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Photos of Wigan
Photos of Wigan

Photo-a-Day Archive
Photo-a-Day Archive

Photo-a-Day  (Friday, 26th January, 2024)

Kensington House

Kensington House
This building once a private residence just lower down from Wigan Infirmary has always caught my attention.
I assume it was constructed in the Edwardian Era in the Arts and Craft style as it is similar in design to Wigan Hall.

Photo: Colin Traynor  (iPhone)
Views: 2,264

Comment by: Irene Roberts on 26th January 2024 at 08:21

Is that the one with the etching of a little Dutch girl in the glass on the window? I have a feeling it is used for some kind of administration work to do with the hospital but I'm not certain. The glass in the window and door is always eye-catching as you walk past.

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 26th January 2024 at 08:23

Hi folks....the one & only Helen of Troy clocking in !
Colin you really get about taking these photos. That is a very different & attractive house frontage , as you say perhaps from the days of the Arts & Craft Movement ....William Morris & Co. I wonder what the red stone is & where it would have come from ?

Comment by: Veronica on 26th January 2024 at 08:28

A beautiful house it’s like something out of a fairy tale. Wigan Lane was the place to live if you had money at one time no doubt about it.
(It looks like there’s some extensions added on.)

Comment by: Aspuller on 26th January 2024 at 08:39

If you had the money Aspull is the place to live, a much quieter place with more green space. A great community.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 26th January 2024 at 08:48

Irene, I don’t know about the little Dutch girl but when I zoom in I can see a Windmill that looks Dutch, I wonder what the origin of this is?
Many of the former houses along that row are owned by Wigan Infirmary and are offices. One used to have a Lecture Theatre at the back that I measured up for seating, that must have been late 60’s or early 70’s.

Comment by: Garry on 26th January 2024 at 08:48

We have some beautiful properties around Wigan, brilliant designs and build quality. Wigan Lane, one of the most elite parts of Wigan.
Cheers Colin.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 26th January 2024 at 08:53

Re the Stained Glass Window, I might call in and use my charms to take a picture from the inside or if that doesn’t work, from the outside!!!!
Hopefully Brian will put it on PAD.

Comment by: Maureen on 26th January 2024 at 09:35

I’m almost sure this is the house where I went to be measured for my nurses uniform before I started work at Whelley Hospital,although I don’t recall it being so ornate….I wish the front of my house looked like that.wigan has some beautiful houses if only we could stop and stare awhile.

Comment by: Rev David Long on 26th January 2024 at 10:11

Helen - it's a sandstone. The version round here is a yellowy-grey, and is called Sherdley sandstone. Further West you get red sandstone, which is often called Runcorn sandstone. You can usually tell which area you're in by the colour of stone used in church-building - whether for the main cladding, or for detailing, as here, such as the window and door frames.
This building, which is basically built in red brick, is faced with Sherdley stone, with the detailing in Runcorn stone.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 26th January 2024 at 10:45

Thanks Rev Long, I never knew the difference regarding the sandstone.

Comment by: Cyril on 26th January 2024 at 12:18

It was a grand road at one time Veronica, with the whole row of houses along there belonging to the hospital, and you can see that too by looking at them, as they aren't maintained now; leastwise not like they once was, further up beyond the Cherries along Green Hill is still considered as being an opulent part of Wigan Lane.
A lot of the large houses along and around this are of the lane are now HMOs, and the change of use of ordinary shops into carry-outs have also impacted a detrimental change in this area too. We sensed a change coming when we moved 25 years ago, when the carry-outs began to open, they've since flourished and it's now like the curry mile.

Comment by: Veronica on 26th January 2024 at 12:43

You’re telling me Cyril it was a very grand area. Tree lined as well although the only times I went up there on the bus with my mam was if I was going to the Infirmary. I was always frightened of going up there then. Probably because of a broken arm being seen to when I was about 5!

Comment by: Helen of Troy on 26th January 2024 at 12:51

Thank you for explaining that Rev Long, I didnt know there were different shades of sandstone. I suppose it depends on the soil types that you see around the country to some extent.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 26th January 2024 at 14:52

