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Raikes Hall Conservation Area Appraisal

October 2014



1.  Introduction

1.1    The Architectural History Practice Limited [AHP] was commissioned in September 2008 by Blackpool Council, funded by English Heritage, to prepare historic townscape characterisation assessments for several areas of Blackpool, including Raikes.  The study was intended to inform the Council’s management of the historic environment and provide an evidence base for strategic planning policy and decision-making.  Raikes was selected for this study in view of the high quality of the early 19th century and inter-war housing, developed on the former Raikes Hall estate.

1.2    The study was undertaken with reference to guidance from English Heritage and CABE on urban characterisation, particularly on the assessment of historic significance in areas of low demand housing, and this appraisal draws heavily on the subsequent characterisation report.

1.3    There are three listed buildings in the area and several more are locally listed.   In addition, the characterisation report concluded that most of the buildings make a positive contribution to the distinctive character of the local townscape, and in heritage terms the area merited consideration for designation as a conservation area. 

2.  Policy context

2.1    A conservation area is an “area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance”, as set out in Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. 

2.2    Under this legislation, local authorities have a duty to designate such areas and to review them, and to use their planning powers to safeguard and enhance the special qualities of these areas within a framework of managing change with a positive approach.  Designation automatically entails control over the demolition of unlisted buildings, strengthens controls over minor development and gives special protection to trees within the area.

2.3    The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that the historic built environment is an irreplaceable resource, and strategies should be developed through Local Plans so that heritage assets are conserved in a manner appropriate to their significance.

2.4    Policy CS8 of the Blackpool Local Plan Part 1: Core Strategy - Revised Preferred Option 2012 states that development proposals will be supported which respect and draw inspiration from Blackpool’s built, social and cultural heritage.  Proposals will be supported that strengthen the existing character created by historic buildings.  Developers must demonstrate how the development will complement and enhance existing features of heritage significance including their wider setting for conservation areas, listed buildings and other identified heritage assets.

3.  Context: Historical development of Blackpool

3.1    Modern Blackpool developed from the medieval manorial holdings of Bispham to the north, Layton to the south, and Marton and Carleton to the east, with each being further divided into townships.  A settlement pattern of small nucleations in the manors probably changed little from the medieval period to the 18th century.   The reclamation of mosslands, on which Blackpool is built, began in the 16th century.  Following reclamation, enclosure of the land for farming led to the development of a small farming community with larger farmsteads including Foxhall and Raikes Hall; farming was supplemented by fishing.

3.2    In the early 18th century very few visitors braved the journey to the embryonic resort of Blackpool, which consisted mainly of a few humble cottages straggled along the shoreline and Fox Hall itself, a large late medieval half-timbered house belonging to the Tyldesley family[1].  By the end of the 18th century, however, the town had become a fashionable sea bathing resort for the wealthy, and the first visitor accommodation was built to meet this demand[2].

3.3    In the early 1820s the population, excluding visitors, was about 750.  The steady growth through the first half of the 19th century was focused along a one mile stretch of coastline.  However, further expansion was hampered by the town’s relative remoteness and patterns of landholding.  The town became more accessible from 1846 with the opening of the Preston and Wyre branch railway to Blackpool North station. 

3.4    By the 1870s the resident population of Blackpool was around 7,000 and visitor numbers were estimated at more than one million, as the decade saw the first large-scale visitor attractions promoted by entertainment companies, with large-scale theatrical presentations heralding modern show business. The first purpose-built theatre was the Theatre Royal (1868).  In 1871 the Raikes Hall estate was sold and the house and its extensive grounds became Blackpool’s first large scale entertainment centre which also offered indoor attractions.   The Winter Gardens opened in 1878, and by the 1890s Blackpool became the resort with the greatest number of attractions in Europe, crowned by the opening of the Tower in 1894.

[1] Eyre, Kathleen Seven Golden Miles Dalesman Books, 1989, p. 15

[2] Talbot   Square Townscape Heritage Initiative Conservation Area Appraisal  Paul Butler Associates, p.4

4.  Context: Historical development of Raikes

4.1    Raikes developed around two principal 18th century routes into Blackpool from the east and south-east.  Initially there were only a few isolated houses and an inn (the Old Number Three), along these routes.  Raikes Hall, with its landscaped grounds, was the largest building in the area.  Most of the surroundings remained open fields during the first three quarters of the 19th century. Some streets on the western edge of the area were laid out in the late 19th century as the town expanded eastwards from the seafront.

