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Winckley Square blue plaque to honour Thomas Leach

Posted on - 9th February, 2023 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - History, Nostalgia, People, Preston buildings & attractions, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News, Proud Preston, Winckley Square
Plaque plan Pic: Leander Architechtural
Plaque plan Pic: Leander Architechtural

There are plans for a blue plaque installation to honour the Thomas Leach, who built a property in Winckley Square Gardens, and to recognise his contribution to various industries and commercial enterprises in Preston as an investor.

The applicant, Zulfiqarali Lokhat, of Northwest Lettings Ltd, wants to amplify the historical significance of the grade II listed townhouse of the 1830s, located in 5 Camden Place which forms part of a terrace within the extensive late Georgian residential area.

In a previous Blog Preston article, Paul D. Swarbrick, steps back into time when the Winckley Square Gardens was funded mainly by merchants who had become rich due to the industrial revolution.

Paul explained the historical importance of 5 Camden Place and the Leach family’s personal experience at the residence.

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5 Camden Place Corner Of Winckley Square Easterly View Former House Of Thomas Leach

He said: “Originally constructed as two properties, this was a house built by Thomas Leach, a Wholesale Hosier who had at one time shop premises in Fishergate.

“Thomas built this house for himself and his family and the second smaller property as a tenancy. Samuel Leach, one of his sons, recalled memories in his later years of a time when the family lived there and of such happy times they had in the house.

“There was a garden plot opposite the house which was used for various purposes including growing flowers, vegetables and fruit.

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5 Camden Place Corner Of Winckley Square Northerly View Former House Of Thomas Leach

“There is an anecdotal piece of a time when the maids used to arise at 2.30 on Monday mornings to do all the washing and put it out to dry on a grassy area at the lower end of the garden.

“This is of particular interest as it exemplifies the use of the central gardens at one time by the individual residents of the square who each owned a portion or parcel of the land to use in different ways, such as that mentioned or just as pleasure gardens for their own personal use.

“By all accounts the Leach family house appeared to have been a happy one, especially with the four children that Thomas and his wife Isabella proudly raised there.”

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The dot shows where the plaque will be located at the front of the building Pic: Cassidy and Ashton
The dot shows where the plaque will be located at the front of the building Pic: Cassidy and Ashton

Preston Historical Society have agreed the historical significance of the property to warrant a blue plaque visible to the public and approved the wording.

The heritage statement prepared by, Zulfiqarali Lokhat, said: “The building has stood empty for many years before being acquired by my client Moneypenny Properties Ltd who have invested huge sums of money to fully renovate and bring the building back into use as self-catering short stay lets for visitors to Preston.”

“There will be no impact on the building itself other than to raise its status and qualify its grade II listed status further.
Furthermore, there will be no impact on the surroundings and therefore propose this application receives consent.”

The Blue plaque will be visible to the public from the highway.

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