Ingol, just outside Preston, has never been a typical village. It has developed from a scattered district to an active community within an urban area.

The records of the area are few, the first being a mention of the land in a report of the Commissioners for the Domesday Book in 1086. Part of the old Roman road from Ribchester ran along what is now known as Cadley Causeway, Tag Lane and across the Cottam Brickcroft and behind St Margaret's church. For several centuries it was sparsely populated with just a few farms and two or three more substantial dwellings.
Canel Bridge in Winter
The religious troubles of the 16th century brought Richard Haydock's family and home at Cottam Hall to public notice, as information was given that he practised the Roman Catholic religion there. It is recorded that in 1745 the chapel at Cottam Hall was destroyed, and the priest, Reverend Father Harrison, was found hanging from an oak tree in Cottam Hall Lane.

Older residents link this incident to the name of 'catch meadow' given to a field nearby. The Haydock family still lived here in 1774 when George Haydock was born in Tag House. He became a distinguished biblical annotator and after a chequered career he retired, as Father Haydock, to Ingol where he died in 1848.

But still there appears to have been only a few scattered farms, a few cottages and larger properties such as Tanterton Hall. People were probably fairly self-sufficient, or travelled to the market in Preston for any other needs.

After the First World War, soldiers returned to settle down to a new life and Ingol became a poultry-keeping district. Gradually more houses were built, though still rather scattered and with no focal centre. By 1925 some residents felt there was a need for a communal meeting place and St Margaret's mission church was built. This was a dual purpose church and village hall, built from asbestos-type sheets and internally boarded with wood. For many this was the start of community life and Ingol really became a village at last. Sunday school was started, and in 1928 Ingol Women's Institute was formed.

The brickcroft, originally founded at the time of the construction of the Preston to Lancaster canal in 1797, now restarted to satisfy the local demand for bricks. A shop and a post office were opened. A small library, run by volunteers, was held in one of the rooms at St Margaret's mission church. Six boxes of books that had been collected from the County Library were placed on card tables. Library night also became a social occasion when the men of Ingol met and discussed poultry keeping and tomato growing. Some years later a small collection of books was kept permanently in St Margaret's hall and the County Library provided staff for it.
Children taking part in Britain in Bloom 2012
With a population of about 900, the community paid for a District Nurse (who was also the midwife), by collecting 1s 6d a quarter from those families who wished to belong to the Nursing Association. Her help and advice must have been very welcome but her round of visits must at times have been hard work. Tag Lane, much narrower than it is now, was the only paved road.

All other lanes were cinder tracks that often became impassable after rain, due to the heavy clay soil.

Methodists, who previously had met in a private house, opened their church in 1937; but Ingol did not have a Catholic church until the Holy Family was built in 1964. The Mother's Union started in the late 1950s and the modern St Margaret's church was built in 1966.

After the Second World War, social life flourished, and a drama group was formed in 1949. Rural Ingol began to fade away. Ingol now became an urban district and began a steady expansion with the building of council and private housing estates. Surprisingly, the first school was Tulketh High (a secondary school), opened in 1964. It was another four years before the Ingol County primary and Catholic primary schools were built. There is a row of shops and an attractive small library. In 1978 HRH Duke of Edinburgh arrived by helicopter to open the Rehabilitation Centre, which provides facilities found in only one other establishment in England.

For many people who may never have known the old rural Ingol, social life now centres on the two social clubs and the pub. Perhaps the only trace of Ingol's former green fields to remain will be the golf course constructed in 1981, and its many associated public footpaths.

The village information above is taken from The Lancashire Village Book, written by members of the Lancashire Federation of Women's Institutes and published by Countryside Books. Click on the link Countryside Books to view Countryside's range of other local titles.