4.2    Yates’s map of 1786 (Appendix 1) gives an overview of the Raikes area in the late 18th century.  It shows the routes later known as Church Street running east-west and Whitegate Drive running north-south, with Raikes Hall in the angle of the two routes. A smaller building immediately to the east of the junction is almost certainly the inn known as the No. 3, or the Old No. 3 and Didsbury Hotel. 

4.3    Little seems to have changed by the time of the survey for Greenwood’s map of 1818.  The tithe map of 1838 (Appendix 2) is more detailed and shows Church Street and Newton Drive with a few scattered houses, Whitegate Drive which was wholly undeveloped, and a narrow route called Bonny Lane to the south of and almost parallel to Church Street running across the fields.  The most prominent buildings were Raikes Hall, set in its own landscaped grounds in the angle of Church Street and Whitegate Drive, and the building on the east side of the junction, identifiable as the No. 3 Inn, described as the ‘Old No. 3’ on the 1877 map.


Fig. 1 Image of Raikes Hall building
Fig. 1 Raikes Hall

4.4    Raikes Hall (fig. 1) was probably built in 1760 but may have been altered later in the 18th century, and was extended to the north in the late 19th century.  The Victoria County History of Lancashire recounts a tradition that it was built by a Mr. Butcher of Blackpool who ‘suddenly sprang into consequence from comparative poverty’.  The villa had a group of associated buildings, probably stables, coach house and so on.  The grounds were planted with undulating perimeter tree belts to give privacy and the qualities of aspect and prospect typical of late 18th and early 19th century informality in landscape design.  On Mr. Butcher’s death in 1769 the estate was bought by William Hornby of Kirkham.  The Hornby family left the district in 1860 and the hall became a convent occupied by the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus for several years until Layton Hill Convent was constructed.  The Daggers family then resided briefly at the hall before the estate was sold and developed into pleasure gardens. [3]

4.5    The house and grounds were bought by the Raikes Hall, Park, Gardens and Aquarium Company which laid out pleasure gardens from 1871.  By this time the town centre had expanded but there was still little development in the immediate area.  The complex became one of the town’s earliest large-scale attractions. Like the Winter Gardens, which were inaugurated soon after, part of the rationale was provision of indoor entertainment for inclement days.  The house was greatly extended, and a theatre built.   The 1893 map (Appendix 3) shows a large lake, a theatre and ornamental grounds.  Formal entrances were provided at important road junctions with the main entrance at the top of Raikes Parade and secondary entrances on Hornby Road and Raikes Road (now Church Street).  Raikes Parade (then called Raikes Hall Parade) had also been laid out by 1877.  It defined the western boundary of the pleasure gardens.

4.6    Hornby Road, which defined the southern boundary of Raikes Gardens, had also been laid out by 1877.  It formed part of the estate of Enoch Read, which also covered Read’s Avenue and Palatine Road.  Read bought 48 acres of land belonging to Bonny’s Farm in 1870 but died in 1875.

4.7    Another parcel of land between Whitegate Drive and Beech Avenue, which had been part of the Clifton estate, was bought by the Worthington family in the 1880s but this too remained undeveloped until after 1900.

4.8    As the big visitor attractions in the centre developed, Raikes Hall Pleasure Gardens became less popular, and its sale for housing in 1896-1901 was the catalyst for the development of the area as a fashionable residential suburban district.

4.9    Development followed swiftly and can be traced on the 1912 OS map (Appendix 4). Streets were laid out over and around the former pleasure grounds, while development of fields and plots in different ownerships intensified as the momentum increased.  Raikes Hall was retained but the ancillary buildings and pleasure grounds were completely cleared away and the lake filled in.  The old Grammar School (now a Salvation Army centre) had been built in the north-west corner of the area in 1904. 

