Unlisted Lancaster.

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A weekend of absolutely glorious weather – blue skies and beautiful sunshine – but a very busy one for me, so another opportunity to make the most of whatever spare scraps of time were available. B was away with school, on a rugby tour, playing a game in Essex somewhere on the Friday and then at Twickenham watching England squeak past Japan in one of the Autumn Internationals on the Saturday. TBH was also away, I think on Guiding training, which left me as chief cook, bottle-washer and taxi-driver.

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I think that these are Muscovy Ducks. They aren’t native to the UK, but there were half a dozen on the canal that day, presumably feral birds.

Little S had BJJ in Lancaster on the Saturday morning and then a birthday party with a new friend (he’s moved up to ‘big school’) in the afternoon. I drove him in for BJJ and then took him for lunch afterwards and kept him company before his party.

I needed somewhere to leave the car; there’s not much in the way of free parking in Lancaster, but there are some spots on Aldcliffe Road, by the Lancaster Canal, which had the added advantage of leaving me with a bit of a walk to meet Little S after his grappling.

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Owl sculpture in a community garden sandwiched between Aldcliffe Road and the canal.

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Having passed through the town centre, my route to meet Little S took me along St. Leonard’s Gate. I wondered how properties which get listed are chosen and others are not. This building is fairly old, and the City Council have deemed it interesting enough to warrant one of their Green Plaques, but it isn’t listed.

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The Grand Theatre, just across the road is listed, but I didn’t photograph it, because it was in heavy shade. Another time.

Some of the properties in this area are looking a bit rundown to say the least….

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I walked past this building again recently and noticed that there was a pigeon stuck inside which was flying repeatedly into one of the few remaining panes of glass in a window.

This building…

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…is St. Leonard’s House, which is listed. It was built 1881-2 and was a furniture factory, for the Lancaster firm Gillow and Company. It too was looking a tad dishevelled, but has been hidden behind scaffolding for quite some time now and is clearly being tarted up for some purpose.

There’s been a fair bit of building work in Lancaster over recent years. This…

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…is part of Caton Court, which will provide student accommodation when it’s finished.

Little S was in no doubt about what he wanted for lunch – there’s a street market in Lancaster On Wednesdays and Saturdays and one of the stalls does a hog roast. Very nice it was too. After that we still had some time to kill, so I took S to the Music Room cafe and finally got to see the interior. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise at first that there’s seating upstairs which is presumably where we needed to go in order to see the ‘very richly decorated plasterwork walls and ceiling of c1730’. I would have known that if I’d thought to check the Historic England listing in advance. Oh well: next time!

Having dropped Little S at his party I went scooting home, hoping to get out again around the village whilst the weather was so benign.

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Unlisted Lancaster.

4 thoughts on “Unlisted Lancaster.

  1. Peter says:

    Hi There,

    The “Criteria for Listing” are available as a set of fairly bland documents on the Historic England Web Site, in their ‘heritage protection’ area. These have been revised over the years and were getting fairly detailed, but have now become much more generic (cynically, this may be because it is easier to keep them up to date if they don’t contain any useful information …)
    The former Waring and Gillow factory, most recently known as St Leonard’s House, is under conversion to student housing, as is their former showroom building on North Road (most recently a nightclub), etc. which it backs on to.
    The boarded up building with the pigeon (50 St Leonards Gate) was most recently part of the King’s Community Church which has taken over the former militia barracks on Phoenix Street, but has recently seen an application for refurbishment as (blare of trumpets) student housing … The front you are looking at was added between 1848 and 1893 to what was probably the 17th century house belonging to the Lawson family (of Lawson’s Quay and sugar house fame) as part of a change of use into a Sunday School. The older house was also altered at the same time. At a later date the militia barracks was extended into the building and later still the older part lost its roof in a fire and had a flat concrete slab cast on top instead. There is a good (if not entirely accurate) discussion of the site and building on the city council planning web site. Go to https://planning.lancaster.gov.uk/online-applications/ and enter 18/01242 into the application number box you should find the application. The assessment is under the ‘Related Documents’ tab and is on page 2 – named Heritage Statement in the Doc. description. Enjoy!

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Absolutely fascinating as ever and incredibly generous Peter, thanks. The Historic England website, which you put me on to, has been a fantastic tool for both finding and finding out about listed buildings, so thanks again for that too. Am I right in thinking that the former militia barracks is what was once the Phoenix Working Men’s Club?

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      The more you dig the more interesting it gets, not that I can claim to have done much in the way of research, but a little bit of knowledge goes a long way I think.

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