Rediscovering the forgotten history of Winckley Square

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These are just some of the mysteries unearthed as part of a consultation about the future of Winckley Square in Preston.

The photos were taken as part of the process of applying for a full grant for the restoration of some of the buildings in the square and the surrounding streets.

Monument to Sir Robert Peel erected in 1852 by Thomas Duckett of Preston

Monument to Sir Robert Peel erected in 1852 by Thomas Duckett of Preston

They document the 19th and 20th century buildings around the square and surrounding streets, highlight the architecture and accompanying street furniture from those periods.

The photos have now been posted on a dedicated consultation Facebook page, in the hope of finding out more about the forgotten history of the popular area.

Areas of particular interest included the tile mosaic entrance way to a building on Cannon Street with the name, J Watkinson and year 1842 forming part of the design and the stained glass window for R.O.Griffith accountants facing inwards.

Posing the question, who is J Watkinson and why is the glass window facing inwards?

Coun John Swindells, cabinet member for planning and regulation said: “Winckley Square has an urban quality rarely seen outside of London, housing over 40 Grade II listed buildings which provide the area with great character.

“The project aims to improve the built environment of the conservation area through sensitive reinstatement which also considers 21st century design needs.

“Public opinion and feedback on the restoration are encouraged, alongside the thoughts of businesses and property owners.

“A consultation Facebook page has been set up, as a platform for debate and conversation to take place, encouraging the public to share their views on what they want to see restored.

“This could include, bars and restaurants, further office and retail space or additional residential accommodation, as was originally intended.”

Preston Council is currently working with partner organisations, including Preston BID and Lancashire County Council, to develop detailed plans to apply for a full grant.

The Square is currently Preston’s professional services hub and home to an array of regionally significant and a number of nationally important businesses. It is an important residential and leisure destination with historic gardens as its centre piece.

Any opinions submitted either via the Facebook page or email address will be used as part of the stage two of the Townscape Heritage Initiative application process.

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