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Friday, 16 March 2012


151 (later 378)  North Road
Previously known as the
With regards to the comments at the foot of this page, referring
to the passageways that ran under the 'Unicorn,' I have had some
correspondence from a man who was the landlord here for a period
of 11 years.
He said, "I don't remember any tunnel or door in the cellar."
pers. comm.   I do know that many of the tunnels that did exist
beneath a lot of the town's buildings have been bricked up and
probably long-forgotten.
However, my correspondent went on to say, "I had two old guys, in 1975,
who said that they had a relative who was a coachman  for the
Magistrates, and used to call there on their way to "Hangman's Hill"
otherwise known as Gallows Hill, roughly where English Martyr's Church
now stands, with the prisoner in the coach.
He also tells me that the cellar had a slaughtering block and metal
meat rail in the roof of the cellar, and that the lobby at the side was
called "Cow Lobby."  All of this must date back to when it was the 
"Cattle Market Tavern," or the "Cattle Market and Unicorn," and
the area to the north of it was the town's cattle-market.
See the map, below.

The Unicorn is marked on this map as 'Cattle Market Tavern'
The orange mark below it is the Shepherds' Tavern, and the property
adjoining the Shepherds' Tavern, is the 'Moorbrook Inn' which is still there.
1832           Referred to as being 'new'.
1836 - 41             James Pearson
1844 - 48             Thomas Mashiter  (Masheter) d. 19.9.1848 aged 62 years, after a short but severe illness.
1851                    William Welch
1851 - 53             William Mashiter  (Masheter)
1853 - 55             Ellis Williamson (Wilkinson)
1860                    Ellis Williamson (Wilkinson)
1861 - 68            Perkin Hinde
1869 - 71            Joseph Singleton
1873                    David Holland
1876 - 77            John Ashton
1877 - 79            Ann Birkett - given in Preston Chronicle 8.12.1877 as the 'Cattle Market Tavern'
1879 - 80            John Thompson
1880 - 83            John Melling
1883 - 84            John Williams
1884 - 80            Alfred Dewhurst
1889                   James Dewhurst
1890 - 93            Jane Dewhurst
1893 - 94            William Metcalf
1894 - 96            William Barlow
1897 - 1924        William Livesey
1926                    John Miller
1932                    James Dobson
1933                    James Ellison
1936                    James D. Howson
1940 - 46            Henry Edmondson
Preston Chronicle   3rd September 1836
In 1835 a spirit licence was granted to Joshua Britton for "a house near to Gallows Hill, the property of P. Shawe, Esq."
Preston Chronicle  27th March 1841
Preston Chronicle  24th February 1844
Preston Chronicle   25th January 1845
Preston Chronicle 13th February 1847
Preston Chronicle  14th February 1852
Preston Chronicle 16th April 1853
On the 19th inst. a yellow-coloured SHEEP DOG,
answers to the name of "GATHER." He is a large,
powerful animal, and has a white ring round his
neck. Whoever will restore him to Mr. Ellis
Williamson, Cattle Market Tavern, North Road,
will be handsomely rewarded; and anyone detaining
him after this notice will be prosecuted.
Preston Chronicle 27th March 1858
Preston Chronicle 5th May 1860
Preston Chronicle  23rd February 1861
Lost, on the 6th inst., SIX SCOTCH
WETHERS, marked "C" in blue on the side.
Apply at the Unicorn Inn, Preston.
Preston Chronicle   16th December 1871
BEGS to inform his friends and customers that
a splendid HARMONIC ROOM in connection 
with his house.


WINES, SPIRITS, CORDIALS, &c. of the best quality.
Excellent Lild and Bitter Ales, Choice Cigars.
Preston Chronicle 12th February 1876
To Innkeepers, Brewers, Brokers and others.
Sale of an excellent Brewing Plant, Household Furniture,
and other Effects, comprising two-load iron Brewing Boiler,
Washing Boiler, two Mash Tubs, Mash Taps, Mash Stick
and Scope, Hop Sieve, copper Refrigerator, Workng Trough,
Round Coolers, Running-off Tubs, six new Brewing and 
Lading Cans, India Rubber piping, Tun dish, Fire Irons,
13 load barrels, 60 half-load barrels, 10 small casks, 
sack of wood bungs, and Household Furniture.

Instructions of Mrs. Birkett, who has just entered in 
possession of the above hotel.
Preston Chronicle 13th October 1877
With immediate possession
That well-frequented house, the "UNICORN HOTEL,"
number 151 North Road, Preston, together with the extensive 
Stabling and premises attached.
There is a good Billiard Room in the house, the premises are 
well-situated and suitable for doing a large and lucrative 
Apply on the premises.
Satisfactory reasons will be given by the tenant for leaving.

