Cribden Hill, Rossendale, lies between Haslingden and Rawtenstall rising up quite steeply to over 400 metres. Most of the moorland fields are enclosed by drystone walls made of small flat pieces of Rossendale Flag, a Carboniferous sandstone. They can be beautifully constructed.
However, there are one or two boundaries on the Haslingden side of the hill made of large cut flags set on end, sometimes called pigstones.
It must have taken considerable effort to cut these large flags and bring them up the slopes of the hill and one wonders why they were sometimes chosen over drystone walls. Perhaps when a Georgian farmer needed to subdivide an existing field very quickly, this was the way to do it.
The walls pre-date the 1840s six inch OS maps but they have iron fittings which suggest they are late 1700s or early 1800s in date.
James Redbanks is one of the small number of Lakeland shepherds and farmers who have popular social media presences. James’ beautiful photographs show how a traditional pictorial approach still has much to offer and that photographing intensively in one place brings a special depth and quality to one’s work.
Here he is, with photos, writing about his experience of 2020.
Saint Martin’s Church is a blend of early and high Arts & Crafts design. The main part of the church was built around 1870 by John Dando Sedding while the famous Lady Chapel designed by his successor, Henry Wilson, is a ‘high period’ Arts & Crafts design of 1895-1905.
The church contains a series works by famous artists – William Morris, Dante Gabrielle Rosetti, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Maddox Brown and Christopher Whall.
Today, Accrington Townscape Heritage Initiative began conserving the town’s historic shops. This shop on Blackburn Road was built as a printers a few years after 1900 and now houses AYA, a firm of accountants.
As seen in the old photo, there was originally a sunblind which pulled out from behind the shop sign. The sign was rounded to accommodate the roller and the result cleverly emulates a classical pulvinated or ‘cushion’ frieze.
When the modern box sign was removed, we were delighted to find the timber frieze was still intact. It is beautifully joined to stone cushion friezes atop the pilasters at each end of the shop.
We exposed Edwardian paint layers which will be sampled before overpainting. By doing so on each THI project, we can build up a record of the various historic colours used on Accrington shops. The stone pilasters were overpainted brown followed by red and other colours. However, we could see smoke blackening beneath the brown paint indicating that the stone was not originally painted. We will therefore clean back to restore the original stone surface using Torc equipment.
Unfortunately, the underside of the cornice has almost completely eroded but there is just enough of the original moulding to create a template for new stone indents.
Other work includes further stone repair and a traditional styled replacement shop front.
The contract administrator is Craig Buck, IDC Architects, and the contractor is Rosslee Construction. Both are local Accrington firms.
Lee Wolf is treasurer and member secretary of the Edgar Wood Society. He’s a lover of Arts & Crafts architecture, archaeology and most things to do with the local heritage of Middleton. We met up to chat about a Heritage Lottery Fund bid for a photography and website project.