Hidden in Plain Sight – post 29

Built in 1838 as the Leek Union Workhouse, it was intended to house 300 inmates and was designed by J. Bateman & G. Drury. Additional buildings were added to the  site in 1871 (Fever ward) and then in 1896 (The Infirmary).

In 1904, the workhouse adopted the fictional address of 251 Ashbourne Road at the suggestion of the local Registrar so those born in the workhouse didn’t have the stigma of where they were born later in life. The house numbers on that side of Ashbourne Road still don’t run in order as the property is still listed as number 251.

The Workhouse closed sometime between 1920 & 1930 (I will change this when I find an exact date).

It’s now a small NHS hospital that specialises in Dementia and Geriatric care but also provides a number of outpatient services for the town.

English Heritage granted a Grade II listing on 7 June 1972.

Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 550D & 18-55mm kit lens
Exposure 30 secs, Aperture f/9.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 18mm


Hidden in Plain Sight – post 28

This stone well head dates from 1855, it is sometimes called The Weavers Well but is better known as Lady O’ Th’ Dale Well (Ladydale Well).

The spring that feeds the well was named in honour of “Our Lady” in the Middles Ages and in the 16th century the area was known as Lady Wall Dale. The waters have been used for healing purposes for centuries and within living memory there was also an annual May Day procession to the Well from St. Mary’s Roman Catholic church.

In the earlier part of this century, protestors fought long and hard to protect the well, valley and wildlife from housing developers who wanted to build a new estate on the land.

Granted a Grade II listing on 2 February 1995 by English Heritage.

Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 550D & 18-55mm kit lens
Exposure 1/25, Aperture f/10.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 43mm.

Hidden in Plain Sight – post 27

This was originally an early 17th century timber-framed building purposely built as an Inn. Now that timber-framed building is hidden underneath render and mock timber. The current frontage dates from the early 20th century but it also has an early 19th century extension at the rear.

It was called The Green Dragon in 1693 but had changed its name to The Angel by about 1781 and was finally re-named The Swan Hotel by 1786.

Twice a week there were horse-drawn coaches driving to London from the Hotel and from 1849 omnibuses ran from here to the local railway station.

In 1744 it was the meeting place for the Court Leet, which was the predecessor to the Magistrates court before becoming more of a civil administration service. From 1830, petty sessions for the Magistrates court were held at The Swan Hotel every alternate Wednesday up to 1848.

The Swan Hotel was open until fairly recently but is currently boarded up and waiting for a new Landlord or Landlady.

English Heritage granted it a Grade II listing on 13 April 1951.

Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 550D & 18-55mm kit lens
Exposure 1/60, Aperture f/11.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 25mm

Hidden In Plain Sight – post 26

I love the little intricate details of this property.

Built in the late 18th century as a residential property, the longest staying residents were a family named Phillips from 1861 to about 1911. They ran a draper’s business here but the last Phillips in residence here was a Professional Photographer!

After 1912 it was owned by the Leek Embroidery Society who had the extraordinary large skylight window fitted into the roof to let in more light for their work. I’m unable to find when the Embroidery Society left the building, and if anyone used the building before it became Moreton’s Domestics or when Moreton’s took on the property.

It was Moreton’s Domestics (electrical goods retailer) for as long as I can remember but now the property has been vacant for a very long time after Moreton’s closed down and the neglect is really starting to show!

Luckily it has been purchased recently and the new owners want to do a sympathetic restoration of the building but are waiting for planning permission from the local council (at the time of writing this blog entry) before any work can start. I wish the new owners all the best and after reading their planning application I know this little building will look stunning again!

It was granted a Grade II listing on 7 June 1972 by English Heritage.

19-21 St Edwards Street

Shooting Information –
Canon EOS 550D & 18-55mm kit lens
Feature Image – Exposure 1/30, Aperture f/11.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 18mm.
Secondary Image -Exposure 1/13, Aperture f/11.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 40mm.

Hidden In Plain Sight – post 25

Home to a carpet specialist and seems to have been purpose built as a business premises with domestic accommodation above.

Although interestingly on this site stood The Globe Inn which was demolished in 1902 to make way for the newly constructed High Street which was completed in 1904.

I like this building because of the little turret that sits on the corner of the upper floors, but I do wonder about when the building was constructed because when closely examined it seems to have a lot of 1930’s features on the upper floors yet the shop seems to be of Victorian taste, maybe it has had a major face lift or the upper floors were added at a later date. If and when I find out more I will add an update.

Shooting Information –
Canon EOS 550D & 18-55mm kit lens, Exposure 1/50, Aperture f/11.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 20mm.

Hidden In Plain Sight – post 24

Currently home to the Voluntary Services, Citizen Advice Bureau and a community centre from late 1979, this grand little Venetian styled building was built in 1885, designed by W. Owen of Warrington for Parr’s Bank.

Parr’s Bank was a private bank established in Warrington in 1788 as Parr & Co. In 1923 it changed its name to the Westminster Bank Ltd. This branch closed after the formation of the National Westminster Bank Ltd in 1970 but its name “Bank House” stands as a reminder to its history.

English Heritage gave a Grade II listing on 14 October 1996.

Shooting Information –
Canon EOS 550D & 18-55mm kit lens, Exposure 1/30, Aperture f/11.0, ISO 200, Focal Length 18mm.

Here’s Looking at You

My first week of recovery after my operation is over, hopefully only another 2 weeks to go if there’s no complications then I can get out of the house for a while and catch one of the beautiful sunsets I keep watching from the kitchen window.  I’m trying to keep myself occupied by finding stuff around the house I can shoot but its difficult to find the motivation or concentration required when the bad days are seriously outnumbering the good.

So I’m struggling with my depression at the moment and late night online shopping and Facebook is probably not the answer to the feeling of uselessness. I hope this low lifts as my post-op recovery continues and everything gets back to my “sort of normal” and I can start snapping away like a mad woman once more…

Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 550D & Canon 50mm f/1.8 Lens
Exposure 1/13, Aperture f/4.5, ISO 100
Post Processing in Lightroom 4