Warrington’s North east Quarter (part two)
Non-Conformism, Townsend, John Blackburne and Orford Hall
North of Crown Street, larger, squarer shapes, along Winwick Street to Newton Street, suggest eighteenth-century buildings. Newton Street, quite broad and seemingly modern, runs up only a little way, its main purpose at present being to provide access to St Paul’s Infant School and the Education Society’s School opposite, though there is the impression that more development is planned.
On the other side of Newton Street, small houses creep towards a wall surrounding the the grounds of a large house, behind which lies fields all the way to Lythgoes Lane. There is a Pin Manufactory in the north corner of the grounds and there is something about the awkward layout of the garden that suggests that this is not the factory owner living next door to the shop but the encroachment of the new order.
Warrington’s North-east Quarter (part one)
Warrington Industries – Textiles, Files and Glass – and Parr’s Bank
Around Cockhedge Lane, behind the buildings on the lower end of Buttermarket Street, is Warrington’s main industrial area on what looks like a green field site. Even in 1825 Warrington was already considered ‘one of the earliest manufacturing towns in Lancashire’ and, the Town Plan depicts its first ‘industrial estate’, today completely covered by the Cockhedge Shopping Centre and New Town House.
On the corner of Scotland Road, behind the Britannia Inn, the Scotland Road Foundry, surrounded by workers’ housing, fills all the space between Cockhedge Lane and Orford Street, now completely taken up by the grey concrete mass of New Town House.
North of Cockhedge Lane, a file manufactory and vast glass works are joined by the Cockhedge Cotton Factory to the north-east, which is surrounded by purpose-built houses for the ‘hands’, and has a reservoir shown close by to the north. An infirmary, north of the reservoir on the east corner of Crown Street and Orford Street, suggests a previously isolated spot for infectious diseases, or an early example of employee welfare. Or possibly extremely detrimental working conditions for the ‘hands’.
Warrington’s North west Quarter (part two)
Town Hill and Trafalgar Place
The first part of the area to the north-east, between Horsemarket Street and back once more to Buttermarket Street, shows two distinct characters on the 1851 Town Plan, divided by the westward curve of Scotland Road. This bisects Buttermarket Street just opposite the Academy enclave, then runs northwards to join Horsemarket Street at the point before it becomes Winwick Street.
The east side of Horsemarket Street, up to Scotland Road, faces the Market Place and is lined with rectangular shapes indicating buildings on burgage plots. Three inns, the White Bull Inn, the Griffin Inn and The Little Horse Shoe Inn, are grouped around Town Hill, just past Lime Street, which marks, as the name suggests, the highest point in the town.
Called Pig Hill for a while on later maps, this ancient route runs westward to Scotland Road, becomes Cockhedge Lane on the other side, runs in an L shape still westwards to Fennel Street (now part of the modern-day Circulatory Road around the town centre, becomes School Brow on the other side and then finally, just past the Grammar School, drops down to where Church Place becomes the Manchester Road. Even up to 1907 it was still a ‘narrow, crooked lane’ but road widening schemes in the 90s have obliterated the earlier character of School Brow and a modern housing development stands on the site of the Grammar School.