4.10  The 1912 OS map (Appendix 5) shows that Read’s Avenue and Palatine Road had been laid out and were already partially built up, while Hornby Road, especially on the south side, was also being populated with houses.  The development of the Read’s estate was supervised by trustees who controlled the quality of developments to protect the value of the area (Walton, 1974, p.55).  Whitegate Drive was largely built up by 1912, with just one or two gap sites.

4.11  The block of streets in the north-east tip of the area of former Clifton lands between Bryan Road and Forest Gate had been laid out and substantially built up by 1912.

4.12  This development pattern has resulted in an attractive suburban residential area with a range of retail, educational and religious facilities.  The residential streets are densely developed with small front gardens, giving the area a unified spatial character.

[3] Eyre, ibid p. 31

5.  Character

5.1    Raikes can be summarised as a good, well-preserved example of a largely early 20th century suburb with notable religious buildings, almost all of which are of good or very good architectural and historical quality.  It is one of the best surviving areas of suburban housing in Blackpool and compares well with comparable areas of similar date elsewhere in the country.  Streets are arranged broadly in a grid pattern, which also reflects the presence of two less regular pre-19th century principal routes, Whitegate Drive and Newton Drive. Slight variation is owed to patterns of ownership and field boundaries.

5.2    Buildings are mainly terraced and semi-detached houses.  The hierarchy of housing suggests it was mainly aimed at a middle-class or aspirational working-class clientele with housing reflecting differing means within these broad groupings.  The fact that car ownership was anticipated is reflected in the provision of garages to some properties; off-road parking is facilitated by semi-detached or detached house designs.  

5.3    The area between Raikes Parade and Whitegate Drive is largely residential with houses and terraces mainly of early 20th century date which utilise a similar repertoire of building materials.  A hierarchy can be detected, with long terraces of less elaborate properties on Hornby Road, Read’s Avenue, Leeds Road and Liverpool Road, and a higher proportion of larger and more elaborate buildings including many semi-detached houses on Leamington Road, Lincoln, Leicester and Longton Roads.  

5.4    Whitegate Drive can be considered as a subdivision of the area.  It is a principal north-south route originating in a road shown on the Yates map, with shops, banks and some pubs which are largely for residents rather than visitors.  

5.5    The area east of Whitegate Drive which includes Beech Road, Forest Gate and Bryan Road (including the ‘tree streets’ to the south) was part of the Clifton estate, bought and developed by the Worthington family.  The distinction is reflected in the street names, where names of trees and rural features conjure up a desirable rural ambience in contrast to the more prosaic names of northern towns predominating in the central area.


Fig. 2 No 3 Whitegate Drive
Fig. 2 No. 3, Whitegate Drive

5.6    The Raikes area incorporates two of the oldest surviving buildings in the centre of Blackpool: Raikes Hall, a late 18th century villa, and the No. 3 Inn, a late 18th-century inn.  The buildings are good examples of differing treatments prevalent in the period. Raikes Hall has an elegant porch supported by columns, while the pedimented portico of the No. 3 (fig. 2) is somewhat cruder, reflecting the differing status of the buildings.  



Fig. 3 Historic House Sale Leaflet
Fig. 3 Historic Houses for sale leaflet

5.7    There is a hierarchy in terms of size and the degree of elaboration, but almost all the houses (except a handful of bungalows) are of two storeys.  Most houses conform to typical styles of the day, and almost all must have been put up to standard designs by builders.  Property advertising pages from the London Evening News in the 1920s and 30s, (Fig 3) (reproduced in Oliver, Davis & Bentley, Dunroamin The Suburban Semi and its Enemies, 1981) show houses of very similar design to those found in the Raikes area.


5.8    A range of places of worship appear to have been designed to cater for residents as well as visitors.  With the presence of the Synagogue and Reform Synagogue the area can claim to be a centre of Blackpool Jewry, and other major religious groups are well represented. 


5.9    The former Methodist Church on Raikes Parade is an example of Gothic Revival architecture which combines the use of Geometrical window tracery with

polychromatic treatment more common in Continental Gothic design (fig. 4).  Although the building is architecturally conservative for the date it is of high architectural quality and more elaborate than the average Methodist church of the period, particularly with regard to the use of a spire.  The adjacent former Methodist Sunday school is executed in broadly matching style. 