Preston Chronicle 14th February 1880
This must have been Frederick D., brother-in-law of
the licensee, Jane.
Preston Chronicle   1st February 1890

William Welch                     37 years                       Beerseller                b. Forton
Mary Welch                        40                                Wife                       b. Garstang
Richard Welch                     13                                Son                        b. Ellel
Thomas Welch                     11                                Son                       b. Preston
Laurence Welch                   8                                  Son                               do

A Perkin Hinde                       36 years                Innkeeper             b. Richmond, Yorks.
Agnes Hinde                       31                                Wife                        b. Preston

Joseph Singleton                 47 years                        Publican                  b. Horwich
Jane Elizabeth Singleton      40                                 Wife                        b. Scotland
John Singleton                     18                                 Son                        b. Preston
James Singleton                   12                                 Son                                 do
William Cresby Singleton     10                                 Son                                 do
Fred George Singleton          8                                  Son                                 do
Jane Eliza Singleton               5                                  Daughter                         do

John Melling                       39 years                         Innkeeper               b. Lancs.  H ?
Elizabeth Melling                 45                                 Wife                        b. Tockholes
Elizabeth A. Melling            16                                  Daughter                 b. Over Darwen
Mary A. Melling                  9                                   Daughter                 b. Preston
John Melling                       73                                  Father/                    b.   ?
                                                                                 Retired farmer.

Jane Dewhurst                   36 years - widow.           Lic. Vict.                 b. Hutton
Edward Dewhurst              11                                   Son                                 do
Florence Dewhurst              6                                    Daughter                b. Preston
Edith M. Dewhurst              5                                    Daughter                         do
Louise J. Dewhurst              3                                    Daughter                         do
Frederick Dewhurst     Not noted, but c. 27 years       Brother-in-law        b. Fulwood
                                              (PNE footballer) 

William Livesey                 49 years                           Hotel Proprietor      b. Chorley
Eliza Livesey                     47                                    Wife                                do
Ada Livesey                      25                                    Daughter                         do
Amelia Livesey                  23                                    Daughter                         do
Joseph Livesey                  21                                    Son                                 do
Elizabeth Livesey               19                                    Daughter                          do
Hannah Livesey                 17                                    Daughter                          do
William Livesey                  16                                   Son                                  do
Thomas Livesey                 14                                   Son                                  do
Robert Livesey                   12                                   Son                                 do
James Livesey                    11                                   Son                                 do
Lawrence Livesey               9                                    Son                                 do
Eliza Livesey                       7                                    Daughter                          do
Mary Livesey                      3                                    Daughter                   b. Preston

William Livesey                 59 years widower            Hotel Proprietor        b. Withnell, Chorley
Joseph Livesey                 31                                   Son / Joiner                                 do
William Livesey                26                                    Son /Schoolmaster    b. Whittle-le-Woods
Thomas Livesey               24                                   Son / Joiner                               do
Robert Livesey                22                                    Son / Plumber                           do
Laurence Livesey             18                                   Son / Student Teacher               do
Eliza Livesey                    16                             Daughter / Housekeeper                  do
Mary Livesey                   13                            Daughter / School             b. Preston
Thomas Sargent                3                                    Grandson                  b. Manchester
Margaret Mount              22                       General Domestic Servant      b. Morecambe


  1. Hi Steve, firstly I would like to say that you have done a wonderful job with this site and recently I have directed others to view it and they think it is amazing. Your hard work and time is greatly appreciated.
    I was actually wondering if you have ever come across any stories about The Unicorn on North Road having links to the church across from it, in respect of having something to do with hangings in the yard. This might just be a source on misinformation but I do about the tunnel under the pub itself and the door that I dare not venture down to the tunnel. I hope you don't mind me asking and thank you for taking the time to read this comment.

    Many thanks

    1. Hello Lesley
      Thanks for the kind comments.
      I don't think that I've heard those stories before, but they don't surprise me. There are a number of 'scary' and other stories attached to several pubs, some of them started by the landlord of the time trying to drum up a bit of business.

      Which church are you referring to? St. Thomas's or English Martyrs? The pub pre-dates both of them.

      Tunnels are a feature under most pubs in the town, although most are now blocked up. Is the door that you daren't venture down still there? I dare, and I've got a powerful torch.

      And no, I don't mind you asking. The more that join in the merrier!

      Thanks once again, and keep spreading the word.

      Steve H

  2. Hi Steve,
    The church I was referring to is English Martyrs on the corner on St Georges Road and North Road and yes the door is still there but hasn't been opened for some years now ,maybe I could borrow your strong torch if I ever get brave enough to venture down there!
    I don't know how far the tunnel runs now, but it did run all that way to the Parish Church on Church Street apparently, as you say, most of them have been blocked up over the years, sadly.
    I shall continue researching the hanging issue and maybe come up with something, you never know.
    Thanks for taking the time to reply.
    Take care
    Lesley .