The Central Promenade, Morecambe
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The settlement started to be referred to as “Morecambe”, possibly after the harbour and railway. In 1889, the new name was officially adopted. Morecambe was a thriving seaside resort in the mid-20th century. While the resort of Blackpool attracted holiday-makers predominantly from the Lancashire mill towns, Morecambe had more visitors from Yorkshire (due to its railway connection) and Scotland. Mill workers from Bradford and further afield in West Yorkshire would holiday at Morecambe, with some retiring there. This gave Morecambe the nickname “Bradford on Sea”. Wikipedia.
In 1919 Thomas Luke celebrated Blackpool as “one of the wonders of the world”; and fifteen years later J B Priestley proclaimed it “the great roaring spangled beast”. Both were alluding to the scale, colour and brilliant lights of Britain’s most popular resort, which provided visitors with entertainment and accommodation on an industrial scale. The Winter Gardens and The Tower offered holidaymakers opulence for sixpence, relying for their success on the millions of visitors who arrived each year, and Blackpool’s three piers and the rides at the Pleasure Beach were further evidence that the technologies that had transformed industry were providing visitors with new thrilling pleasures. “Blackpool’s Seaside Heritage”, Allan Brodie & Matthew Whitfield, 2014
By the middle of the 18th century, the practice of sea bathing to cure diseases was becoming fashionable among the wealthier classes, and visitors began making the arduous trek to Blackpool for that purpose. In 1781, Thomas Clifton and Sir Henry Hoghton built a private road to Blackpool, and a regular stagecoach service from Manchester and Halifax was established. A few amenities, including four hotels, an archery stall and bowling greens, were developed, and the town grew slowly. The 1801 census records the town’s population at 473. . . . >Blackpool rose to prominence as a major centre of tourism in England when a railway was built in the 1840s connecting it to the industrialised regions of Northern England. The railway made it much easier and cheaper for visitors to reach Blackpool, triggering an influx of settlers . . . The growth was intensified by the practice among the Lancashire cotton mill owners of closing the factories for a week every year to service and repair machinery. These became known as wakes weeks. Each town’s mills would close for a different week, allowing Blackpool to manage a steady and reliable stream of visitors over a prolonged period in the summer. Wikipedia. Wikipedia.
In those early 1860’s there was little entertainment to enjoy in Blackpool. The original Uncle Tom’s Cabin was offering refreshments, music and dancing. What remained of the first building was demolished in 1907. It had to be knocked down – because the crumbling cliff it perched on was eroding rapidly. The current Uncle Tom’s was built afterwards. In 1863 North Pier was the first of the three to be built – made in cast iron on screwed piles. It’s now a Listed Building. In 1867 the Prince of Wales Arcade opened (now the site of The Blackpool Tower). The following year saw new attractions opened including:
– the Talbot Road Assembly Rooms and Theatre Royal (the former Yates’s Wine Lodge and Addison’s night club)
– South Jetty
Central Pier, only became well used in 1870 when Robert Bickerstaffe introduced open-air dancing for the “working classes”. Live Blackpool
North Pier, Blackpool
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Residents met in December 1861 to discuss a new pier and work began in June 1862. Designed by Eugenius Birch, it opened on May 21st 1863. A landing/fishing jetty was added in 1866 and extended in 1869, bringing the pier’s length to 1410 feet. The pier was damaged in 1867 by wreckage from Nelson’s former flagship, the ‘Foudroyant’, which had been moored off the pier for an exhibition. In the 1870s, the pier-head was enlarged and the Indian Pavilion and bandstand were built. There were further ship collisions with the pier in 1892 and 1897. The deck was widened in 1896, and shops and an arcade were added to the shoreward end in 1903. National Piers Society
