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St Mary's Church, Prescot.jpg
St Mary's Church, Prescot
Merseyside UK location map.svg
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Location within Merseyside
Population11,184 (2001 Census) [1]
OS grid reference SJ4692
Civil parish
  • Prescot
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town PRESCOT
Postcode district L34/L35
Dialling code 0151
Police Merseyside
Fire Merseyside
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament
List of places
53°25′19″N2°48′50″W / 53.4220°N 2.8140°W / 53.4220; -2.8140 Coordinates: 53°25′19″N2°48′50″W / 53.4220°N 2.8140°W / 53.4220; -2.8140

Prescot is a town and civil parish within the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley in Merseyside, England. Historically part of Lancashire, it lies about eight miles (13 km) to the east of Liverpool city centre. At the 2001 Census, the civil parish population was 11,184 (5,265 males, 5,919 females). [1] The population of the larger Prescot East and West wards at the 2011 census totalled 14,139. [2] [3] Prescot marks the beginning of the A58 road which runs through to Wetherby, West Yorkshire. The town is served by Prescot railway station and Eccleston Park railway station.

Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley Metropolitan borough in England

The Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley is a metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England. It comprises the towns and districts of Kirkby, Prescot, Huyton, Whiston, Halewood, Cronton and Stockbridge Village; Kirkby, Huyton, and Prescot being the major commercial centres. It takes its name from the village of Knowsley, though its headquarters are in Huyton. It forms part of the wider Liverpool City Region.

Merseyside County of England

Merseyside is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 1.38 million. It encompasses the metropolitan area centred on both banks of the lower reaches of the Mersey Estuary and comprises five metropolitan boroughs: Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Wirral, and the city of Liverpool. Merseyside, which was created on 1 April 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972, takes its name from the River Mersey.

Historic counties of England Geographical designations for areas of England, based on historical traditions

The historic counties of England are areas that were established for administration by the Normans, in many cases based on earlier kingdoms and shires created by the Anglo-Saxons and others. They are alternatively known as ancient counties, traditional counties, former counties or simply as counties. In the centuries that followed their establishment, as well as their administrative function, the counties also helped define local culture and identity. This role continued even after the counties ceased to be used for administration after the creation of administrative counties in 1889, which were themselves amended by further local government reforms in the years following.



Prescot's name is believed to be derived from the Anglo-Saxon prēost "priest" + cot "cot", meaning a cottage or small house owned or inhabited by a priest, a "priest-cottage". (ME prest, preste, priest, OE prēost, LL presbyter, Gk πρεσβύτερος presbýteros "elder, priest"). [4]

Middle English Stage of the English language from about the 12th through 15th centuries

Middle English was a form of the English language spoken after the Norman conquest (1066) until the late 15th century. English underwent distinct variations and developments following the Old English period. Scholarly opinion varies, but the Oxford English Dictionary specifies the period when Middle English was spoken as being from 1150 to 1500. This stage of the development of the English language roughly followed the High to the Late Middle Ages.

Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest historical form of the English language, spoken in England and southern and eastern Scotland in the early Middle Ages. It was brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers probably in the mid-5th century, and the first Old English literary works date from the mid-7th century. After the Norman conquest of 1066, English was replaced, for a time, as the language of the upper classes by Anglo-Norman, a relative of French. This is regarded as marking the end of the Old English era, as during this period the English language was heavily influenced by Anglo-Norman, developing into a phase known now as Middle English.

Late Latin Written Latin of late antiquity

Late Latin is the scholarly name for the written Latin of late antiquity. English dictionary definitions of Late Latin date this period from the 3rd to the 6th centuries AD, and continuing into the 7th century in the Iberian Peninsula. This somewhat ambiguously defined version of Latin was used between the eras of Classical Latin and Medieval Latin. There is no scholarly consensus about exactly when Classical Latin should end or Medieval Latin should begin. However, Late Latin is characterized by an identifiable style.

In the 14th century, William Dacre, 2nd Baron Dacre, obtained a charter for the holding of a three-day market and moveable fair at Prescot, to begin on the Wednesday following Corpus Christi. [5]

William Dacre, 2nd Baron Dacre English baron

William Dacre, 2nd Baron Dacre was an English peer. In the final months of his life he was also 3rd Baron Multon of Gilsland. In some sources he is called William de Dacre.

Charter Grant of authority or rights

A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified. It is implicit that the granter retains superiority, and that the recipient admits a limited status within the relationship, and it is within that sense that charters were historically granted, and that sense is retained in modern usage of the term.

Fair gathering of people for a variety of entertainment or commercial activities

A fair, also known as a funfair, is a gathering of people for a variety of entertainment or commercial activities. It is normally of the essence of a fair that it is temporary with scheduled times lasting from an afternoon to several weeks.

From the mid-1590s to 1609, Prescot was home to the Prescot Playhouse, a purpose-built Shakespearean theatre, probably located on Eccleston Street. [6] In the sixteenth century it was a small town of about 400 inhabitants, and not much bigger by the late seventeenth century. [7]

The Prescot Playhouse was an Elizabethan theatre in the town of Prescot, which was then in Lancashire. The playhouse was built before 1603, probably in the mid-1590s, and probably remained in theatrical use until 1609. It was one of the few free-standing theatres in England outside London, and probably hosted performances by the playing companies maintained by the Earls of Derby.