5.10  The Friends’ Meeting House opened in 1932 (fig. 5) is a single-storey building of classical inspiration, while the Reform Synagogue (fig. 6) is an unashamed mid 20th century design with little altered external appearance. 


Fig. 5 Friends Meeting House on Raikes Parade
Fig. 5 Friends Meeting House, Raikes Parade




Fig. 6 Reform Synagogue on Raikes Parade
Fig. 6 Reform Synagogue, Raikes Parade



5.11  On Leamington Road the grade II listed synagogue (fig. 7) is the oldest and most architecturally elaborate to survive in Lancashire (Greater Manchester and Merseyside excepted) executed in eclectic style. 


Fig. 7  United Hebrew Synagogue, Leamington Road
Fig. 7 United Hebrew Synagogue, Leamington Road












Fig. 8 The Old Grammar School (Salvation Army building)
Fig. 8 The Old Grammar School (Salvation Army building)

5.12  Educational buildings are important in the area, in particular the listed former Grammar School (fig. 8), a large and impressive structure with a landmark Baroque tower.






6.  Degree of completeness

6.1    The street pattern within Raikes is almost unaltered, retaining the form developed around routes present by the late 18th century, and completed by late 19th and early 20th century. A lesser historic track called Bonny Lane ran approximately on a line between Hornby Road and Reads Avenue.  Although it did not survive in its own right, its route forms the rear curtilage boundary of the east end of Hornby Road and Read’s Avenue.  At the west end (outside the proposed area) Back Read’s Road is laid over Bonny Lane.

6.2    The main change to the built environment since the mid 20th century in Raikes has occurred just beyond the proposed boundary.  This has been through the development of a relatively small number of blocks of flats, mainly by the private sector, used as private residences or holiday rental properties.  There has also been change to the detail of buildings on Whitegate Drive, with new shopfronts, partial rebuilding and modern fascias on commercial and retail premises.

6.3    On a smaller scale, the principal change has been erosion of detail, with loss of original joinery and windows, and replacement doors and windows of varied design.  This has spoilt the unity of groups and terraces but, on the whole, door and window openings are unaltered.  A modest level of rear extensions and garages has occurred, and also the removal of some frontage walls to facilitate parking.

6.4    Public buildings and places of worship exhibit a high degree of completeness and are in good condition.  Two 18th century buildings, the grade II listed Raikes Hall and locally listed No. 3 Inn, retain exteriors with many original features and are amongst a very small number of buildings of this date and type to survive in the Blackpool area.

7.  Materials and construction

7.1    Principal elements and roofing

The majority of buildings within Raikes are constructed of local brick.  Brick making was an important local industry, and clay pits are shown on late 19th century maps of Blackpool, to the east of the growing town.  By 1891 there were four brickworks in the town, including one only a few hundred yards north of Raikes Hall.  The brick is usually red but some yellow brick is also found and in the case of houses, the largest building category, a range of dressings and decorative materials was also used.  Terracotta, usually red but sometimes buff or yellow occurs, as does sandstone.  The former Methodist church and Sunday school is a good example of brickwork with contrasting dressings (fig. 4).             


Fig. 9  House at 214 Hornby Road
Fig. 9 214 Hornby Road

Rendered or pebble-dashed finishes are widespread, often in conjunction with decorative timbering.  Roof materials are mixed, with blue slate and red tiles both enjoying widespread use. 

The use of timbering, render and brickwork is particularly striking in 214   Hornby Road (fig. 9) where the palette is continued in the red of the roof tiles.


Fig. 10 House on Forest Gate
Fig. 10 Forest Gate

Terracotta is employed to good effect in many places, and there are good examples of houses with distinctive terracotta bow windows, for example on Forest Gate, Leamington Road and Raikes Parade (fig. 10).



Fig. 11 House at 136 Hornby Road
Fig. 11 136 Hornby Road

Many of the more elaborate houses have bay windows of stone, often painted. A particularly ornate example with liberal stone dressings is 136 Hornby Road (fig. 11).



