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Gathurst Mount and Roburite
Started by: Vic_Dave (2) Report abuse
Looking for pics/info of the old Gathurst Mount manor. Now demolished, it was apparently one of the finer houses in the area. It was located off Gathurst Lane in Shevington, on the north side of the canal opposite the Navigation Inn (now the Baby Elephant pub). It sat where the new houses are in the Ellwood Gardens development. Dating to at least the mid-1800s, it later became part of the Roburite Explosives lands and was used as the residence for their first managers (including my great grandfather). After WWI, it was converted into offices for Nobel Explosives/ICI/Orica. I'm looking for any photos of its days either as a residence or as offices, exterior or interior as well as any aditional info or memories. When built? Who for? When finally demolished? Any help much appreciated!

Posted by: ayrefield (4463) Report abuse
You can see what I presume is the house in question top left of this photo, link below, it's in the Album - Places- Gathurst. There is also a map of Roburite on there.

I can remember seeing a lot of photos of the Roburite site before it was demolished also some from their archives, they were most likely printed in the Wigan Observer, someone may remember.

Roburite Gathurst

Posted by: Vic_Dave (2) Report abuse
Yes, thanks, I have seen that one and the house at the very top is indeed Gathurst Mount. It's a very interesting photo, especially as there wasn't much aerial photography being done around 1895. The photo at least gives me a clue as to the general shape of the house, roofline, chimneys and extension on the right which helps me in verifying other photos. The original photo is a bit less cropped at the top than the one posted here, allowing me to see the estate tree lines and compare them to parcel boundaries, as the original estate included a number of parcels.

There are a few unlabelled photos I have in family albums circa 1900 that may include some of the house, so I'm using all this to help verify them and be able to post them on Wiganworld if nothing better turns up.

If I can get a date of when that area of the lands was being cleared for development, I can perhaps try looking for articles and photos in old copies of the Wigan Observer, but that's going to be extremely tedious.

For others doing this kind of research, the National Library of Scotland's terrific mapping system allowed me to accurately overlay the 1895 Ordnance Survey map onto a current satellite view. From that, I could pecisely locate the house and outbuildings with the houses there today. Some of those early maps are amazingly accurate and high res.

My quest has not been aided by the fact the house was down a curved drive and blocked by trees, so couldn't be photographed from Gathurst Lane. Additionally, an explosives and munitions plant is of course a high security zone, epecially during wartime, so photography was discouraged and the house spent much of its life behind locked gates.

 
 
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