A step back in time into Preston’s Winckley Square (part 2)

Posted on - 20th June, 2014 - 8:17pm | Author - | Posted in - City Centre, History, Parks, Photos, Preston City Centre
Extract From John Tallis's Map Of Preston 1852

Extract From John Tallis’s Map Of Preston 1852

From the above 1852 Tallis map extract you can see that Winckley Square has undergone somewhat of a property expansion, although the land surrounding the gardens is still not fully built upon at this time.


Mr Thomas Miller, a partner in the Horrockses Miller cotton firm and benefactor of Miller Park in Preston, moved from his parents house in Golden Square to 3 Winckley Square with his new bride Henrietta, niece of John Horrocks.
In around 1851 Mr Miller and his family took over the house from which the Addisons had recently moved from which was 7 Winckley Street which, as mentioned in part 1, was on the corner of Winckley Street and Winckley Square. As can be seen in the above map, there was a parcel of land in the north east corner of Winckley Square which was the garden to 7 Winckley Street. Mr Miller had plans draw-up to build a manor house on that land which was to be 5 Winckley Square, this is the house where he and his family stayed until he died in 1865.

5 Winckley Square (Former House Of Thomas Miller)

5 Winckley Square (Former House Of Thomas Miller)

When looking at the two pre-existent buildings either side of the Miller residence, it is clearly seen that it was built in a different era and style from its neighbours. this house exists today as high grade apartments but a while ago it was in use as the Junior Park School and I feel certain that there will be someone reading this who would either recall the school or maybe even attended the school.

6 Winckley Square (Former House Of John Gorst)

6 Winckley Square (Former House Of John Gorst)

Moving around to the first house on the eastern side of the square and adjacent to the former house of Thomas Miller we have 6 Winckley Square which was built for John Gorst, the younger brother of Edward Gorst in Chapel Street. Unlike Thomas Miller’s house, this one was built much earlier and in fact was only the fifth property to be erected on the square at that time.

7 Winckley Square (Former House Of The Reverend Roger Carus-Wilson)

7 Winckley Square (Former House Of The Reverend Roger Carus-Wilson)

Still on the eastern side but slightly lower down the square from John Gorst’s house was a plot of land purchased by Septimus Gorst, another brother of John and Edward Gorst.  Septimus never built a house there for himself, however, a house was erected around 1830 for a Rev. Roger Carus Wilson, Vicar of Preston.
A strange story and fact about this building is that in later years it became the property of a chartered accountant, James Todd.  He died in 1931 and had stipulated in his will that his ashes be interred into the wall of the office from which he worked. This was honoured and to this day you can see the plaque on the front wall of the building which says ‘JT 1863 – 1931’. The image below illustrates this with a close-up of the plaque on the wall of 7 Winckley Square.

7 Winckley Square, Preston Stone Inscription (J.T. 1863 - 1931)

7 Winckley Square, Preston Stone Inscription (J.T. 1863 – 1931)

The properties we have covered so far have not really changed that much since they were originally built. However, Part 3 will show a completely contrasting, if not disturbing difference between what was and what there is today, on the remaining eastern side of Winckley Square.

Part 1 of this series can be found here and Part 3 can be found here.

I would sincerely like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the late Marian Roberts for her book ‘The Story of Winckley Square’ which truly inspired me to write this series of articles. Marian was one of Preston’s leading historians during her later life and much loved by all who knew her.

Is there anything special to you about Winckley Square or its gardens? Please let us know in the comments below.

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