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"I have thoroughly enjoyed the past three seasons and it has been an honour to have captained my home county," Chilton said. "This has been a very difficult decision for me, but I realise my form hasn't been what it should, and feel that in the best interests of the club and myself, I should step down."
Chilton scored 616 Championship runs at 28.00 in 2007 as Lancashire came within 24 runs of securing their first title since 1934. But in the Friends Provident Trophy and Twenty20 Cup his form was poor, totalling 92 runs in nine completed innings.
"I've enjoyed working closely with Chilly over the past three years" Mike Watkinson, Lancashire's manager, said. "He's been a dedicated and passionate captain and I fully respect his decision to stand down to devote more time to his own cricket."
"I don't think many people realise just how much work is involved off the field being a club captain, and Mark Chilton has done a fantastic job for Lancashire," added Jack Simmons, Lancashire's chairman. " I would like to thank Mark for everything he has done as captain and we look forward to seeing him back to his best on the field for many years to come."
No replacement has been named but the issue is sure to be at the top of the agenda when the county's cricket committee meets at the end of the month. However, there is no clear favourite to take over. Stuart Law will be in the running but his body is unlikely to allow him to play a whole season while wicketkeeper Luke Sutton is also a possibility, although last season he didn't take part in Twenty20.