BLACKPOOL

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In referring to this watering-place for a second time we feel some difficulty ; not
that we have said all that can be put forth in connexion with its claims to the patronage
of the health-seeking and pleasure-loving population of Lancashire and the surrounding
counties, but because our desire has been to introduce, wherever possible, some
historical notice of the places which form the subject of our artist’s pencil, especially
where, as in the present instance, more than one illustration has been given of
the same town or port. We must, however, confess that of Blackpool, historically
considered, we have nothing to record. Its chronicles, if ever it possessed any, have
been swallowed up by the encroaching waves, which have taken a large portion of what
was once dry land to augment their liquid domains.

About half-a-mile from the beach, the stranger’s attention is directed to a small
rock in the sea, called the “Pennystone,” which, according to local tradition, marks the
place where a public-house once stood on dry land. In this stone, it is added, were fixed
iron hooks, to which travelers usually fastened their horses’ bridles while they alighted
to refresh themselves with “penny pots of beer,”— a circumstance perpetuated in the
name which it still retains.

At the south end of the town is the now dilapidated building called Vauxhall,
where, in 1715, the Chevalier St. George lay for some time concealed, while the secret
measures were concocting by his adherents for a general insurrection. This house
belonged to the family of the Tyldesleys, who at that time, and long previously, had
considerable possessions in this country; but being faithful adherents of the House of
Stuart, they embraced the desperate cause of the royal exile with undissembled zeal.
Sir Thomas Tyldesley, the head of the family at that moment, prepared this house for
the reception of the royal adventurer; but this open declaration of his attachment proved
ruinous to himself and his descendants. The last male heir joined the standard of the
Chevalier in 1745. One of his ancestors was slain at the battle of Wigan Lane, in that
county, while marching to the assistance of Charles II. ; a monument to his memory was
erected by one of his officers in 1679. It is still in tolerable preservation, and bears an
appropriate inscription.

Last of Blackpool are situated the townships of Great and Little Marten, where a
subterraneous forest has been discovered, by digging out the timber from which many
of the peasantry obtain considerable sums. Some of the trees are sound enough to

make agricultural instruments, bare roofs and fences, and even articles of ornamental
furniture. Much of the land in this neighborhood has been reclaimed from a state of
marsh; and there are still remaining, within a few miles, a Moss comprising several
thousand acres — so extensive, indeed, as to have passed into a local aphorism, “As
inexhaustible as Pilling Moss,” being an ordinary mode of expressing anything that is
supposed to be without limit. This moss is reported to have, as lately as 1745, altered
considerably in its level, and, by a movement to the south, to have destroyed one
hundred acres of improved land. It affords a large supply of fuel for the district, and
seems likely to continue to do so for generations to come.

The little watering-place, from which we have thus wandered away, owes
its name to a pool of water of more than ordinary darkness of color, caused by the
decaying vegetation of the marshes. It has now, however, disappeared under the hand
of modem improvement, and given place to a supply of water more than usually pure,
and which is not to be often found in such close proximity to the coast.

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