Like more British cities, coal and cotton characterized Preston for centuries. Already in the beginning of the eighteenth century, when cotton was imported from India, the town had a growing amount of handloom weavers. These weavers had their workshops at home and brought their fabric to traders at the market. In a rapid tempo, the machines got bigger and where first the weaving and spinning could be done by one person, later there were two or more people needed. The workshop at home got replaced by the cotton mills, the big factories that rose in Preston from the eighteenth century on.
Horrockses, founded by John Horrocks, was at a certain point even the biggest cotton mill in Europe, and dominated the cotton industry in Preston for about 150 years. Today, in the Harris Museum, we watched some interesting footage shot in Horrockses.