Fig. 12 Houses with bay windows
Fig. 12 Houses with bay windows

The use of decorative timbering aping Tudor timber-framing is widespread, but often restricted to parts of the upper floor or just the gables, which typically have bargeboards, sometimes plain, sometimes carved (fig. 12)





7.2    Doors, windows and decorative ironwork


Fig. 13 Porthole window with pictorial leaded glass on Beech Avenue
Fig. 13 Porthole window with pictorial leaded glass on Beech Avenue

Almost all of the housing in Raikes (except that of the late 20th century) has bay windows.  Smaller and cheaper properties might only have one single-storey bay; larger properties often feature full height bays.  They are usually canted or bowed, and are very often of stone.   Other windows frequently have stone lintels and sills, and although the majority are straightforward rectangular openings, a variety of other treatments occur.  These include circular or porthole windows with leaded and coloured

Fig. 14 A Venetian-style window on Read’s Avenue
Fig. 14 A Venetian-style window on Read’s Avenue

glass popular in the interwar years (fig. 13), pedimented windows, oriels and even Venetian windows (fig. 14).


The survival of joinery from the interwar period is patchy, but almost all of the residential streets include some houses with original sash windows, and quite a number keep original glass, although this is sometimes altered in character by the use of secondary glazing.  The quality generally reflects social status.  Most surviving glass is brilliant cut and rolled glass with decorative panels of Art Deco or Art Nouveau derivation, frequently in the form of floral motifs. 

Treatment of door openings varies according to date and social status.  Earlier houses in the area have stone lintels, some treated decoratively.  Particularly elaborate

Fig. 15 House at No. 135 Hornby Road
Fig. 15 No. 135 Hornby Road

examples include 135 Hornby Road (fig. 15).  Some of the standard designs for interwar semis and terraces include arched entrances, often with a little terracotta elaboration, with recessed doors often modified with insertion of storm porches.  A relatively small number of original timber doors survive.  They include double panelled doors, those with panels with decorative glass and sometimes sidelights and over lights.

7.3    Shop fronts and fascias


Fig. 16 House at 43 Whitegate Drive
Fig. 16 43 Whitegate Drive

Shops are concentrated along Whitegate Drive where parades of shops were built in the early 1900s.  These would have been designed uniformly with matching shop fronts. Original shop fronts and glazing are now a rarity, although the locally listed no. 43 is an excellent example retaining recessed doorways, curved glass and leaded

Fig. 17 Little altered offices built c.1900 at the east end of Read’s Avenue
Fig. 17 Little altered offices built c.1900 at the east end of Read’s Avenue

transom lights (fig. 16).  Most shopfronts, however, are modern with deep fascias and strident signage, which has eroded the unity of the parades of shops.



Fig. 18 Former bank at junction of Leamington Road and Whitegate Drive
Fig. 18 Former bank at junction of Leamington Road and Whitegate Drive

Other commercial premises include professional offices and banks; some of these retain little altered frontages. Corner sites were usually chosen for banks and post offices, which are characterised by more expensive finishes and features, often using stone; these have been less altered (fig 17 and 18).


7.4    Signs and details


Fig. 19 Early 20th century street name signage, tiled letters in cast-iron frame
Fig. 19 Early 20th century street name signage, tiled letters in cast-iron frame

Many of the streets in Raikes have distinctive cast iron street-name signs, with individual letter tiles within a decorative frame (fig. 19). Others have panels with the whole name. These were probably introduced during a street-renaming programme in the 1920s and are an attractive addition to the street scene, compared with the plain design of modern street name signs.



Fig. 20 Ironwork balconies and bay cresting (left) on Hornby Road
Fig. 20 Ironwork balconies and bay cresting (left) on Hornby Road

Other architectural details include ironwork, used as cresting to bay windows, occasionally for decorative balconies (fig. 20 above), and more rarely as railings on low front boundary walls.


7.5    Boundaries


Fig. 21 House at 29-31 Leicester Road
Fig. 21 29-31 Leicester Road

Front boundary walls are an integral part of the street scene in all the residential streets in Raikes and are important to the linear horizontal qualities of views and coherence of property lines and frontages.  Most of the houses have relatively narrow front gardens, though there is variation, and some semi-detached houses are enclosed by walls on all three sides, for example 29-31 Leicester Road, fig. 21.



