There has been a settlement at Prescot since anglo-saxon times.

The growth of Prescot as an important market town dates from 1333 when Edward III granted William D'Acre, rector and the Lord of the Manor, the right to hold a weekly market and an annual fair. In 1355 the Rector of Wigan petitioned the King asking for the closure of Prescot Market because of the adverse effect it was having on Wigan's market.

The importance of Prescot around this time is evidenced by its inclusion on the Gough Map1 which dates from around 1360.

In 1391 William D'Acre sold the Manor of Prescot to John of Gaunt and on his death it passed to his son, who was later to become Henry IV.

In 1447 Henry VI gifted the manor of Prescot to the, then new, King's College, Cambridge. The Fellows and scholars becoming the Lords of the Manor of Prescot. Later on Prescot adopted the King's College coat of arms.

The manor of Prescot was overseen on a day to day basis on behalf of King's College by a steward, his deputy and a Court Leet. The records of the Court Leet from 1509 still survive.

 

Ye town of Prescote stands on a high hill, a very pretty neate Market town-a Large market place and broad streetes well pitch'd."
Celia Fiennes writing in 1698

 



Notes
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1It is important to note that the Gough map is orientated West to East rather than the conventional North to South.