With plans approved to build hundreds of homes on Ingol Golf Club, and the ongoing development of the area, local historian Keith Johnson looks at the history of the north west corner of Preston
To many people in Ingol, it is a concern that developers want to move in and build yet more houses among their community on land which has been home to
Ingol Golf Club since May 1981, when legendary golfer Henry Cotton opened it,
assisted by Sir Tom Finney.
The land was first mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 and was part of the old Roman road from Ribchester which ran along what we now know as Cadley Causeway and Tag Lane and headed towards what was once Tanterton Hall farm.
Ingol eventually became part of the Amounderness Hundred of Lea, Ashton,
Ingol and Cottam, whose land was given to the endowment of St Mary Magdalene’s Hospital by Walter, son of Gamel de Ingol, about 1200.
In 1246 Avice de Ingol and her spouse held certain lands and later Gilbert de Ingol was involved in a legal dispute with John de Lea over some acres.
By 1567 it is recorded that Queen Elizabeth I had appertained the pasture land in which all the inhabitants, tenants and farmers of Ingol, had common pasture and turbary.
The days when sprawling fields occupied most of the land from Lane Ends at Ashton to the village of Woodplumpton are long gone.
Days when farmers and yeomen made up the roll call of residents in the middle of the 19th century, with Ingol regarded as a township of Preston.
Its acres were sparsely populated with just a scattering of farms, a few cottage dwellings and the substantial Tanterton Hall. There were connections to Cottam Hall and the Haydock family of religious note and George Haydock was born in Tag House.
Generally, the dwellers within Ingol were self sufficient producing vegetables and fruit in abundance and often took their produce to the Preston markets.
After the First World War the district began to develop and Ingol became particularly well known for its poultry and pig keeping, especially on the Tanterton Hall farm of William Henry Kay.
Back in the autumn of 1925, after years of residential growth in Ingol, the church of St Andrew’s at Ashton thought the Christian souls in Ingol worthy of a mission hall and so the first building of St Margaret’s Mission and Institute was built.
Community life began to develop and a village feeling endured with the Ingol Women’s Institute formed in 1928 as events often centred around the mission hall.
Spirituality seemed to be high on the agenda and in 1937 the local Methodists gathered to celebrate the opening of their first building fit to house 100 worshippers. The growth of the area was reflected in 1935 when an article in the Lancashire Daily Post announced that the little village of Ingol, population 900, was celebrating winning the Lancashire folk dancing contest at Morecambe and the collection of a Morris Dancing trophy a week earlier.
Indeed, another article that year spoke of the community spirit in the village with organisations such the Ratepayers Association, Horticultural Society and Nursing Association which employed a district nurse/ midwife and for six shillings a year offered health care.
A sign of things to come arrived in 1956 when the Preston Corporation issued a compulsory purchase order to obtain such lands and buildings as Tag Farm, Ingol House Farm, Tanterton Hall Farm and Mount Farm to enable their ambitious plans to develop the area. The Preston Corporation housing development that was set to cover 200 acres of farmland with the building of 2,500 homes was described as a planner’s dream. It included the supply of a new Preston Corporation bus route, as only Ribble Motors buses heading for Catforth passed that way, a reduced fare of 6d being negotiated.
In 1964 the original churches were joined by the church of the Holy Family, to serve the Roman Catholic population. Within a couple of years St. Margaret’s also had a new church building and Ingol Methodists laid the foundation stone of their new church in 1993 just three years after the Tanterton Christian Fellowship on Kidsgrove built their church.
Ingol was certainly developing rapidly and Ingol Labour Club was opened in 1968 by Preston MP Peter Mahon and it had more than 800 members within the week and, along with the Holy Family Social Club, it thrived.
In the early days a mobile library was the only one on offer for bookworms, but that all changed in 1981 when Ingol Library opened in Ventnor Place with a stock of 15,000 books.
The local primary schools now have fine buildings with Pool House, Holy Family and Ingol Primary all busy educating youngsters, although the ultra modern Tulketh High School, opened in 1964, is now closed and used as a sports centre.
There is nowadays a purpose-built Ingol Health Centre to look after local folk and sheltered accommodation and care homes have arrived, including the Lady Elsie Finney house on Cottam
Avenue, opened in 2007.
Certainly, there has been no let-up in the development of the whole area between Ingol and Woodplumpton with a large private housing estate under way, built by Wimpey in 1987 and the council estates at Tanterton and the more recent development of the once tranquil Cottam area. The policies for such expansion going back as far as 1974 and the Central Lancashire visionary developments. Indeed, by late 1985 the New Town chairman was cutting the tape to open the first stage of Tom Benson Way, the stretch from Tulketh Brow to Lightfoot Lane, in the hope that traffic congestion would be eased.
Despite the building on acres of farmland, the promise was that recreational areas would be preserved and for those whose homes were built in the vicinity of the golf course the belief was that the Ingol Golf Village area would ensure a lasting oasis of trees and tranquillity with wildlife prospering alongside the sweeping greens.
The £500,000 proposals for a 72 par golf course were first unveiled in 1978 with luxury homes along the fairways of the 250 acre site on the wooded slopes of Sharoe Brook. The houses were to sit in the £12,000 to £35,000 price bracket, lifting the prestige of an area described in the Central Lancashire New Town plan as, “a deprived suburb of Preston”.
The scheme was planned to be a cross between a municipal golf course and a county club.
Community groups such as Intag and PACT have helped the local community knit closer together and although the shops are shuttered after nightfall the dark days are gone when the Tanterton residents had to suffer such despair as that caused by vandals as they set ablaze the local Spar; the Falklands Heroes public house, opened in 1983 where Falkland veterans got a free pint of ale, and the Tanterton Community Centre in 2003.
It is without a doubt an
ever changing scene, the John O’Gaunt public house built amidst the council estate is now a nursery; the old Ingol Labour Club is
reborn as Ingol Social Club; the old Post Office is now incorporated in a One Stop convenience store; the Guild Merchant public house on Tag Lane has alongside it a newly opened Sainsbury’s Local to compete with the Ingol Co-op and Nisa, the former Spar, for a growing population.
The old brick Cottam Hall brick works, originally founded when the Preston to Lancaster Canal was under construction in 1797, may have closed and there is no Tanterton Hall to be seen, but there is still an Ancient Oak tree and a public house carrying its name.
This area north of Savick Brook and with the Lancaster Canal along one of its boundaries is in danger of overcrowding and of lacking the infrastructure to cope with more traffic. Consequently, many strive to see the golf course area preserved despite developers seeking to build yet more houses there, as well as those housing estates currently being erected close to Preston Grasshoppers and along the old Lightfoot Lane.
According to the census of 2011 the population of Ingol was recorded as more than 7,300 and it is no doubt growing as more properties are built, a far cry from those early village days.