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Warrington's Past



 Church Street

Tudor Cottage, Church Street, Warrington. Thursday 16 August, 1973

Based on a walk I led in June 1996 as part of Warrington Archaeological and Historical Society's summer walks programme, this title includes information on Warrington Workhouse, the Training College, Rylands, the National School, the General Wolfe and Warrington's part in the Civil War. Illustrated with drawings, maps and photographs. ISBN 1 901208 11 7. Published in 1996, this best selling title is unfortunaltely not now available.


The old Star Kinema, Church Street, 1977

The Star Kinema has now been replaced by a care home. 12 October 2008

The Borough Arms, Mersey Street, decorated for the Queen's Silver Jubilee 1977.

Group of houses at the end of Church Street. These are listed Grade II . Some of the more obtrusive signage has now been removed, but the building suffered visually when the chimney stacks were taken off. Wedenesday 21 June 1995 

Junction of Church Street and Fennel Street, March 1974. The Raven is on the right.

The Bull's Head, Church Street. Wednesday 21 June 1995


The Marquis of Granby, Church Street, catches the evening sun. Wednesday 18 April 1973

Looking down Ellison Street with one of Lockers' buildings on the left. Wednesday 21 June 1995

Church Street. The General Wolfe and adjoining cottages. The buildings are well maintained and the street very tidy. The Church Street Conservation Area was created in 1984. The only blot is the standard concrete lamp post. July 1977

Well in this view at least the lamp post has improved! The General Wolfe was a nineteenth century rebuilding of the Spotted Leopard where tradition has it that Cromwell stayed. The plaque recording this visit was affixed to the black and white 'Tudor Cottage' on the far right, which itself has no connection with Cromwell. The Wolfe and the two seventeenth century cottages adjoining were sold by Greenalls and became derelict. Both were listed buildings but were eventually demolished and replicas built. Sunday 9 July 1995

At the rear was a building with a tall chimney which it has been suggested might have been a bakery or brewhouse. Photo taken 1993 

A year later and demolition had begun. August 1996

 View of the rear on the same day. August 1996

The 'replica' Wolfe and cottages. Note the lamp post in the same position. The cottages are now higher and their proportion looks wrong. 12 October 2008

Demolition of Rylands' Church Street factory underway. Winter 1983-4

Rylands, Church Street. View of the offices from the other end. The factory was demolished for a Sainsbury's supermarket and car park.

Rylands' Church Street factory. View from the back during demolition

This view of the Church Street works taken from Gaskell Street. Slide taken winter 1983-4

Looking across to Gaskell Street from the churchyard, March 1983

Rylands' Dalton Bank works entrance, taken from the new A57, School Brow. Sunday 22 March 1998.
The factory was demolished and new housing put up on the site. 

Similar view after the development. 13 September 2009

The old Warrington (Boteler) Grammar School, School Brow. The school was founded by the will of Sir Thomas Boteler in 1526. This building was completely demolished as the far right hand end was needed for the access road to a new housing development. Sunday 22 March 1998

The same site now. 13 September 2009

Lockers' offices, Church Street. The site has now been redeveloped for new housing. Slide taken June 1995

The former Parochial School, Church Street, was acquired by Lockers. The company applied for listed building consent to demolish. The school was reprieved at a public inquiry in 1981, but in the event was still demolished, apart from the frontage which is seen here. Taken on the same day as the previous picture in June 1995

The new Trinity Green housing scheme replaced part of the Locker's factory and the main offices. At the same time the National School facade was renovated. Tuesday 1 June 2004 

Looking towards St Elphin's church, Saturday 26 July 1975

Looking the other way twenty years later. This row of cottages were to be demolished for a new road, but the road was subsequently diverted and now joins Church Street opposite Sainsbury's. Sunday 9 July 1995

Demolition in Greenall Street on the evening of Thursday 16 August 1973. The sundial reads "Our days on the Earth are as a shadow"

Along Howley Lane was the Georgian Quaymaster's House. For some reason this escaped the protection of statutory listing. Taken with a box camera on Saturday 13 July 1974

The building became a nightclub and a long low structure was added to the front. When the club closed down the building stood empty and was then destroyed by fire. Slide taken June 1995

Old warehouses, Howley Quay, July 1984.

Howley Lane leads onto Howley Quay which is seen here on Sunday 1 January 1995

Taken from the other side of the river. Without the slightest ripple on the river, it was one of those days when the reflections look truer than the buildings themselves.