Irene, your comment this morning tapped into my natural curiosity, not able to rest I have been back down to Kensington House.
I had what can only be described as one of the most fascinating and informative visit I have made thanks to three kind ladies who showed me around and allowed me to take pictures inside and out and of the most incredible historic documents, letters, diagnoses, exam questionnaires and minutes of meetings some dating from1870.
All of these I will send to appropriate people 'Up The Ladder' as names, diagnosis and prognosis are mentioned even though they may have been dead for 100 years or more.
That said and getting back to the Stained Glass Window and the house itself. Apparently it was built for a Wigan Butcher who had a shop in Hallgate and a slaughter house at the back, I do recall seeing on an old map that the Crofters Yard led quite some distance to The Pig Market, roughly opposite Woodcock Street but I do not know if this Pig Market had any connection.
The three windows are quite detailed, I will try to describe each as viewed from the outside.
Window to the Right:
The scene is of a country setting with green fields in the foreground and rolling hills in the background, Poplar or Cyprus trees and a stone bridge spanning a bright blue river.
Window to the Centre:
A little Dutch Girl with blond hair in pale blue dress with a Closhe hat, blue dress trimmed in white with wooden clogs and stood on a path, carrying two pails of what I assume to be milk. The etched detail of the little girls face is quite remarkable.
In the background there is a small farm house with smoke wisping out of the chimney stack. On the other side a windmill with four brown sails and a pink roof.
Above this window is another with Swifts or Swallows swooping through the sky.
Window to the Left:
A green field with a small path and tulips to the foreground a stylized tree behind, in the background across a green field is a small church with a steeple.
As I say far too much information to share but will send the window pictures to Brian for his expert opinion of on which if any to upload on PAD.
PS, I was thinking of using a alternative name to uses. Do you think Heineken as I seem to 'Reach Other Parts That Others Don't'.

Comment by: Peter Walsh on 26th January 2024 at 17:40

Colin , there was a slaughter house at the bottom of Baileys Court behind the Bricklayers.

Comment by: DTease on 26th January 2024 at 18:01

Colin, why not call yourself “Modesty” after all it seems to be the main one of your many virtues?

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 26th January 2024 at 18:02

Peter, thanks for that, knew it wasn’t the Pig Market, that might have been Mark Williams. I hoped someone had a better idea and yours sounds spot on.
Just need to find out who the butcher was, I’ll keep looking!

Comment by: Colin Trayy on 26th January 2024 at 18:13

Hope someone has captured the Full Moon this morning or this evening. It has been quite spectacular.

Comment by: Cyril on 26th January 2024 at 20:09

Colin, there was a discussion about that slaughter house in the yards at the back of Market Street on the boards in 2011, link below, apparently it was Scriven's slaughter house, but before that it was King's, and possibly belonged to someone before them, read comments by freda, judyteen and art.

Regarding the Moon, has the Japanese Moon Module began working?I've not heard or seen anything since it landed and was thought to be upside down.

Comment by: Sir Bob on 26th January 2024 at 23:25

This building in question (Kensington House) is the front part of a much larger and very modern building attached to it at the rear, which is known as the Education Centre and Library of the Royal, Albert, Edward Infirmary, and I would imagine that this facility is part of the teaching faculty, which is located at Wigan Infirmary.

Comment by: Peter Walsh on 26th January 2024 at 23:32

Colin, There was a Charles Hall butchers 23 Hallgate where Saxon Court is.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 27th January 2024 at 06:21

DTease, you are right, perhaps ‘Humble Pie’ might be better, it did sound a bit pompous.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 27th January 2024 at 10:28

Sir Bob, it is the Education Centre, nice library at the rear were the entrance is and a large Lecture Theatre which took a picture of. More for my interest really as worked on equipping this theatre around 1970. It's now been refurbished with new seating and the latest technology.
Thanks again for the link to the map, it's a invaluable source of reference.

Comment by: Colin Traynor on 27th January 2024 at 10:40

Cyril / Peter, thanks for your contribution regarding the potential name of the butcher that lived in Kensington House.
If I keep digging I might find this out, there must be a record somewhere, I bet it was magnificent in its heyday.

Comment by: Pru on 27th January 2024 at 22:10

Colin if the house number is 122, then this is the resident in 1881.
Wright Elizabeth Ann, householder, 122 Wigan lane

Comment by: Cyril on 30th January 2024 at 20:19

Veronica, I too when young was scared to death when having the cast taken off a broken arm, the nurse went away and came back with what looked to me to be an enormous pair of scissors, and said we'll soon have your arm off, she and my mother were both laughing whilst I was near to fainting. If I remember right the road near to the infirmary was lined with flowering Cherry trees, and the Rhododendrons at the front were always spectacular when in flower.

Regarding your earlier post about the full Moon Colin, the Japanese SLIM Moon Probe that I asked about has now regained power, so hopefully it'll now begin doing what it was sent there to do. I can't see that they'll find out anything more from what was initially discovered from samples gathered by previous Moon landings and probes.

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