In 1861 a group of the town most prominent movers and shakers had gathered in the Clifton Arms Hotel to discuss the idea of building a Pier. There the most ‘in vogue’ Victorians could exercise in the pastime of promenading in the open air. It was suggested in response to the new pier which had opened at nearby Southport. . . . Blackpool North Pier was built between 1862 and 1863 by R.Laidlow and Son, to the designs of Eugenius Birch. Eugenius Birch was most acclaimed for his seaside pier constructions. During his life he was responsible for no fewer than 14 of them, including some of the best known ones. They include Brighton West and of course Blackpool North Pier. Most piers of the era were made using cast iron. Birch thought that if wrought iron was to be used it would take a lot of repairing if the pier were to be damaged. North Pier was constructed with cast iron screw piles and columns, in turn supporting iron girders and a wooden deck. Live Blackpool
North Pier is the most northerly of the three coastal piers in Blackpool, England. Built in the 1860s, it is also the oldest and longest of the three. Although originally intended only as a promenade, competition forced the pier to widen its attractions to include theatres and bars. Unlike Blackpool’s other piers, which attracted the working classes with open air dancing and amusements, North Pier catered for the “better-class” market, with orchestra concerts and respectable comedia.ns . . . The pier, which cost £11,740 to build, originally consisted of a promenade 468 yards (428 m) long and 9 yards (8.2 m) wide, extending to 18 yards (16 m) wide at the pier-head. The bulk of the pier was constructed from cast iron, with a wooden deck laid on top. . . . The pier was intended primarily for leisure rather than seafaring; for the price of 2d (worth approximately £4.90 in 2012) the pier provided the opportunity for visitors to walk close to the sea without distractions. This fee was insufficient to deter “trippers'”, which led to Major Preston campaigning for a new pier to cater for the ‘trippers’. In 1866, the government agreed that a second pier could be built, despite objections from the Blackpool Pier Company that it was close to their pier and therefore unnecessary . . . . To differentiate itself from the new pier, North Pier focused on catering for the “better classes”, charging for entry and including attractions such as an orchestra and band concerts, in contrast to the Central Pier (or the “People’s pier”), which regularly had music playing and open-air dancing. The pier owners highlighted the difference, charging at least a shilling for concerts and ensuring that advertisements for comedians focused on their lack of vulgarity. Wikipedia.
Pier, 1862-3, by Eugenius Birch, contractors R. Laidlaw and Son of Glasgow. Cast iron screw piles and columns supporting iron girders and wooden deck 1,405 feet long, with jetty of 474 feet (added 1867). Pierhead enlarged with wings 1874 (for Indian Pavilion later destroyed by fire) now has modern theatre on north side, and curved glass and iron shelters on south side. Promenade deck lined each side by wooden benches with ornamental open-work backs of cast iron: a continuous band of stars in circles surmounted by semicircular fan-shaped backs in groups of three, the centre one having a grotesque in the middle, and the groups divided by voluted armrests. Two pairs of original kiosk-bays on deck have kiosks built c. 1900: each an elongated hexagon of wood and glass, with 2-tier swept- out lead roof bearing octagonal lantern of blue glass and minaret roof with finial. Historic England
Richard John Seddon PC (22 June 1845 – 10 June 1906) was a New Zealand politician who served as the 15th Premier (Prime Minister) of New Zealand from 1893 until his death. Seddon was born in Eccleston, St Helens, Lancashire, England, England. He arrived in New Zealand in 1866 to join an uncle in the West Coast goldfields. His prominence in local politics gained him a seat in the House of Representatives in 1879. Seddon became a key member of the Liberal Party under the leadership of John Ballance. When the Liberal Government came to power in 1891 Seddon was appointed to several portfolios, including Minister of Public Works. Seddon succeeded to the leadership of the Liberal Party following Ballance’s death in 1893, inheriting a bill for women’s suffrage, which was passed the same year despite Seddon’s opposition to it. Wikipedia.
There was a Saxon timber fort atop a mound here when William the Conqueror granted Lancaster to Roger de Poitou. Roger rebuilt the castle mound in Norman style sometime around 1093. At the same time, he established a monastery, which lives on as Lancaster Priory, located immediately behind the castle. When Roger de Poitou took part in the ill-fated Barons Rebellion of 1102, Henry I seized his Lancashire estates and gave them to his nephew Stephen of Blois (later to become King Stephen). Henry may have begun the Great Keep, or that may have been the work of King Stephen, who succeeded him, or even of King David of Scotland, who administered Lancashire during Stephen’s long struggle with Queen Maud known as The Anarchy.
