On the periphery of Preston city centre, Fulwood is an attractive, outlying township that enjoys a wonderfully rich heritage

For many reasons, despite its very close proximity to Preston city centre, Fulwood has remained distinctly separate.

This may be due to the vast majority of the area being encompassed under the Fulwood Conservation Area. It has become well known as an attractive location in which to live and work and it has many and varied interesting places to visit.

Fulwood is of course, home to the Lancashire Infantry Museum and Fulwood Barracks which lie within sight of Preston North End’s Deepdale Stadium, the oldest football league ground in the world.

The Lancashire Infantry Museum houses one of the largest and most important infantry regimental collections in the country. There are extensive displays, archives and a military history library that illustrates the fascinating history of the Lancashire Regiments from earliest foundation in 1689 to the achievements of the ‘Lancashire lads’ of the 21st century.

Another hugely popular destination in Fulwood is Masons Wood, part of which is designated as ancient semi-natural woodland and a biological heritage site. With only 2.5 per cent of land in the UK designated as ancient woodland, it is important that the wildlife, flora and fauna are protected in such areas.

As ancient woodland, it is believed Masons Wood and indeed the whole of Fulwood was once part of a Royal Forest. Off the beaten track, the woodland demonstrates the nature of Fulwood over a millennium ago – a wild woody expanse that would have covered a great deal of this little township.

Originally an Anglo-Saxon settlement, the name originates from the Old English language ‘ful wuda’ meaning foul, dirty wood or wet and marshy woodland. However, it could also be derived from ‘fugo’ meaning bird. Given that the area was a known Royal Forest, deer and game were hunted, and it is recorded that the squire was reported to have bagged many pheasant – hence ‘bird wood’.

Today the woodland is extremely well used by local people for recreation – public access is good as the site has a number of entrances and a network of surfaced footpaths, one of which links the woods to several other Woodland Trust sites including Moss Leach, Fernyhalgh Wood and Midgery Wood. Masons’s Wood is also one of the Woodland Trust’s top 10 bluebell woods in the UK.



Tedd Walmsley

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