Howley Quay seen from the south bank near Manor Lock. The quayside buildings have now mostly gone. Slide taken July 1984

Manor Lock, Tuesday 14 May, 1974. The buildings have now gone.

View of St Elphin's spire seen through Howley footbridge, before the area was reconquered by vegetation. My bike in the foreground. Sunday 17 December 1972

When the new Farrell Street road was completed, new views of the church were opened up to motorists. This view is now masked by the St Catherine's Way housing estate. Tuesday 2 January 1973

Warrington parish church (St Elphin's) seen from the waste ground on the east. This angle has now been obscured by new housing. Tuesday 2 January 1973

Another view on the same day. This shot taken from St Elphin's park. Tuesday 2 January 1973


 Bridge Street

Warrington Bridge on Thursday 8 July 1971. Apart from the river and bridge, only the old Packet House building and the church steeple survive today

 A walk along one of the town's principal shopping streets, taking in the Old Academy at Bridge Foot and a detour to the site of the medieval Austin friary.  Includes information on William Beamont's birthplace, Warrington clockmakers and industrialist Peter Stubbs.  Illustrated with drawings, maps and photographs.  Published 1997.  Still available.  ISBN 1 901208 13 3.  Price £3.50


The statue of Cromwell looks out over lower Bridge Street on the evening of Thursday 8 August 1974

Autumn 1979 and the cranes constructing the new Golden Square can be seen at the top of the street

Lower Bridge Street on Wednesday 12 September 1973, before Academy Way was cut through

Bridge Street. The missing bit, seen from Friars Gate, autumn 1976.

From a similar vantage point just inside Friars Gate on a Sunday afternoon early 1995

 A still intact Lower Bridge Street, autumn 1976 

Priory Buildings, near the junction of Bridge Street and Friars Gate on Thursday 4 April 1996.
The name Priory Buildings refers to the medieval friary which once stood here. When this part of Bridge Street was rebuilt in the late nineteenth century, the street was widened. The original friary wall stood where the edge of the pavement is now. Behind the wall was the friars' cemetery and the east end of their church was a short distance behind the section seen here.

Looking up Bridge Street from Friars Gate with an unmissable Red Lion. Sunday 16 July 1972

The Red Lion has turned white! Thursday 28 July 1994

The Feathers, near the corner of Friars Gate. Thursday 10 October 1973

Looking down towards the Feathers on Sunday 30 July 1995. The arch over the shop nearest the camera was revealed when the shop frontage was renewed

What was Martin's then for a time Barclay's bank on the corner of Bridge Street and Rylands Street. In this shot it has become the Co-op bank, which had removed from Cairo Street. Slide taken September 1995

Looking from the end of Rylands St towards Warrington Electric. Tuesday 24 April, 1973

Drew's Wine Cellars/ The Lamb, Sunday 5 August 1973. Just a replica frontage now stands here.

The replica building on a sunny Sunday afternoon early in 1995

Four lanes of traffic in upper Bridge Street on Monday morning 21 August 1972

No traffic now. Looking up the pedestrianised Bridge Street. Slide taken in July 1995 

The west side of upper Bridge Street. Slide taken on the same day as the previous shot in July1995

Security van outside the Midland Bank near Market Gate on Tuesday 24 April 1973. When doing street photography I was always trying to avoid lamp posts. Apart from the obvious one there is another sticking out from the side of the building. I suppose both could be removed by doctoring, but they were there at the time and part of the scene.

Bridge Street being the principal street in the town centre is the main route for walking day, royal visits and other processions. Here Prince Charles and Princess Diana are about to emerge from Golden Square and drive down the street in 1984

A similar view from a little further back in 1977 as the Silver Jubilee parade passes Market Gate

A Warrington bus was specially decorated for the Silver Jubilee. Here it passes Bridge Street Co-op in the Jubilee parade.

Further down the street a specially decorated waste lorry passes

A troupe of morris dancers come down the street in the Silver Jubilee parade, which finished at Victoria park

On another occasion, in the Warrington Festival parade, the fish market makes an appearance in Bridge Street. Slide taken June 1983

The entrance to the Old Warrington Academy on Saturday 26 April 1980. The Council wanted to widen the road, but a public inquiry ruled that the Academy should not be demolished. Nevertheles in the end it was cut off from its cellars and physically moved. Demolition followed.

