I have always found Sandy Lane interesting. Although most of the properties along it are relatively modern, the road itself does not follow the alignment of the other roads in the area. A few of the properties are significantly older. My suspicion is that Sandy Lane in a much earlier road associated with a much older Leyland.
The junction at the south end of Sandy Lane with Church Road is currently closed to traffic. Sandy Lane runs in a fairly straight line north east to Broad Square and a junction with Balcarres Road. This is where Sandy Lane now ends. Older maps show that what is now Broad Square, Sandy Lane used to turn to the north and follow what is now Balcarres Road passing “Old Hall” to a junction with Turpin Green Lane. Opposite “Old Hall” was a stone cross and a large pond which occupied the modern area of Balcarres Green (the Spider Park) and King Street. This change, I suspect, is connected with the building of the “Garden Village” which started in the 1920s.
Our walk starts at the southern end from Church Street and St Andrew’s Church.
Although this is not strictly in Sandy Lane, I think it is worth pointing out the following. In the wall of Saint Andrew’s churchyard are the remains of an early opening for a pathway leading via steps into churchyard. We noticed this from an early map showing the area. The date above on the lintel reads 1827.
The Crescent at the end of Sandy Lane was built around 1916. I haven’t been able to find a date. Planning approval for building of these houses was granted in December 1908.
Prospect House is one of nine pre 1893 buildings on Sandy Lane.
The Grade II listed Charnock or Old Hall. The current hall was built in 1660 by Roger Charnock, a Roman Catholic priest. Above the door is a coat of arms inscribed, “I.H.S. A.M. R.C.1660”. Today the hall has been converted into two houses. The name “Blacklache Hall” has also been used.
There are lots of interesting reminders of Leyland past as you walk along Hough Lane and Towngate. We start at the north east end of Hough Lane and head south west.
Lower Bank House is large town house built in 1892 for one of Leyland’s industrialists. Today it is used as Lower Bank Dental Surgery.
Grundy Terrace was formerly known as Mindor Terrace. It became Grundy’s dental surgery which is when the terrace took on the name it has today. I have read lots of posts on Facebook suggesting that Mr Grundy may have been “overzealous” in his treatments. The large window, above the silver car in the photograph, in the end wall is reputed to be one of the surgery windows.
Water Street & Towngate
Reaching the western end of Hough Lane, we now turn south into Towngate. The northern end of Towngate from Hough Lane to Mrs Jolly’s Corner (the junction with Broad Street near Garden Terrace) was originally called Water Street; with the southern end of Towngate being called Chapel Street.
James Sumner began experimenting here with steam locomotion in the early 1890s. This led to the production of a steam-powered lawn mower leading to the formation of the Lancashire Steam Motor Company in 1896. Later, the building became George Damp & Sons Ltd, an engineering blacksmith. As you can see from the plaque, the Lancashire Steam Motor Company later became Leyland Motors and then Leyland Trucks.
Mrs Jolly’s Corner.
CETL: Chorley Electrica.l Around 1800 the “The Sun” Public House stood on this site. After changing names to “The Shoemakers” or “The Cordwainers Arms”, it became known as “Bannisters Ship Inn” by the early 1820s. Prior to being used by “Chorley Electrical” it was “The Original Ship”.
The old Constabulary Station was built c. 1857 and its two cells were used until 1882 when the larger Police Station was built on Golden Hill Lane. From the 1930s the building was used as Leyland’s Library until the current library was built in the mid 70s.
Most of Towngate between here and the top of Fox Lane has been demolished. The land is currently used by Tesco. The planters outside the arcade of shops between Tesco and Leyland Cross and Drinking Well mark the junction of Towngate with the long demolish Cow Lane.
Very little evidence remains of the steam trams that operated in Darwen in the late 1890s and early 1900s. So far, I have only been able to locate the two waiting rooms, one for the ladies and one for the gentlemen, adjacent to each other on Belgrade Square near The Circus and the original turning triangle (steam trams could only run in one direction) to the south along Bolton Road.
Based on size and an external staircase shown on early maps beside the north building, my suspicion is that the southern waiting room (first picture below and adjacent to Belgrave Road) is the Ladies’ waiting room.
Now situated at Churchtown, Southport, Mersyside this 18 century commemorative obelisk was formerly at Worden Hall, Leyland. Following the fire at Worden Hall the obelisk was sold around 1948 to Colonel Roger Fleetwood Hesketh of Meols Hall and placed here in 1950. It is made from dressed gritstone blocks, of square section. The pedestal is c. 2m high, with a chamfered base, one broad band and a cavetto-moulded cornice with a worn inscription running round the east, north and west sides: Rebuilt in Commemoration of the Glorious illegible.
At the north end of Lune Street just south of the modern ring road is this striking memorial. It is dedicated by the trades union of Preston to the memory of all workers worldwide who are killed, injured, suffer ill health or detriment as a consequence of work. Remember the dead, fight for the living.
In Lune Street, Preston, four workers were shot and killed by the military during the general strike of 1842. Several thousand Preston workers were demonstrating against wage cuts , and for the ‘charter’ of democratic rights.
Bronze tablet on memorial.
Remember, Remember, People of proud Preston that progress towards justice and democracy had not been achieved without great sacrifice.
Remember, Remember, People of proud Preston defend vigorously the rights given to you. Strive to enhance the rights of those who follow.
There were originally over 1,200 such anti-aircraft gun sites built during World War 2, with only about eighty now surviving. This site was rediscovered in 2013 during investigations carried out for Redrow Homes prior to starting house building on the site.
It comprises a light anti-aircraft gun emplacement, a static Bofors 40mm gun, with an attached pillbox. It was built to defend the nearby Royal Ordnance Factory on Euxton Lane.
The site has been preserved and can be accessed via the modern housing estate.
I’ve been told there are a few anti-aircraft installations around Hall Lane, Wheelton Lane, and Centurian Way. They were built during World War 2 to protect the various factories in the area. This one is in the fields at the bottom of Hall Lane.
Little evidence remains of the Ministry of Supply tank factory in Leyland. However, following a tipoff and while reviewing information about Lower Farington Hall we discovered that part of the test track surface can still be seen today.
Located at the north end of Hall Lane, most of the original track has been lost to the development of industrial units, but the road structure still follows the route of the original track. At the north west end, the original track surface can be seen behind large gates.
The location of the test track can be seen clearly in the two images below.