The young soldier and chapel spire in the grounds 
								of what is now variously known as Harris Park, the 
								Harris Conference Centre or Harris Knowledge Park 
								in Fulwood.
The young soldier and chapel spire in the grounds of what is now variously known as Harris Park, the Harris Conference Centre or Harris Knowledge Park in Fulwood.
The Harris Charity
'The Harris Charity', originally founded as 'The Harris Orphanage' in 1883, took its present form  in 1985 following the disposal of the Harris Orphanage premises to the then Lancashire Polytechnic. The Trust is a registered charity and exists for, in summary, “the benefit of persons under the age of 25 years resident in the County of Lancashire who are in need”. The Trustees are required to give preference to people living in Preston. The Charity’s accounts for the financial year 2007/8 show that its assets are predominantly financial with a total value of about £2.9 million. Its income during the year was £139,341 and its expenditure was £93,765, of which £21,295 was costs and £72,470 was disbursed as grants. The accounts include a breakdown of grants paid or approved during the year. The grant breakdown perhaps offers an insight into how the Trustees interpret the Trust's Scheme or governing document. Can anyone supply the figure for how much the orphanage or, Harris Children’s Home, as it later became known, was sold for?
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Ful wood History

We hope to provide a significant history of Fulwood here, along with some of the pertinent history of Preston.

However, we want your personal contribution as well. Send us that old photograph with a family story behind it. Tell us the tale of how your Fulwood family lived during the depression or how they prospered by black marketeering during the second world war!

Are you are soldier at the Barracks? Why not put a little bit of regimental history together for us? Do you work at or use the Lancashire Record Office? There is a wealth of local history material tucked away there. The "Strong, healthy girls ..." advert in our schools section was taken from a copy of Billy's Weekly Liar kept at the Record Office. Why not choose a theme and write an article for us?

All contributions will be credited.

On Fulwood

"Fulewde, 1199; Fulewude, 1228; Fulwode, 1297.

This township, formerly a woodland area and now to a great extent a residential suburb of Preston, lies to the north of Preston and Ribbleton. The Savock (or Savick) Brook crosses the centre, flowing westsouth-west to the Ribble. The western end is called Cadley or Cadeley; Killinsough is in the north-east. The surface, slightly undulating according to the watercourses, rises on the whole from west to east, attaining over 200 ft. above sea level. The township has an area of 2,116½ acres, and in 1901 contained a population of 5,238, including 1,101 in the barracks, 784 in the workhouse, and others in charitable institutions.

Garstang Road, the main road from Preston to the north, crosses its western end, but a more noteworthy one is that which runs east and west near the southern border; it is called Watling Street, and is supposed to be on the track of an old Roman road from Ribchester to the sea. The Preston and Longridge railway passes through the south-eastern corner of the township, where there is a station called Ribbleton. To the north of it is the hamlet called Fulwood Row. The London and North-Western Company's main line to the north crosses the western end of the township. The electric tramways of Preston serve Fulwood.

The township contains the Preston Union Workhouse, built in 1865–8, and a large barracks, 1848, the depot of the 30th and 47th Regimental Districts, including the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, the old 47th and 81st Foot. On Garstang Road, on an estate formerly known as Crow Trees, is the Harris Orphanage for about 140 children, opened in 1888. Homes for the Blind were opened in 1896. The Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor and St. Vincent's Home for Boys, a Poor Law school founded in 1893 in memory of the late Bishop O'Reilly, are also in Fulwood."

Ref: 'The parish of Lancaster: Fulwood', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7 (1912), pp. 137-138.

On Preston

"Defoe in 1727 found Preston a fine and gay town, but inferior in population to Liverpool and Manchester. It was 'full of attorneys, proctors and notaries' employed in the special palatine courts. There was 'a great deal of good company,' but not so much 'as was before the late bloody action with the Northern rebels; not that the battle hurt many of the immediate inhabitants, but the consequences of it so severely affected many families thereabout that they still retain the remembrance of it.' The earliest 'prospect' of the town is dated 1728; it was drawn from the south side by S. and N. Buck. A printing press was at work as early as 1740. A verbal description of Preston in 1745 reads thus: 'This town is situated on a clean, delightful eminence, having handsome streets and variety of company, which the agreeableness of the place induces to board here, it being one of the prettiest retirements in England, and may for its beauty and largeness compare with most cities, and for the politeness of the inhabitants none can excel. . . . Here is a handsome church and a town hall where the corporation meet for business and the gentlemen and ladies for balls and assemblies. Here is likewise a spacious market place in the midst of which stands a fine obelisk; the streets are neatly paved, and the houses well built of brick and slates. This town being a great thoroughfare there are many good inns for the reception of travellers."

From: 'The parish of Preston', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7 (1912), pp. 72-91.

The Fulwood Workhouse

The Fulwood workhouse was designed by Leigh Hall of Bolton, formerly of Manchester architects Hayley Son & Hall, and was completed in 1868.

The Watling Street Road former Fulwood workhouse of 1868
The Watling Street Road facade of the former Fulwood workhouse

The Harris Orphanage

"Edmund Robert Harris was a wealthy lawyer who acquired a fortune through investment in the railways in the mid-19th century. At his death in 1877 he bequeathed £300,000 for philanthropic purposes in memory of the Harris family, including the formation of what became known as the Harris Museum in Preston and the Harris Orphanage. In 1881 a roughly 6 hectare plot of land in open agricultural land to the north of Preston was acquired by the Harris Trustees as the site for the orphanage. In 1884 a Building Committee was formed, and it was decided to build a village homes-type orphanage for 120 children in the domestic style pioneered by Dr Barnardo at Barkingside, north-east London, in 1876."

Ref: Parks & Gardens UK

History contributions

History of Longridge by Dave Singleton

On Mother Kelly's Doorstep A 'Jack the Ripper' theory by Des McKenna