Listed Lancaster: Town Hall Computer Block

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Built in 1908 and designed, like the Town Hall, by Edward Mountford, this was originally a Fire Station. The windows on the left, presumably one-way glass or something equally fancy, were once the doorways.

Back to work! But at least the sun shone and I managed a lunchtime meander.

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Listed Lancaster: Town Hall Computer Block

Listed Lancaster: Lune Aqueduct

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Stuck in Lancaster waiting for an exhaust to be replaced*, I decided to walk out along the Lancaster Canal as far as the aqueduct and then back along the north bank of the Lune. The aqueduct, decided by engineer John Rennie and completed in 1797, is 61′ high and 664′ long (that’s 18.6m and 202.4m in new money). Sadly, I’m not sure that my photos capture how imposing it is. Never mind, that gives me an excuse to try again sometime.

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The canal crossing the aqueduct.

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Looking back upriver to the aqueduct.

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The Lune looking downstream from the aqueduct.

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The Carrs -Billington plant next to the river. It, or something else nearby, was producing a foul smell.

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The Millennium Bridge.

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St. George’s Quay.

*Possibly a foolhardy enterprise, the exhaust cost more than the list value of the car it was fixed to. Still, the car has done us proud to now and, fingers crossed, has a few years left in it.

Listed Lancaster: Lune Aqueduct

Listed Lancaster: Friends Meeting House

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From a sign on the wall outside the Meeting House, on Meeting House Lane:

“There has been a Meeting House on this site since 1677. The original building was replaced and enlarged in 1708 and forms the core of the present Meeting House, making it Lancaster’s second oldest place of worship after the Priory Church. It was there that George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, preached in 1652 and was stoned through the streets by a hostile mob who objected to his challenging of established religious practices.”

The two-storey porch is a pretty distinctive feature.

I’m always pleased to learn more about George Fox. This was my last encounter with his legacy whilst i was out on a walk:

 

 

Listed Lancaster: Friends Meeting House

Listed Lancaster: Mill Hall

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From the English Heritage listing: “Former mill, now student accommodation. c1800, steam-powered worsted factory, converted into cotton spinning factory by 1828. Heightened by 3 feet and re-roofed, probably c1830, with south-east lift tower added by 1877. Production ceased 1975, and converted into student accommodation 1988-89.”

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“The worsted mill was built by Thomas Higgin & Co. Thomas was the second son of John Higgin Senior, Governor of the Castle. In 1828 it was recorded as a cotton mill owned by Burrow, Higgin & Co. In 1846 it was purchased by John Greg, who then owned Moor Lane Mill South. In 1861 it was sold to Storey Brothers, who operated it until its closure. The original engine house occupied the north bay of the mill and rose through 4 storeys, and evidence found during conversion work suggested that the mill was designed from the outset to house a beam engine. The engine bay was floored over in 1929.”

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The (now unused) iron fire escape.

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It’s good to see old buildings put to new uses like this.

Historic England listing is here.

Listed Lancaster: Mill Hall

Listed Lancaster: Town Hall

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On Thursday I had a parents’ evening, so had a couple of hours between finishing teaching and starting work again. I was eating my tea in the staffroom (very nice if I do say so myself: coronation chicken and a couple of salads) when I noticed that the light coming through the windows was glorious. I rushed up to Castle Hill but was too late for the sunset.

Castle Hill has a good view across Morecambe to the bay and the hills of the Lake District beyond, but it also has a fine view across the town.

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Here’s the view again, but this time from Friday lunchtime.

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You can make out three prominent tall buildings: the Ashton Memorial almost hidden by the branches of the tree, the tall spire of the Cathedral and the clock tower of the Town Hall. All of those are listed buildings as are pretty much all of the houses in the area around the Castle.

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Because time was short, I cut my usual route short, leaving out the canal, which gave me a chance to visit the Town Hall, where the low light was challenging for photography. The next day, I went back, but now the very bright sun was behind the building, which didn’t help much either.

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Pretty grand isn’t it? Quite nice inside too. It was built in the early part of the Twentieth Century and was designed by Edward Mountford, who also designed the Old Bailey. Apparently this is in the Edwardian Baroque style which he was noted for. That’s Edward VII in the middle of the carved figures. His mum is commemorated in the statue in Dalton Square in front of the town hall…

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The statue is from 1906 and is also listed, but there’s a lot of detail here to photograph, so I’ll come back another time.

That’s it for last week’s Lancaster strolls, except for the fact that I almost forgot the best moment: on Thursday lunchtime, when the sun was shining, I’d just joined the canal towpath when an unmistakable metallic green sheen, not dissimilar to the verdigris on Queen Vic only shinier, alerted me to a Kingfisher flying low over the water. First one I’ve seen in a couple of years. Marvellous.

Listed Lancaster: Town Hall

Listed Lancaster: The Music Room

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Hidden away on Sun Square, I think I worked in the town for quite a few years without really being aware that this curio was here.

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This is what the Wikipedia page on listed buildings has to say:

“This originated as a summer house, it was restored in the 1970s, and then used as a shop and a flat. It is in sandstone with a slate roof, and has three storeys, three bays, and a balustraded parapet. The bays are divided by pilasters, fluted Ionic on the ground floor, fluted Corinthian in the middle floor, and panelled in the top floor. In the ground floor is a central round-headed archway, now glazed, flanked by doorways with architraves. The windows are sashes, the window above the archway having a swan-neck pediment and a central urn. Inside is richly decorated plasterwork.”

Some summerhouse!

I’ve never been inside to see the plasterwork, but now I’d like to. Good to see hardy customers enjoying the sunshine and sitting outside on the first day in February.

Listed Lancaster: The Music Room