The Old Academy seen from the vacant site on the north to where it was later moved. Saturday 26 April 1980

The rebuilt Academy building on Sunday 28 August 1994 with no original features retained. 

After the demolition of Tower Buildings and prior to the resiting of the Academy, the area was grassed over and planted with a few trees. On the afternoon of 26 April 1980 a couple take a rest there.

Lower Bridge Street on the same day, Saturday 26 April 1980. 

View of a shop in the same block on Bridge Street which it is thought was the eighteenth century family home of the artist Hamlet Winstanley. There was once a pediment over the central bay which was removed in the 1960s. The Georgian period building on the left, painted blue, was formerly a pub. It was demolished to provide better access to the car park at the rear of the Royal Oak. Saturday 26 April 1980 

The same block at the end of Bridge Street seen in the evening sun. Autumn 1975.

Close to Bridge Foot was Arpley bus station, seen here with a selection of Crosville buses on Thursday 18 July 1974

The east side of Warrington bridge on Thursday 11 October 1973.


 Sankey Street

Looking along Sankey Street towards Market Gate. Thursday 29 July 1972

Buildings featured in this book include Holy Trinity church, Cairo Street chapel, Warrington Co-op, the Town Hall and Little Sankey Hall, with information on Unitarian minister PP Carpenter, Guardian founder Alexander Mackie and industrialistand benefactor  Frederick Monks. Illustrated with drawings, maps and photographs. Published 2000. Still available. ISBN 1 901208 14 1. Price £3-50


Sankey Street from a similar viewpoint as above, on 13 September 2009. The redevelopment of this section began in 1973 and was completed in 1977

Looking up Sankey Street on the evening of Thursday 20 June 1974. Eustance's clock was removed in 1993 when they moved into the mall.

26 years later and the eighteenth century Horobin's paper shop was in need of maintenance. It has now been rebuilt. In the Middle Ages there was a long barn where these cottages are. Photo taken Sunday 5 March 2000

Percival's house (painted blue) on a gloomy Sunday afternoon, 5 March 2000. The house dates from around 1760 and once had a Georgian door surround. The fine 18th century staircase is still in situ. Its gardens once extended along Percival's Lane (now called Bold Street) down to Palmyra Square.

East end of Holy Trinity, Tuesday 1 July 1997

Looking from Sankey Street to the old market. Photo taken from the entrance to Trinity passage, Wednesday 12 September 1973

Detail of the old market entrance, 1973

Sankey Street near Barclays Bank, Thursday 20 July 1972

Similar view of Sankey Street today with the Golden Square shopping centre on the left. Sunday 25 March 2012 

National Westminster (formerly District) Bank, Woolworth's and the original Burton's, Sankey Street on the evening of Thursday 8 August 1974. A new central entrance for the bank has now been opened up and the old entrance at the far end converted to a window.

A view of old Sankey Street taken with a box camera. The awkward viewfinder meant the camera had to be held at waist level, making it difficult to avoid camera tilt. Photograph taken Sunday 9 September 1973. In the following month the buildings on the right were prepared for demolition. The new Marks and Spencer store was built at the side of the old one to avoid interruption of business.

Sankey Street near the top of Cairo St with old M&S on the right. Baker's and Willey's are are closed ready for demolition, but the old Marks and Spencer's remained open for another four years. The datestone by the drainpipe reads 1755. Thursday, 6 September 1973

Sankey Street from a similar viewpoint on 13 September 2009

Cairo Street Unitarian school. A fine building, thiis is presently boarded up. Slide taken in June 2000

The old school in 2011. Creepers have appeared which will eventually wreak havoc with the roof.

Looking round slightly we can now see part of the larger building along the rear of the graveyard. The roof of this building has now collapsed as seen below. Slide above taken in June 2000

The scene in April 2011.

From Golborne Street Sankey Street was widened in 1929 and this block put up when the intention was to widen the whole street. In the event of course it was narrowed instead. The White Hart, in brick and portland stone, replaced an earlier pub on the adjacent plot. Sunday 30 July 1995

On the corner of Sankey Street and Legh Street was formerly WH Smith's. This attractive block was developed by the well known local photography firm of Thomas Birtles, whose premises were here. Sunday 5 March 2000

Bath Street, with the baths entrance on the left, 2003

The baths from Legh Street, 2003. The building housed 4 pools.