During the 18th and 19th centuries it was at the centre of the watch and clock making industry. This ended with the failure of the Lancashire Watch Company in 1910. In later years the BICC company was the primary industrial employer in the town. BICC ceased operations in Prescot in the early 1990s before the site was demolished and later cleared. The land remained desolate until the year 2000 when it was then regenerated into what is now known as Cables Retail Park, the name of which is a reference to the BICC and the history of the site on which it was built. [8]

Watch personal timepiece

A watch is a timepiece intended to be carried or worn by a person. It is designed to keep working despite the motions caused by the person's activities. A wristwatch is designed to be worn around the wrist, attached by a watch strap or other type of bracelet. A pocket watch is designed for a person to carry in a pocket. The study of timekeeping is known as horology.

Clock Instrument for measuring, keeping or indicating time.

A clock is an instrument used to measure, keep, and indicate time. The clock is one of the oldest human inventions, meeting the need to measure intervals of time shorter than the natural units: the day, the lunar month, and the year. Devices operating on several physical processes have been used over the millennia.

Lancashire Watch Company

The Lancashire Watch Company of Prescot was founded in 1889 by Thomas P. Hewitt as a rival to the large American and Swiss watch companies. It failed in 1910.


Prescot has historically lain within the historic county of Lancashire. The town was contained in the Prescot Urban District in the administrative county Lancashire from 1894. When the administrative counties were abolished in 1974 the district became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley in the metropolitan county of Merseyside. It is currently served by Prescot Town Council.

Prescot Urban District was a local government district in the administrative county of Lancashire, England from 1894 to 1974.the main settlement of the district was the town of Prescot.

An administrative county was an administrative division in England and Wales and Ireland from 1888 to 1974, used for the purposes of local government. They are now abolished, although in Northern Ireland their former areas are used as the basis for lieutenancy.

Metropolitan county type of county-level administrative division of England

The metropolitan counties are a type of county-level administrative division of England. There are six metropolitan counties, which each cover large urban areas, typically with populations of 1.2 to 2.8 million. They were created in 1974 and are each divided into several metropolitan districts or boroughs.


The centre of Prescot has seven churches. Dominating the skyline is the 17th-century Prescot Parish Church of St Mary's. Tucked away behind St Mary's is the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady and St Joseph. Prescot Methodist Church celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009, but the building has since been shut down indefinitely. The congregation continues to exist, however, meeting in the adjacent church hall, known as Prescot Methodist Centre. Also in the town are a Salvation Army church, an Elim Pentecostal church (Prescot Community Church), a Plymouth Brethren Gospel Hall and the Zion Independent Methodist Church. Outside the centre, in the Portico area of the town is the Catholic Our Lady Help of Christians Church.

Places of worship shut down or moved over the past 20 years include the United Reformed church, the Kingdom Hall (Jehovah's Witnesses) and an independent charismatic church called simply Prescot Christian Fellowship.

Tourism, leisure and places of interest

Prescot Museum houses a permanent exhibition about the history of clock- and watch-making in the town, and several temporary exhibitions per year. The Georgian building is now also home to Knowsley Council's Arts and Events Service.

On the edge of the town is the famous estate of Lord Derby, which includes Knowsley Safari Park.

In recent years, a number of cultural and arts events have been established in the town, including the annual 10-day Prescot Festival of Music and the Arts and an annual Elizabethan Fayre.

The Shakespeare North Trust promotes William Shakespeare's historic connection with the town, a subject being researched at Liverpool's John Moores University. Inspired by the historic Prescot Playhouse, the Trust plans to build the Shakespeare North complex in Prescot, including a Shakespearean playhouse and an educational centre. [9] In April 2016, Knowsley Council granted planning permission for the new playhouse. [10]

Stone Street,( 53°25′45″N2°48′17″W / 53.42917°N 2.80472°W / 53.42917; -2.80472 ) running between High Street and Eccleston Street, is just 26 inches wide at its southern end and is one of the narrowest streets in Britain.


The area's local football team Prescot Cables currently play in the Northern Premier League Division One at Valerie Park.

Prescot & Odyssey Cricket Club is located near Knowsley Safari Park.

Notable residents

See also

Related Research Articles

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Shakespeare North in Prescot, Merseyside, England, is a proposed complex of buildings containing a Shakespearean playhouse and a centre for education in Shakespearean stagecraft. The new playhouse, although commemorating the town's Elizabethan theatre, the Prescot Playhouse, will be a replica of the 17th-century Cockpit-in-Court theatre in London. It is scheduled to open in 2019.


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  2. "Prescot East Ward population 2011" . Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  3. "Prescot West Ward population 2011" . Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  4. Prescot Origins and History, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, retrieved 29 December 2005
  5. Edward Baines, William Robert Whatton, Brooke Herford, James Croston, The history of the county palatine and duchy of Lancaster, vol. 5 (J. Heywood, 1893), p. 2
  6. Graham, Elspeth; Tyler, Rosemary (2011). ""So Unbridled & Badde an Handfull of England": The Social and Cultural Ecology of the Elizabethan Playhouse in Prescot". In Benbough-Jackson, Mike; Davies, Sam (eds.). Merseyside: Culture and Place. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 109–139. ISBN   1-4438-2964-1.
  7. Steel, Thomas (2002). Prescot Churchwardens' Accounts. Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire. pp. xii. ISBN   0 902593 48 X.
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  10. Snow, Georgia (22 April 2016). "£19m Merseyside Shakespeare theatre gets green light". The Stage . Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  11. biographic detail at
  12. Crockfords Clerical Directory for 1931 OUP (1931) p1059