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In the Middle Ages, Preston was a parish and township in the hundred of Amounderness and was granted a Guild Merchant charter in 1179, giving it the status of a market town.Textiles have been produced since the mid-13th century when locally produced wool was woven in people's houses.
A full 400 year sequence was frustrated by the cancellation of the 1942 Guild due to World War II, but the cycle resumed in 1952.The district obtained city status in 2002, becoming England's 50th city in the 50th year of Queen Elizabeth II's reign. Preston and its surrounding area have provided evidence of ancient Roman activity, largely in the form of a Roman road which led to a camp at Walton-le-Dale.The Angles established Preston; its name is derived from the Old English meaning "priest's settlement" and in the Domesday Book is recorded as "Prestune".Flemish weavers who settled in the area in the 14th century helped develop the industry.In the early-18th century, Edmund Calamy described Preston as "a pretty town with an abundance of gentry in it, commonly called Proud Preston".
During the Roman period, Roman roads passed close to what is now the centre of Preston.