The plaque in the above phote has been reused in the replacement building. A nice touch. March 2013

Warrington Baths. The bullseye windows which have also been retained can be seen at the right in this shot, taken 10 years earlier.

A little further down the street was the Legh St Particular Baptists chapel. June 1995.

The chapel has now closed, but has been cleaned and refurbished. Slide taken September 2003

Near the bottom of the street was Legh Street Primitive Methodist chapel, opened in 1870. It was closed in 1954 but continued in use as a warehouse until demolition for the new Midland Way. The smaller building behind was the school and hall. Photos taken 1980.

Legh Street Methodist chapel. The front of the chapel and chapel house. The site is now occupied by the junction of Midland Way and Legh Street near Debenham's.

A view of the former Warrington Education Department's HQ on Sankey Street, taken on Sunday 31 March 1974. Before the Corporation purchased the building in 1903 it was the vicarage for Holy Trinity church.

Next to the Education office was Garven House where the Warrington Health department was housed in a similar, but not identical, Georgian building on Sankey Street. The house and the land behind it were purchased from the Garven family. Photo taken Sunday 14 April 1974

Opposite the Georgian houses on Sankey Street is Holly House, a later house of 1790, with a splendid doorway. Sunday 14 April 1974

Bricks made from the local clay have a red glow as can be seen in this view of the then recently cleaned Georgian houses in Sankey Street. Photograph taken at the corner of Springfield Street on Monday 27 JUly 1973. 

Bank House, once a pair of Georgian houses and home to pioneering railway engineer and second mayor of Warrington, William Allcard. Contrary to what some historians have written, his railway works was not here but at Dallam Junction. The building, which for many years housed the Borough Treasurer's offices, has been extensively renovated. Monday 3 May 1993

View of the houses before restoration from Springfield Street with the main post office on the right, Guardian works on the left. Taken on the evening of 2 July 1973.

Arch from a doorway in Monks Hall steelworks now in Bank Park. July 1989. Frederick Monks was a great benefactor to the town

Warrington Town Hall, April 1978. Designed by famous architect James Gibbs, Bank Hall was completed in 1750 for local industrialist Thomas Patten, owner of the Bank Quay copper works and quay. Warrington Corporation acquired the premises in 1872. Industrialist George Crosfield donated half the purchase price himself and the new Crosfield Street, which runs alongside the park, was named in recognition.

Warrington Town Hall on Monday 3 May 1993

Gilding improved the appearance of the Town Hall gates, which were exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1862. The 'angels' which adorn the gates are in fact representations of Victoria, the Roman goddess of Victory, one assumes as a tribute to Queen Victoria. Legend has it that the Queen turned her nose up at the gates as they were exhibited with a statue of the regicide Cromwell (which is now by the Old Academy). They were donated to the town by Frederick Monks and formally handed over on Warrington Walking Day, 28 June, 1895

The flag flies proudly on the last day of Warrington County Borough, Sunday 31 March 1974.

Opposite the Town Hall gates is the former post office building on the corner of Winmarleigh Street. It was the town's first purpose built post office and was opened in 1875. Sunday 30 July 1995

An English Electric class 40 locomotive passes Bank Quay goods depot. There is now a supermarket on the site. Slide taken June 1978

Gate to Whitecross Wire Company's Milner Street (east) works in June 1980. The company was founded in 1864 by Frederick Monks. 

Grim view down Milner Street with Whitecross Wire factories on both sides. Crosfield's at the end. All the Whitecross factories have now been demolished. On the right now are a number of new units including the Royal Mail delivery office; on the left is a B & Q store. Photograph taken June 1980

Following demolition of the Milner Street east factory, Summer 1984

Looking down Milner Street as erection of the new B & Q store is beginning. 1984.

The old Railway pub, Milner Street, prior to demolition. 1984.

Crosfields' Memorial Theatre, Liverpool Road. In 1985, the 700 seat theatre was offered to the town. The Council declined the offer, stating that this would be a duplication of facilitites already available at the Parr Hall. The premises were demolished, although the war memorial plaque was retained. There is now no purpose built theatre in the town. Photo taken on a Sunday in June 1980 

Crosfield's Memorial Theatre, looking towards Little Sankey Green roundabout. June 1980

Crosfield's war memorial at the front of the Memorial Theatre. June 1980


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