Preston is a city full of heritage, despite, some might argue, not being as historic-looking as its northern neighbours Lancaster.

And yet there's plenty to get stuck into if you look closely enough.

Luckily you are able to guide yourself through and get yourself embedded in the heritage and history through its notable blue plaques which you might have seen dotted around the city.

There are some locals in and among it, as well as some very famous, worldly names.

Here we take a look at some of the notable places and people behind the plaques who have made the city what it is today.

Joseph Livesey

(1794 – 1884)

Joseph Livesey

Joseph Livesey enjoyed a busy life being a temperance campaigner, politician, writer, publisher, and later philanthropist. He was produced first temperance publication to be produced in England. In the building where the plaque is, Livesey drew up the first public pledge of total abstinence, way back in 1832.

John Horrocks

(1768-1804)

John Horrocks

John Horrocks was a cotton manufacturer and a local MP, wh built the first power mill at where the plaque is, back in 1796.

Along with his business partner Richard Newsham, he made his first mill on Dale Street, before expanding further and even going international, and he started selling the produce abroad to India.

Joseph Dunn

(1746–1827)

Joseph Dunn

This one represents Joseph Dunn, a priest and businessman who brought about a gaslight company, manufacturing a product which could forge better-gaslighting technique meaning a brighter source.

Benjamin Franklin

(1705 - 1790)

Benjamin Franklin

One of America’s founding fathers visited Preston to visit a relative. Tourists would be surprised to see that his name associated with the town, with the plaque looming at Cafe Nero now.

Sir Richard Arkwright

(1732 –1792)

Sir Richard Arkwright

Richard Arkwright is now known as “The Father of the Industrial Revolution”. He started by making a cotton-spinning machine, which went on to help reduce labour needs - for better or worse - but did improve the quality of cotton production. He was knighted in 1786

Isaac and Stephen Simpson

(1800-1859) and (1832-1891)

Isaac Simpson
Isaac Simpson

This father to son company - Stephen Simpson Ltd - helped progress the science behind gold and silver embroidery. The plaque marks respect to the pair and there is a giant thread and needle monument at Avenham Road also in honour for them.

Thomas Miller

(1811-1865)

A very well-known local who become councillor and known for his generosity. The plaque is situated at his former home.

Edith Rigby

(18 October 1872 – 23 July 1950)

Edith Rigby

A pioneer of bringing to light social and economic inequalities starting with helping the women’s’ lives working in local mills, Edith Rigby soon turned her attention to how servants were treated by her neighbours.

Most interestingly, one escapade saw Rigby disguise herself as a servant and travelled to London to see how they were being treated. Eventually, her husband and a private investigator tracked her down and brought her home.

Preston Catholic College

Preston Catholic College

Where the plaque is nailed in, the building was once the site of the Preston Catholic College, a Jesuit grammar school for boys. The college opened in 1865 and closed over a hundred years later, in 1978. Good innings.

Robert Harris and Edmund Robert Harris

 (1764–1862) and ( 1804 – 1877)

Robert Harris

Reverend Robert Harris as a vicar of St George’s Parish Church and headmaster of Preston Grammar School . The plaque is attached to his home.

Robert is held in esteem for being heavily involved in a lengthy campaign to have a free public library.  He was a lawyer who inherited the family’s entire wealth and subsequently left £300,000 in his will to be put forward as a trust that would support a number of new institutions

You can download Preston's Blue Plaque Trail route from Visit Preston, here.

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