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Preston in the Picture: Westleigh House

Posted on - 1st April, 2012 - 10:00am | Author - | Posted in - Photos

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When this house was built in 1864, Preston was an entirely different type of town. Cotton was the major employer and the mill owners prospered.

This great example of a nineteenth century house stands on Lea Road and is now a modern conference centre. The house was built by John Leigh. John and Adam Leigh owned the Brookhouse Cotton Mill on Old Lancaster Lane in Preston, another building still standing today. The mill had over 1,000 looms and more than 40,000 cotton spindles.

The house remained a private residence until 1957 when it was purchased by Lancashire County Council. It became a civil defence planning centre complete with its own nuclear bunker. Later the house became a training centre for the ambulance service as well as the emergency planning centre.

Today the building is a very modern conferencing centre with seating for over 300 delegates and a fantastic outdoor terrace. The centre is operated by the University of Central Lancashire which is today, ironically, one of Preston’s major employers.

Photo: Fuji x100 f8, 1/150sec ISO 200

Paul Melling [Paul Melling Photography]

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