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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Regenerating Bridge Street – Warrington’s New Market Hall?

I recently came across a news item on┬áthe Warrington Guardian website, dated 3 October 2013, which claimed to show the design for the new Market Hall. This was a large glass shed fronting directly onto Bridge Street, between Dolman’s Lane and Hall’s Yard, engulfing the Grade II listed Howard Building and replacing four other shops. The building over the archway to Hall’s Yard had been removed and replaced by an open access route.

I found other items in local newspaper websites across the region, dated the same day, so there must have been a general press release. There was also a similarly dated bulletin on the council’s website.

According to this, only four weeks had been set aside for the public consultation and, as we stopped taking the local paper when the advertising space started to exceed the news items, I had missed it all at the time.

It was not really what I had been hoping for: the over dominant frontage, the strange embedding of a listed building in a glass structure, the replacement of five individual shops with a single huge block, the destruction of the distinctive character of Hall’s Yard, and the further breaking up of Bridge Street’s historical character – a continuous line punctuated with archways. And why was it suddenly going to be on Bridge Street, when all the plans in the documentation on the council’s website showed it as behind the Conservation Area?

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