marton whose names occur in charters and pleadings, (fn. 23) as also in the later inquisitions. (fn. 24)
LITTLE MARTON descended like Weeton, (fn. 25) the Earl of Derby holding it in the 15th and 16th centuries. The manor was in 1522 farmed out to William Lache, William and Robert Whiteside and Thomas Gaulter for £9 6s. 8d. a year. (fn. 26) It was afterwards (about 1600) acquired by Molyneux of Sefton and sold in 1606 to Cuthbert Clifton, together with the adjoining manor of Lytham. (fn. 27) It has since descended with the Clifton estates. (fn. 28)
The PEEL in Little Marton was held by the Cliftons from the Earls of Derby long before they acquired the lordship; thus in 1522 William Clifton paid £2 of old rent and £2 of increment. (fn. 29)
William Russell of Marton had a priest taken in his house in 1604, and a number of other residents were presented to the Bishop of Chester as 'suspected of relieving seminary priests and Jesuits.' (fn. 33)
Nicholas Sanderson of Great Marton and John his son registered small estates in 1717 as 'Papists.' (fn. 34)
A house at Moss Side in Little Marton was licensed for Nonconformist worship in 1762 and it continued in use till the rise of Blackpool. (fn. 35)
Services in connexion with the Church of England were held in the schoolroom, built about 1717, from 1748 at latest, for in that year James Fisher was nominated to the 'chapel of Marton' by the vicar of Poulton. (fn. 36) The church of St. Paul was built in 1800 and consecrated in 1804; it has been considerably enlarged from time to time. A separate parish was assigned to it in 1892. The vicars are nominated by the vicars of Poulton. (fn. 37) A mission room is connected with it.
There is a Wesleyan chapel at Moss Side, built in 1872.