Fig. 22 Intact decorative brick boundary walls and gatepiers with terracotta details, Longton Road
Fig. 22 Intact decorative brick boundary walls and gatepiers with terracotta details, Longton Road

Walls are often of red brick and copings of terracotta are common (fig. 22), stone is used more rarely.  Gatepiers may be of brick or stone and standard designs are used on some terraces, for example those of Leeds Road.  Larger houses may include inscriptions with the name of the house on the gatepiers.  While most of these walls survive they are sometimes rebuilt or augmented by modern blockwork or railings.


In a few places the boundaries incorporate trees, especially on Raikes Parade.  It seems likely that they represent hedging trees which have become overgrown, but nevertheless they contribute welcome green accents where they occur.  Examples include 8-10 Raikes Parade (fig. 23) and trees in front of the modern flats known as Raikes Mews.


Fig. 24 Parking on frontages, Raikes Parade
Fig. 24 Parking on frontages, Raikes Parade

Walls have been removed in some cases, although this is still relatively unusual in the area, and occurs more frequently towards the west side, where gardens have been paved over for car parking, especially in areas where there is particular pressure on parking (fig. 24). This erodes the unity of street frontages, results in a loss of greenery and also increases run-off.  For the latter reason frontage parking is now subject to more planning control.  Rear property boundaries are also sometimes modified for the same reason, although having less impact on the character of the area.


7.6    Roads and footways

Principal carriageways are tarmac.  There is a hierarchy in the street pattern with Whitegate Drive, Newton Drive and Park Road being the main through routes and

Fig. 25 Setted rear alley next to the No.3 pub
Fig. 25 Setted rear alley next to the No.3 pub

defined as secondary distributor routes in the Local Plan.  Beech Avenue, Hornby Road and Forest Gate are also important routes carrying more traffic than residential side roads.  These through roads are characterised by a higher level of infrastructure for highways management such as guard rails, traffic lights, signage and highways lighting.

Rear lanes serving the rear of properties sometimes retain setted surfaces with a central gulley (fig. 25), though they have almost all been covered with tarmac.  These

Fig. 26 Rear alley and garages between Lincoln Road and Whitegate Drive
Fig. 26 Rear alley and garages between Lincoln Road and Whitegate Drive

lanes are generally in good condition, but some are affected by poor maintenance.  Galvanised alley gates have been installed on most of the lanes as part of crime prevention initiatives; however some alleys, particularly the one stretching between Lincoln Road and Whitegate Drive, are thoroughfares in their own right.  This lane is well used to gain access to groups of garages and to the rear of properties where parking areas have often been created (fig. 26).

Footways to the major streets are usually surfaced with tarmac or concrete paving slabs. There are some areas where stone kerbs survive, for example on Raikes Parade.

8.  Views and open spaces

8.1   Spatial character

The spatial character of the area is derived from a combination of the underlying topography, the pattern of superimposed development, the articulation of open spaces and the nature of through routes.  Raikes was developed for suburban housing at a medium density; houses are either semi-detached or in large terraces, mostly with front gardens.  The latter are important to the sense of space on streets, with boundary walls marking separation between private and public spaces.  In contrast to suburbs in many towns, most back gardens are very small and often no more than yards reached off tight back lanes.  The spatial character of private domestic areas to the rear of frontages is generally high density, although on the higher status roads, such as parts of Hornby Road, houses have large back gardens.  Main streets are often served by rear lanes. These have been gated in some areas, but a long rear lane which runs east from Lincoln Road to Whitegate Drive is unrestricted for access to rows of garages and parking spaces at the rear of the properties, where boundaries have been modified to improve parking.  In other areas where vehicular access is not as easy, rear boundaries are generally better preserved and still define rear alleys, for example north of Bryan Road.

8.2    Open spaces

There are few public open spaces within the area.  Relief from the dense urban grain on the south side of Church Street is provided by the area in front of the grade II listed former Grammar School (now the Salvation Army Centre), which appears as open land on historic maps and formed a setting for the main entrance to the Raikes Pleasure Gardens.   The space is affected by highways and traffic management but still forms an important setting to historic fabric including the locally listed former Methodist Church with a landmark spire, answered by the turret of the Grammar School.