The Great Keep stands four storeys high and is built with walls 3m thick. It has two rooms on each floor and offered accommodation for the constable of the castle or his lord. There was enough space that the entire garrison could withdraw into the keep if the castle was under siege. The massive construction meant that the keep needed strong buttresses to keep the structure from collapsing under its own weight. There are buttresses at each corner and halfway along each side. Sometime around the end of the 12th century, a stone curtain wall was erected to encircle the keep. Towers were built at regular intervals along the wall. Britain Express
The Honor, County, Town and Castle of Lancaster were granted by Henry III to his younger son Edmund, 1st Earl of Lancaster, in 1267. Lancaster Castle became a senior place of administration in the Duchy of Lancaster, with courts, a prison and offices. Through the centuries, the castle has held thousands of prisoners, including criminals of all kinds, political prisoners and individuals persecuted for their faith. In 1612, during the reign of King James I, the castle was at the centre of a notorious trial when ten people from the Pendle area of Lancashire, and nine other people from the area, were accused of witchcraft. The defendants were imprisoned and tried in the castle. Ten people were found guilty and hung on the nearby moor. In the late eighteenth century, the castle was substantially modified for use as a court and prison. During the same period, the medieval hall of the castle was demolished and a new building was constructed to house the Crown Court and Shire Hall. Duchy of Lancaster
Castle, now prison and courthouses. Occupies part of the site of a Roman fort. Principal dates of construction of the surviving structure are c1150, when the keep was erected; c1200 (parts of Hadrian’s Tower, fragments of curtain wall running north and east from the tower, some masonry in the Gatehouse passageway, and the lower part of the Well Tower); early C15 (the Gatehouse and Well Tower). The upper storey of the keep is probably C15 and was re-modelled in 1585. Extensive additions were made from 1788 onwards to the designs of Thomas Harrison. The Governor’s house was the first of the new buildings. The former Crown Hall at the west was rebuilt and extended to the north to include a new Crown Court (1798) and circular Grand Jury Room. To the west a new Shire Hall was built on a 7-sided semicircular plan. The female felons’ prison was completed in 1793, and the male felons’ prison to the north was also built in the 1790s. Following a break, work continued under the supervision of JM Gandy in 1802: the interior of the Crown Court was completed, and the female penitentiary was added in 1818-21. The walls are of sandstone ashlar and rubble with roofs of slate and lead. All the buildings are linked to form an irregular polygon on plan with a central courtyard. Historic England
The castle, of which we have caused a view to be engraved for the satisfaction of the reader [above], is thought to be one of the finest monuments of antiquity, that this kingdom can boast of; for the ditch was made by the command of the emperor Adrian, in the year 124, and a garrison was placed here by him ; who, for their better security, erected a tower towards the weft. In the year 305, Constantine Chlorus, father of Constantine the Great, built another handsome tower facing the town, both of which are now standing. After the Norman conquest, this castle was considerably enlarged ; and John, earl of Moreton and Lancaster, contributed the most to its grandeur, by erecting the beautiful tower, now called the Gatehouse. Afterwards, when he was king, he gave audience in it to the French ambassadors, and also here received homage from Alexander king of the Scot?, whom he had vanquished. It is at present the county jail, and the assizes have been held in it near five hundred years. “A description of England and Wales, containing a particular account of each county etc.; Vol 5”, Newbery and Carnan, 1769
The great feature of the building is the superb gatehouse, 66 feet high, erected by John of Gaunt, partly with Norman materials. It has two fine octagonal flanking towers, a four-centred arch to the gateway and portcullis, a fine machicoulis carrying an allure, or rampart terrace, and a battlement. The oldest portion is the massive keep of Roger de Poictou, 80 feet square, with walls 10 feet thick; this too was much altered by John of Gaunt, but the original Norman windows are intact. The upper portion was rebuilt, temp. Elizabeth, though the S.W. turret is still popularly known as Gaunt’s Chair. There is a chapel in the basement, and the dungeons are places in two floors below the ground level. There are now four grand towers in all, the ancient dungeon tower on the S. side, which had been used as a debtors’ prison, having been demolished n 1812. “The Castles of England: their story and structure, Vol 2”, James Mackenzie, 1896
This magnificent ten-sided room is Joseph Gandy’s masterpiece. Completed in 1802, its semi-circle of Gothic pillars carry not only the arches which support the timber ceiling over the main part of the court room but also the arches of the plaster vault over the surrounding aisle. Still used as a working courtroom on rare occasions, today the Shire Hall is also the centrepiece for one the UK’s finest displays of chivalric heraldry. Lancaster Castle
In the last two decades of the century, around £30,000 was spent rebuilding Lancaster’s county gaol. Architect Thomas Harrison was commissioned to complete the work. Under his auspices, the Gaoler’s House was built in 1788 in a Gothic style. Separate prisons were built for men and women. The Shire Hall and Crown Court were complete by 1798. Harrison had to divide his time between Lancaster and designing and building Chester Castle’s Shire Hall and Courts; work at Lancaster slowed, partly because of dwindling funds due to war with France, and Harrison was released from the work as the Justices of the Peace felt it was taking too long. The artist Robert Freebairn was paid £500 to paint twelve watercolours of the work in 1800 to be presented to the Duke of Lancaster, King George III. In 1802 the castle received more funding and Joseph Gandy was commissioned to complete the interiors of the Shire Hall and Crown Court. Wikipedia.