Historical origins of the Deepdale Enclosure in Preston

Posted on - 7th December, 2016 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Deepdale, History, Nostalgia, Parks, Photos


With the recent news of the Deepdale Enclosure to keep its special heritage status, we thought that it would be interesting to look into this small area and its fascinating historical past.

The image immediately above is an 1857 image of Deepdale Enclosure looking across to Stephenson Terrace,¬†from¬†Charles Hardwick’s¬†Illustrated History Of Preston & It’s Environs. At the time, it would have been a very grand affair to have such a luxurious terrace along with the associated small park to the front of the buildings on the opposite side of Deepdale Road. To the far left of this image, there is a large building which was Peel Hall, and hence the name of the subsequent¬†appearance of¬†Peel Hall Street.

Charles Hardwick states in his book:
STEPHENSON TERRACE, Deepdale-road, or rather the open space in front of it, might be considered a public “square,” but for the triangular form of the enclosed and planted area. It is situated upon a portion of what was termed, in the earlier part of the present century, the “Washing Moor,” from the number of laundresses, professional and otherwise, who, in the exercise of their vocation, availed themselves of the then public common as a drying ground. This area was judiciously enclosed, and the neat lodge at the southern corner erected by the corporation, in the year 1850. As buildings are rapidly increasing in this direction, the open space thus preserved will, in the course of a few years, be prized as a valuable “lung” to the eastern portion of the town. The handsome stone terrace was erected by Mr. George Mould, contractor, and named after the celebrated engineer.

In earlier times, close by to the enclosure, there was a field with a ‘cuckstool’ installed adjacent to a pond and was used for punishment purposes by sitting the guilty party on a seat which was affixed to a plank of wood and ducking them in and out of the water,

Charles Hardwick also states in his book:
Insolvent burgesses were submitted to the chastisement of the correctional chair, and it is probable that a species of domestic delinquents underwent the same cooling operation.
Another “cucking stool” stood not far from the present¬†House of Correction. In 1683, the bailiffs were fined 40s. for want of a¬†cuck stool in the town, but the fine was remitted on their supplying the¬†deficiency.

The House of Correction, mentioned above, was originally on the site prior to where the former Preston Royal Infirmary was built and slightly northward stood the first Workhouse in Preston.


Google Earth, recent aerial view of the Deepdale Enclosure area


An 1890 O.S. map section of the Deepdale Enclosure area

From the above Google Earth recent aerial view and the 1890 O.S. map section view, you will notice that main shape of the landscape has not changed much in well over a hundred years; however, it can be seen that on the O.S. map, there is an indication of an observatory in the northern side of the enclosure, close to Meadow Street. This observatory, featured in the image below, was built in 1825 and replaced by the present facility at Moor Park in 1927. It is not hard to imagine then, that for around 100 years, this observatory would have been a very popular place for the professional and amateur astronomers in and around the Preston area.


Deepdale Road Observatory c.1925 Pic: Preston Digital Archive


Stephenson Terrace, Preston c.1875 Pic: Preston Digital Archive

The image immediately above of Deepdale Road with the enclosure on the left and Stephenson Terrace to the right, does not have any tram lines at this point in time and therefore will have been captured before the horse driven trams became in use in 1879.


Deepdale Road. Preston No.45 c.1910 Pic: Preston Digital Archive

Another fabulous image of the Deepdale Enclosure area by Alfred Shaw, a noted photographer of the early 20th century and by this time, trams were now electrically driven. The keepers house on the narrow end of the enclosure was demolished sometime in the decade from 1956. For many years, Prestonians also knew the Deepdale Enclosure as either ‘Little Park’ or ‘Pavilion Park’.

One other lesser known more recent historical fact that may interest PNEFC fans is that the famous Preston North End player, William (Bill) Shankly resided at 24 Deepdale Road for a time up to his retirement in 1949. This property will be excluded from the conservation area with the new plans.


Extract from a Barrett’s Street Directory 1948, showing Shankly W., professional footballer at 24 Deepdale Road.

Do you have any special memories of Deepdale Enclosure? Let us know in the comments below.

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