The triangular space of Devonshire Square was the result of the road being realigned after Raikes Hall Gardens closed in the early 1900s and the tram track was laid along Whitegate Drive from Church Street on a gentle curve, cutting off the south-west.  The junction has historic origins and is marked by the historic No.3 pub.  The triangular traffic island was occupied by a traditional tram shelter until the mid 20th century; this was replaced by the existing flat-roofed WCs which are disused and now an eyesore.  The space is framed by attractive buildings on the south side but is now dominated by traffic management.  Both this and the area in front of the former grammar school provide gateways into Raikes and are historically important spaces.


Fig. 27 Bowling green behind Raikes Hall Pub
Fig. 27 Bowling green behind Raikes Hall

The grade II listed Raikes Hall (now a pub) is one of the oldest buildings in Raikes and probably the oldest in Blackpool centre.  Although the large attached bowling green is not a public open space, it contributes positively to the area around Raikes Hall and along Liverpool and Leeds Roads (fig. 27).  The visual qualities of the spaces around Raikes Hall are distinctive; the building is set back behind the 20th century building line, expressing its historic origins.



Fig. 28 View to west end of Leamington Road
Fig. 28 View to west end of Leamington Road

The linear street layout provides long views along the principal east-west streets: Leamington Road, Hornby Road, Read’s Avenue and Forest Gate.  There are views of the town centre with glimpses of the Tower from higher ground, and also framed views in both directions along terraces (fig. 28)       


Views are much more restricted in the shorter north-south streets, though Lincoln Road enjoys glimpses of the grade II listed synagogue from the north end. 

The hilly topography offers good views to the west into the centre of town and of Blackpool Tower.  The linear pattern of most streets allows for long views through the area, the most interesting views punctuated by larger scale buildings such as places of worship or by landmarks such as the Tower.  Building frontages frame views and enclose the public realm where built up to the back of the footway; along Whitegate Drive views are framed by parades of shops.

8.4    Historic and current uses

The principal historic uses for the buildings in Raikes are residential, in the form of terraces, semi-detached and detached houses.  A number of boarding houses, some probably purpose-built, can be found on the west side of the area nearest the centre.  An important aspect of the western side is the concentration of places of worship.  A Friends’ Meeting House, Methodist Church and Reform Synagogue on Raikes Parade are all still in use, though an independent church has taken over the Methodist church. Nearby on Leamington Road the Synagogue has recently closed.  Education buildings are also important, with the listed former Grammar School set at the western boundary of Raikes. 

The only shopping street is Whitegate Drive, where there is a range of shops, cafes, pubs and banks.  Apart from this the character of the area is homogenously residential, particularly on streets around Leamington Road and east of Whitegate Drive, with an almost complete absence of community buildings, pubs and shops.  Indeed, with the exception of Raikes Hall, the No. 3 Inn and the Belle Vue, all in existence before the area was developed, pubs are absent in the study area and there are very few shops away from Whitegate Drive.   (The Belle Vue was rebuilt in 1913 on the site of an historic inn).

9.  Architectural character of individual streets

9.1    Raikes Parade

The street is largely of positivecharacter, though there are some late 20th century blocks of neutral quality, specifically Raikes Mews and Priory Court.  Although the mid 20th century Reform Synagogue is later than other positive buildings, it is considered a reasonably good example of architecture of the date and the building has important historic and social history qualities.  Raikes Parade (formerly Raikes Hall Parade) runs north-south parallel to the north end of Park Road and includes a short spur running east-west opposite the grassy space in front of the former Grammar School buildings. The street originally defined the western perimeter of the Raikes Pleasure Gardens.  It is largely residential in character but includes three places of worship. The former Methodist church with its landmark steeple has particularly valuable architectural and townscape qualities, as well as having group value with neighbouring listed and locally listed buildings.

Apart from the places of worship, pivotal buildings include Nos. 8-10, largely unaltered late 19th century houses with original boundary walls (fig. 23). They occupy a sensitive street-corner site beside the Grammar School and are of local list quality.

There are a number of trees and shrubs in front gardens.  Survival of boundary walls is patchy, but some of these and original gatepiers survive in places.  Street surfaces are generally tarmac, and pavements are a mixture of tarmac and concrete slab with some areas of stone kerbing.

