Hanging On…


Hidden in Plain Sight – Post 41

These sweet little weavers cottages (a total of 13 altogether) were built in 3 phases, the first in 1820, the second in 1830 and the third about 1833. The cottages were built to house highly skilled silk weavers, who worked from home and produced high quality and ornate silk fabrics. I can’t find who the cottages were owned by but the weavers were only tenants.

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

Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 550D & 18-55mm Kit Lens
Exposure 0.3secs, Aperture f/8.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 23mm

Hidden in Plain Sight – Post 40

This silk mill was built in 1853, with the additional of fire escape stairs and upper floor doors which were added in the late 19th century. It is unknown who the original owner was, but the mill was purchased by J & J Brough, Nicholson & company (who were also silk manufacturers) in 1863, who owned the mill upto the mid 20th century. The mill was then brought in 1960 by Job WHite & Sons Ltd, who were at the time was one of the country’s largest knitwear manufacturers. White’s went into liquidation during the 1970’s.

The building has had a few tenants since but they have not lasted very long and the mill has been derelict for over a decade.

Although the Mill is situated on Ashbourne Road, its name, London Mill, is because at the time of its constructed, Ashbourne Road was called London Road.

The mill was granted a Grade II listing on 18 April 1991 by English Heritage.


Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 550 & 18-55mm Kit Lens
Featured Image – Exposure 1/25, Aperture f/9.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 18mm
Second Image – Exposure 1/60, Aperture f/9.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 18mm

Hidden in Plain Sight – Post 39

This very imposing building, which was designed by William Sugden and William Larner Sugden, was purpose-built in 1891 as a police station, superintendants house and stables. It has a very strong Scottish Barional Influence to its design.

It was used as a police station up until the late 1980’s when it was replaced by a modern Police station built a few streets away. It has now been converted into several apartments.

I remember visiting here as a child in the early 1980’s on a school field trip, we were given a guided tour of the station including the old cells.

It was granted a Grade II listing by English Heritage on 11th November 1971.


Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 550D & 18-55mm Kit Lens
Featured Image – Exposure 1/13, Aperture f/7.1, ISO 100, Focal Length 18mm
Second Image – Exposure 1/5, Aperture f/7.1, ISO 100, Focal Length 18mm

Hidden in Plain Sight – Post 38

In May 1720 a group of 22 townsmen successfully petitioned the Bishop to license Thomas Bourne as a Grammar School Master. Lord Macclesfield built a school house in 1723. Thomas Bourne had around 40 pupils in 1751 and he died in 1771.

The school had no endowment. The Earls of Macclesfield remained the owners of the building and the school Master had to pay a small rent but was also responsible for the buildings upkeep. the school Masters income, apart from school fees, came from the charity of George Roades (Rector of Blithfield) whose Will provided for the establishment of an english school at Leek for poor children aged 6 to 10 years old. Eventually enough money was received from stock investment. The income from which was used to pay the Master to teach poor children to read.

The school could generally support a Master and an Usher but only if one or both had other employment.

E.F.T Ribbans, who became the school Master in the 1850’s, left his job and the town in 1860 after well publicised accusations that he had fathered an illegitimate child.

In 1870 the schoolhouse was in poor repair and no longer suitable. There was little demand for a traditional grammar school, never the less, the inspector for the Royal Commission on Grammar Schools stated the school should continue as a feeder for a high school.

Joseph Sykes became the school Master in 1870, and shortly afterwards the income from the Roades Charity was assigned to another school. Joseph Sykes ran the school until 1900 when it finally closed. The Earl of Macclesfield sold the building in 1919.

During the 1990’s it was used by various voluntary groups and is currently the H.Q for a Scout group.

The inscribed stone over the front door reads, “This building erected by the Earl of Macclesfield, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain, Anno Domini 1723”.

The old grammar school was granted a Grade II listing on 13 April 1951 by English Heritage.

Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 550D & 18-55mm Kit Lens
Exposure 1/13, Aperture f/13.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 21mm

Hidden in Plain Sight – Post 37

A former church school, this little building has served its community since its construction in 1834.

In 1834, Lord Macclesfield gave part of the neighbouring Grammar School’s land as a site and the money required for the building was raised by subscription and Government grants to form St. Edward’s National School. The building was designed by William Rawlins.

The school admitted poor children from Leek or within a 2 mile radius of the parish. The new Sunday school was opened in 1835. In 1843 the Trustees opened a day school for boys and girls in addition to the Sunday school.

The building was enlarged in 1862 but in 1886 the boys school was moved to other premises and the girls school continued here until the school was sold in 1895.

That same year, the Reverend C.B. Maude established a working mens club and young mens union in the old school house.

In 1896 C.B. Maude (who was now the Archdeacon of Salop) conveyed the the building to trustees and it became the Maude Church Institute for the parishioners of St Edwards Church. The parishioners gave £191 (in recognition of Maude’s services to the community) to the Trustees to pay off the mortgage.

The quatrefoil stone over the main entrance reads “This building was presented for the use of the parish church of St. Edwards, Leek, by a few parishioners as a memento of the Rev. C.B. Maude’s vicarate. August 1896”.

In the mid 1970’s the building was enlarged and had alterations made. In the 1990’s it was used by numerous voluntary groups.

In 2005 the Maude Institute was sold to a private business and it was converted into a members only Pool & Snooker club called The Q-Mill. this closed in 2008 & the owner leased the premises to Genetix Gym who occupied the building until early 2013. It is now vacant and is waiting for someone to purchase or lease it.

Granted a Grade II listing from English Heritage on 14 October 1996.

Shooting Information:
Canon EOS 550D & 18-55mm Kit Lens
Exposure 1/30, Aperture f/13.0, ISO 100, Focal Length 18mm