|The Lancashire Evening Post, Thursday, 12th October 2006|
This week, the cost of an average house in the UK passed £200,000 for the first time and Preston saw prices rocket. But what were the des res's of the city's past? Evening Post historian Keith Johnson looks at our grandest houses Back in the 18th century, the visiting author Daniel Defoe described the town of Preston as a place full of attorneys, proctors and notaries as the legal profession flourished.
Not surprising, therefore, that, at the end of that century, those involved in the legal side of things, or connected with the emerging cotton trade, were building homes that would be the envy of the working classes.
In the heart of town was Patten House on Church Street, the residence of the Derby family.
The main streets of Fishergate and Friargate also had some fine houses along their length. While John and Samuel Horrocks had been busy building cotton mills and humble dwellings for their operatives, they had not neglected their own comforts. John had Penwortham Lodge at Middleforth and brother Sam had bought land in 1795 to build his mansion at Lark Hill, with its walled gardens and lake.
In 1799, building was started in Winckley Square with
Thomas Batty Addison, as chairman of the Quarter Sessions, was extremely well known in the town for handing out severe sentences to those who appeared before him in the Sessions Houses. Number Seven, Winckley Square, was built for the
In 1926, shortly after his death, his home in Winckley Square was sold at auction for £4,550 to
And there was
Of course, there were many other superior residences dotted around the town including Greyfriars built by iron founder Joseph Clayton in 1849, which could in those days be seen from the high road leading to Garstang. Joseph Foster, the printing press pioneer built for himself Priors Lea on the Garstang Road highway.
In the middle of what is now Ashton Park is the former mansion of Alderman Edward Pedder, a partner in Pedders Bank.
In Avenham, we still have
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