Swarbrick was a place, but I'm not quite sure what to call it. It was too small to call a town or village, and was probably too small to even call a Hamlet.
The Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames describes Swarbrick as "some small spot in the neighbourhood of Winmarleigh, County Lancashire". While the location given is off by several miles, the description of it's size is probably fairly accurate.

The road from Kirkham, Lancashire runs northwest through Weeton and the "small spot" once known as Swarbrick to Singleton. I have been along that road and the only evidence that remains is Swarbrick Hall, a Georgian farmhouse.


A History of the County of Lancashire gives us some early examples of the spelling of the place as Suartebrec, c. 1249 and Swartebreke, c. 1286; and describes Swarbrick as being in the township of Weeton-with-Preese:

"Weeton proper occupies the southern half of the township, the northern half containing Preese on the west and Swarbrick on the east. Each of the places named occupies a piece of ground, one piece being divided by depressions from the others. At Weeton, 112 feet above the ordinary datum is attained, at Swarbrick and Preese 100 feet. " "Swarbrick in Preese seems always to have been a member of Weeton Manor".

"Swarbrick gave a surname to a family or families of long standing in the district."


There were once streets in Preston called Swarbrick Street, Swarbrick's Yard, and Swarbrick's Court, and there is a row of terraced houses called Swarbrick Terrace. I know that there are Swarbrick Streets in Kirkham and Longridge, a Swarbrick Close in Blackpool, a Swarbrick Drive in Manchester, and suspect that there are others in some of the many towns and villages around Lancashire.

(I never got a chance to sample the beer brewed by Catterall & Swarbrick's Brewery but understand that they were rather tasty.)


The name also appears in other parts of the world. A forest in Australia called Swarbrick Forest has been the subject of anti-logging campaigns by Greenpeace, and other groups. If you fancy a game, you can play rugby at Swarbrick Park in New Zealand. There is a Swarbrick Drive in Te Awamutu, New Zealand, and a Swarbrick Street at Emu Point in Australia.

The name Swarbrick has spread from it's "birthplace" in Lancashire to North America, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and beyond - but I think it's safe to say that any Swarbrick living anywhere in the world could almost certainly trace their ancestry - directly or indirectly - back to that "small spot" on the road from Kirkham to Singleton, Lancashire, England.
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NOTES: A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames, Charles W. Bardsley, Oxford University Press, 1901
A History of the County of Lancashire, Vol. VII, originally published in 1912, reprinted by The University of London Institute of Historical Research, 1966