Preston Past: A Ramble Along Church Street (Part 2)
The image above shows a part of Church Street with the premises of Merigold Brothers, No. 147, cycle and motor factors, extending from the centre of the image towards the right, followed by J. Robinson Jnr. and Co., No. 148, wine and spirit merchants, situated at the corner of Church Street and Avenham Street.
Eventually Merigold Brothers took possession of the premises of J. Robinson and extended it into one whole premises.
Just to the left of Merigold Brothers is a narrow underpass leading to Turks Head Yard and it was in 1791 that John Horrocks started up his cotton carding business in a small building there, when it was at that time known as Turks Head Court. Horrocks would take the carded cotton back to his sisters in Edgworth where his sisters would spin it into yarn and then he would bring the yarn back to Preston to sell it there to the weavers to make cloth.
Up to the year 1832 there was a small police station with holding cells which existed in an small alleyway branching off Turks Head Court, this was known as the ‘lock up’.
In June 1866 there was even a murder committed in what was then known as Turks Head Yard. The victim was a woman known as Ann Gillinan and the perpetrator was a John Banks. He received a reprieve in August of that year due to the emergence of new evidence.
The image below shows a present day contrast to the 1899 image above. The only structural change really was the clearing of the Merigold Brothers building to be replaced by the construction of a Co-operative Bank which remains there today.
To the east side of Turks Head Yard we see the premises of what is now known as Yates’s Wine Bar, but up to 1854 this establishment was known as the Grey Horse Tavern who’s licensee was Mary Addison and it was one of only two public houses in Preston which had a thatched roof at that time, the other being the Virgins’ Inn situated in Anchor Weind. It was in that year that Mary purchased this business and from then it was known as Addison’s Wine Lodge, as can be seen in the 1899 uppermost image. The premises remained much the same until 1922 when it had a complete rebuild with a facade looking very much the same as it does in 2012.
Also in the 1899 uppermost image, there is a small shop fronted premises just to the left side of Turks Head Yard and adjoining Addison’s. This originally was a confectioners shop which eventually Mary Addison purchased along with another small dwelling in order to enlarge the wine lodge premises.
Moving further in an easterly direction, there follows a building which is Church Street Chambers and another adjoining building which was for many years the premises of T. Threlfall & Co. wine
and spirit merchants but prior to that this building was originally the premises of Lawrence Clarke, bookseller and printer who published and printed the Tory weekly newspaper “The Preston Pilot”.
Next we come to a narrow underpass which was, and still is, known as Bolton’s Court. This underpass brings us to another of those small alleyways which leads downhill to what was originally called Syke Hill and now is Syke Street.
On the east side of Bolton’s Court is a rather large building which was formally two separate establishments; the Bull Inn and the Royal Hotel. These two establishments are depicted in the 1857 lithograph shown in the adjacent image to the left.
In an earlier period the Bull Inn had started life under the name of The White Bull, tracing back to the mid 16th Century. Eventually both the Bull Inn and the Royal Hotel were incorporated as one establishment which was then known as The Bull & Royal Hotel which can be seen in the image by Preston photographer Arthur Winter, below.
The Bull & Royal Hotel has many historic associations, not least is the one time 18th century owner of this grand old hotel. One of the rooms known as the Derby Room or Assembly Room was erected under the auspices of the twelfth Earl of Derby and was a setting for glittering social and political events. It was an elegant and remarkably capacious room and is situated in the court of the hotel which can be seen as an archway in the centre of the building in the above image.
The above image shows the Derby Room as it appeared in 1900. It was a splendidly decorated room of around thirty-two feet in length by twenty-four feet in breadth. it had a variegated stucco ceiling and was embellished by three grand glass chandeliers.
At each end of the room were crests of the Earl of Derby and the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon.
The courtyard of the Bull & Royal Hotel was also contained a livery stables and coach makers at one time and was in daily use for coaches to all parts of the kingdom.
The image to the immediate left shows how the courtyard of the Bull & Royal Hotel appeared in the early 1900′s.
Immediately below is an image of the Bull & Royal Hotel as it appeared in the mid 20th century, and I think that this will be the way in which many readers will remember it.
I wonder if anyone will also recall the Ismail & Co. and Thornton’s Chocolate confectioner’s shops.
In the next article: We continue with our ramble along the south side of Church Street.
This is a series showcasing photos from the brilliant Preston Digital Archive which is an online archive of images of Preston’s past.