About 1-2 Cross Street
Old Ordnance Survey maps of the Preston area indicate that the original building at 1-2 Cross Street was built sometime between 1824 and 1844.
Another historical reference to this building on Cross Street is in the Census return. Documentation indicates that Thomas Whinerry Carter (surveyor and architect) occupied No 1 Cross Street in the 1850s and Thomas Fletcher as the resident at No 2 Cross Street in the 1870s.
By the 1930s the joint property appeared to be converted from domestic to commercial premises with a succession of uses such as confectioners, a restaurant, an accountancy practice and then from the early 1980s operating a solicitor’s office.
The property then lay empty for many years until the current owners were made aware of available funding that could potentially bring such properties back into use.
These grants are intended to enhance Conservation Areas. Cross Street is located within the Winckley Square Conservation Area.
Following a successful Heritage Lottery Fund grant, the much-needed work to bring the building back into use has already started.
A building which has lain empty for many years with a damaged roof presents a variety of problems including water ingress and damp fungal growth throughout the interior. 1-2 Cross Street is no exception.
Existing cement render was in poor condition and has been removed and replaced with a traditional lime render which will help to reduce further damp problems and give the building a smart appearance in its corner location.
A number of different types of brickwork were found underneath the render, a section of which was so poor that it required rebuilding.
Due to a lack of investment in the property there are many outdated fixtures and fittings such as bakelite ‘Dolly’ switches and most probably lead wiring. These materials became obsolete in 1947 and need replacing.
The building does have some distinctive original features, particularly its timber staircase and dentilled lime plaster ceiling which are being restored. Both these features are commonly found in the older buildings around Winckley Square.
The coloured glass fitted to an internal porch door has been carefully extracted and will be restored to be used as a feature within the building.
The ‘six over six’ sash window is most likely the only original window within the building and dates back to the early 1800s. It will be refurbished and featured alongside modern windows of both timber and steel providing a marriage of ‘very old’ with 21st century design.
The reinstatement scheme will also see as much of the original fabric retained, including the original slate roofing material.
The site today
1-2 Cross is currently still under restoration with most of the exterior now sealed, secured and restored. The focus is now on its interior refurbishment.
Anderton Gables, owners of the building, have devised a scheme to reinstate the building and preserve its original interior features wherever possible but also introduce modern fittings.
The desired affect is to make it an attractive building and fit for purpose in a demanding 21st century working environment.
When finished the building will once again find itself used as a surveyors and architects drawing office. Thus the ‘then and now’ design will make its purpose come full circle from the days of Thomas Whinerry Carter.
“We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund provided the funding to enable this project to progress. And also that a local company is investing and plans to relocate within the Winckley Square Conservation Area.
“It’s fantastic to see another historical Preston building brought back into use. This supports ongoing regeneration projects in the city and will help to sustain our economic growth.”
Councillor Peter Moss, Cabinet member for planning and regulation at Preston City Council
“We are very excited to have purchased 1-2 Cross Street. With the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund we have been able to rejuvenate the building and transform it into an ultra-modern workspace that our staff deserves.
“Work is almost complete on the site and we aim to move into our new head office in May 2019.”
Jonathan Shaw, Managing Director of Anderton Gables