About the Cannon Street area
The streets leading to and from Winckley Square, including Cannon Street, are derived from ancient burgage plots*.
Historically, ginnels** and smaller streets ran in and out through these more significant streets.
The smaller streets included New Cock Yard off Glover’s Court, a pedestrian ginnel off Cannon Street leading to Glover’s Court, and Surgeons Court off Fox Street leading to Charnley Street.
Most of these streets are adjacent to Fishergate and parallel to Winckley Square and feature the same sloping topography.
Cannon Street was originally a one-way traffic scheme that allowed vehicles to move uphill negotiating between the narrow pavements on either side.
The height, scale and style of buildings in the Cannon Street area are generally consistent in architecture and are ordered in a tight row on either side of the street.
The project works
The public realm, which is the arrangement of pavements and roadway in the Cannon Street area, was significantly reconfigured by the Townscape Heritage Initiative Scheme in 2017 as a new shared space.
Tired old tarmac road and concrete slab pavement were replaced with natural stone blocks and cobbles. The improvements also made a clear link between the main shopping high street, Fishergate (which has also seen investment in public realm in recent years) and Cannon Street, helping to draw people down off the main street into this attractive quieter area.
This shared space now allows vehicle movement while providing a quality space for cafes to spill out in front of the shopfronts along the street.
The site today
Cannon Street has always provided a unique retail experience compared to Fishergate high street.
As a result of the Public Realm improvements visitors to the street enjoy much more freedom and independence, and it has created a sense of place.
Café owners and customers enjoy the new street layout which offers spacious outdoor areas to eat and drink in an al fresco environment and to sit and simply watch the world go by!
Cannon Street’s independent shops, hairdressers, beauty parlours, boutique clothing stores and cafes and bars have all benefitted from the works.