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Historic Woodplumpton stocks to be repaired

Posted on - 14th August, 2022 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - History, Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment, Woodplumpton
The stocks are situated five metres to the south of the lychgate of the grade II listed St Anne's Church in Woodplumpton pic: Tony Worrall
The stocks are situated five metres to the south of the lychgate of the grade II listed St Anne’s Church in Woodplumpton pic: Tony Worrall

Woodplumpton’s council is seeking to perform urgent repairs on both stone posts of the stocks to prevent any further degradation and potential future loss of the stone posts.

On July 26, 2022 a planning application was registered to Preston City Council for Listed Building Consent for alterations, extension or demolition to renovate and repair the stocks of a grade II listed building.

The stocks are situated five meters to the south of the lychgate of the grade II listed St Anne’s Church building in Woodplumpton and can be accessed via Woodplumpton Road.

The stocks have been present in Woodplumpton since the 18th century and may be older still. It is likely that they have played a significant role in the communal identity and stories for generations of Woodplumptons’s inhabitants.

In terms of historical value, the stocks were employed throughout villages and towns in Medieval Britain and later, to publicly punish misdemeanours and serve as a visual deterrent to any future lawbreakers.

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A close up photo of the heritage asset illustrating how people were imprisoned publicly in medieval times pic: Tony Worrall
A close up photo of the heritage asset illustrating how people were imprisoned publicly in medieval times pic: Tony Worrall

The slots facing inwards within the two stone posts enable the rails to mechanically operate, and the four leg holes in the wooden rails are still in evidence in the 21st century to indicate how people were impriosned within.

Experienced archaeologist and author of the Heritage Statement – Woodplumpton Stocks, Jamie Skuse said: “The stocks at Woodplumpton are in a poor condition due to the failing repairs performed in the mid-20th century, which has resulted in severe cracks in both stone posts and cavities where the cement is disintegrating.

“This damage is progressive and if left unchecked will continue to harm the significance of both the heritage asset and the surrounding setting and will likely result in the eventual destruction of the stocks.”

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The repairs required are extensive, including the careful removal and transport of the left post to a workshop for a new stone to be attached. and the insertion of pins and dowels to retain the existing structure intact on the top of the right post.

The proposed repairs are extensive and will incur some damage to the fabric of the heritage asset.

The contribution that the stocks will bring to the local area and its setting once properly repaired ensure that the benefits of the proposal outstrip the risks.

To find out more about Jamie Skuse’s heritage statement visit the Preston City Council Website.

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