The THI Partnership Board had its third meeting last week in Prescot. This post is a quick run-through of the decisions made by the Board.
21-23 Eccleston Street
21-23 Eccleston Street
This building is in two halves and two different ownerships. No.21 has Flossy’s sandwich bar at ground floor and a vacant upper floor while no.23 is entirely in use as Promise salon. Although it isn’t a listed building, 21-23 Eccleston Street is of particular historic interest because the back half of the building is a timber framed structure that is believed to date from the early seventeenth century, making it similar in age to the timber framed 30 Eccleston Street (Poco Coffee), which is listed. You can still see the timber gable of no.23 if you look up from Stone Street, but the timber frame of the back elevation is hidden behind a modern brick skin.
The timber framing off the gable of 23 Eccleston Street is believed to date from the early seventeenth century. Also shown is the early nineteenth century gable of the part of the buiding that fronts on to Eccleston Street.
The front half of the building is a brick addition dating from around 1830-1840 and it was probably purpose-built as a shop. It seems that before this the original timber framed house at the back was for at least a century let as four separate houses. The building appears to have been made into a single unit when the brick element was built in front of the timber framed structure. However, by 1890 it was split in two, as it is today.
From the information I have to hand no.21 was for much of the early twentieth century a greengrocer’s while no.23 was variously a watch retailer, a draper’s and a gent’s outfitters over the early twentieth century. (Thanks to Stephen at the Prescot Roll of Honour for the early C20th census and directory info).
The approved outline grant application is to repair the exterior of the building including the roof, valley gutter, rainwater goods, windows and brickwork. The vacant upper floor of no.21 would be converted to a flat with access from the rear yard off Stone Street. The render would be removed from the front of no.23 and at that point we’ll see if the brick is in good enough condition to leave exposed or whether it needs re-covering. The shopfronts to both 21 and 23 would be restored in a traditional manner. The chimneys would also be repaired and restored.
The existing businesses are to remain in the building. It’s good to see that the owners of attached buildings are working together on their grant applications so we can tackle the problems facing the entire building in one go.
5-7 Eccleston Street
Regular readers of this blog will know that the Board agreed to add 5-7 Eccleston Street to the THI as a Priority Building in its November 2013 meeting. The leaseholder has quickly engaged an architect from the THI shortlist to put together an outline grant application, which the Board approved at its January 2014 meeting. I have already given a brief outline of the building’s history as a pub and coach stop.
The outline grant proposal is to repair the exterior of the building, to remove the existing peeling paintwork from the brick (and probably re-cover in traditional paint or stucco), repair the windows, reinstate the missing chimneys and to restore the shopfronts in a traditional manner. The upper floors would be converted to two flats with their own access from Eccleston Street. This doorway is to be restored to its late Georgian grandeur to help tie in the ground floor with the architecture of the upper floors.
One of the few bits of the staircase of 5-7 Eccleston Street that isn’t hidden by later partitions or boxing in. The staircase dates from the early nineteenth century and looks to be virtually in tact.
The building retains a lovely full height early nineteenth century wooden staircase (probably original to the building) that will be repaired, plus at second floor an early nineteenth century hobgrate (also probably original to the building) will be retained in situ. I think little survivals like this and the building as a whole are important remnants of Prescot from when it was a market town rather than an industrial centre.
The Next Partnership Board Meeting
The next Partnership Board is at the end of March 2014 and who knows, perhaps I’ll be reporting on at least one full grant application and possibly more outline grant applications? I hope so!