History is everywhere in Freckleton - it can be seen in the very physical and social fabric of this village near Preston, Lancashire. The shape of the fields, the street plan, the houses and buildings are all evidence in one way or another of hundreds of years of human endeavour, character and tragedy. The village is known for many things: its grazing marshes, its boat-yard and the bleak beauty of the Naze; but above all for its very strong sense of community, witnessed by the range and number of church and social organizations flourishing in the area. Peter Shakeshaft has delved into a range of archives, as well as talking to dozens of local residents, to uncover the village's rich and varied history. There have been settlements in the area since as far back as the Bronze Age, while the name itself is Anglo-Saxon in origin. In the medieval period the de Freckleton family was prominent, while the Black Death claimed over one-third of the population in 18 months. The Tudor and Stuart periods saw a number of families rise to prominence, and Freckleton even witnessed a minor Civil War battle.
This predominantly agricultural village moved into manufacturing in the 18th and 19th centuries with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, and then suffered when King Cotton declined. Arguably its darkest hour came during World War II with the tragic events of 1944. The author weaves these local and regional elements into their wider context, and he brings to life names which will be familiar to everyone in the area: Harrison, Hall, Rigby, Brown, Garlick, Rawstrone, Cowburn, Hankinson, Sharples, Iddon and Mayor, to name a few.