Town Centre Listed Buildings – Warrington’s Bewsey Street (part two)

Listed Buildings in Warrington – Bewsey Street (part one)

I’ve detailed all the buildings in Bewsey Street, because the Conservation Area is so small that those buildings that are unlisted have a considerable impact on the whole.

So to finish off. After the Wycliffe Church, going back down the street towards town on the right hand side, a short terrace of three, very attractive (unlisted), Early Victorian houses has orange-y red, possibly local, brickwork, with bay windows on the ground floor and is forecourted.

A second terrace of three houses joined on (also unlisted) are in a similar style and brickwork, but without the bay windows, and are shown on Streetview as boarded up and derelict. A further terrace of four unlisted houses are joined on to them, but appear to be of a different period: the doors are not as elaborate and the brickwork is darker. These last appear to be residential and have a mix of different window styles – one horizontal – a mix of modern doors, differing coloured stonework and Late Victorian style boundary walls.

Bewsey Street ends with a very nice (unlisted) terrace of five: four paired and one at the end. They are all built of the lovely Cheshire brick with matching paintwork all along and appropriate sash windows. One has a garden wall and is possibly still a house, and the others, which look like offices, have reinstated railings, though these are modern in style.

There is no mention of 14 Bewsey Chambers and I strongly suspect it was located on the other side of the underpass and was therefore demolished.

The whole Conservation Area presents a distinctly uneven appearance. There really are some wonderful buildings here, yet they have nearly all been allowed to change for the worse, in some way or other. It is actually possible to make what is known as an Article 4 Direction, that restricts the alteration of the external appearance of buildings, even if unlisted, if they are situated in a Conservation Area and it is difficult to understand in that case why it was not applied.

Of the nine items for Bewsey Street in the document on the council’s website that gives details of all listed buildings within the borough, six have been altered, some significantly, and one has been demolished.

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Town Centre Conservation Areas – Preserving Warrington’s Historic Core?

A while ago I needed to check a date on a building on Bridge Street so, rather than look through all my notes, I did a quick Google search. One of the documents it threw up was a Conservation Area Appraisal for Bridge Streetprepared by the council’s planning policy department in 2006. This made very interesting reading, despite none of the photographs and maps having downloaded with the text, but a re-direct from the council led me to a, rather obscure, page where the downloads had functioning images.

Thus began a trail that seems to be leading me into discoveries that are making me more and more concerned.

It started simply enough. I noticed that Figure 1 on the Bridge Conservation Area Appraisal, a map showing the extent of all the Conservation Areas in the town centre, included one for Winwick Street, the ancient route to and from the North, but there was no appraisal on the council’s website. Further examination of the page to which I had been directed showed management proposals for only two thirds of the Areas.

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