9.2    Leamington Road


Fig. 28 View to west end of Leamington Road
Fig. 28 View to west end of Leamington Road

A street of positivevalue overall.  The land occupied by the present road was within Raikes Hall Park until the park was acquired for housing development in the early 1900s. The 1912 OS map (surveyed in 1909-10) shows the road laid out, but most plots were not developed.  The only houses shown on the 1912 OS map are the terraces at the south-east end (Nos. 38-52).  The street was shown almost fully developed on the 1932 OS, with a few undeveloped plots on the south side between Leicester and The gently curving line allows for an attractive sequence of views, particularly towards the west where the former Methodist church, synagogue and former Grammar School frame the end of the road. The road slopes upwards from Whitegate Drive at the east end to Raikes Parade in the west (fig. 28).



Fig. 29 Varied group on the north side, Nos. 21-29
Fig. 29 Varied group on the north side, Nos. 21-29

Surfaces are tarmac with concrete kerbs; plane trees on the verges are important towards the east end.  The density of the street is lowest towards the west, with a mix of semi-detached, detached and terraced housing, the latter towards the east end (south side) and the earliest phase of development on the road (early 1900s).  North side of the street is lined with a continuous frontage of mainly semi-detached houses, with larger rear gardens than those to the south.  Most have replacement windows although Nos. 21 and 29 (fig. 29) stand out with terracotta bows and stronger details.  The south side is fragmented by side streets into small blocks, with Raikes Hall a prominent landmark, set back from the frontage.  Houses are generally red brick with rendered upper floors, 2-storey bow windows and gabled roofs.  Most date from the 1920s.  Some have retained attractive sets of leaded coloured glass or bevelled leaded glass, with some good examples of panelled doors with inset glazing or double outer doors to porches.  No. 37 is a double-fronted terrace built as a doctor’s surgery with the word SURGERY inscribed over the doorway.



Fig. 30 Gatepiers at Front of a House
Fig. 30 Gatepiers at No. 21

Short front gardens are important to the street scene, providing greenery and contributing to the spatial character of the road enclosed with low brick walls with brick and terracotta gate piers of varying design, some inscribed with the original name of the house eg. Nos. 21 and 29 (fig. 30).


9.3    Read’s Avenue


Fig. 31 Houses at 147 and 149 Read’s Avenue dated 1920
Fig. 31 Nos. 147-9 Read’s Avenue dated 1920

A street of positivevalue overall laid out on open land and first appears on the 1912 OS map and built up between circa 1900 and 1932.   A house around half-way along Read’s Avenue (Nos. 147-9) is dated 1920 (Fig. 31) in the gables.


The road runs east-west between Central Drive and Whitegate Drive, where the main intersections are busy traffic junctions.  In contrast to some of the shorter north-

Fig. 32 Flats, at 153-163 Read’s Avenue
Fig. 32 Flats, Nos. 153-163 Read’s Avenue

south streets it is a fairly busy through route for traffic.  The street is generally characterised by rows of terraced and semi-detached housing, which follow the local topography and rise to a point just east of the midpoint before falling down towards Whitegate Drive.  The views are linear, with glimpses of the Tower and town centre from the western side and views down towards Whitegate Drive from the top of the hill to the east.  Almost all the houses are considered to be positive, and many retain front walls and gatepiers.   A few have been greatly altered and are considered to beneutral (nos. 90-96 and 137) and one late 20th century block of flats (Nos. 153-163 Read’s Avenue) (fig. 32) is considered to be negative.


Fig. 33 House at 165 Read’s Avenue
Fig. 33 165 Read’s Avenue

A detached house on Read’s Avenue, No. 165 Northwood (fig. 33) is locally listed


9.4    Hornby Road

A road of generally positivecharacter which first appears on the 1877 map.  At this time some buildings (now demolished) associated with Raikes Hall Pleasure Grounds stood towards the east end.  By 1893 the road had been developed to the west (outside the study area).  Within the area there was a fireworks factory (now demolished) opposite the pleasure grounds and two pairs of houses (demolished).  In 1910 the east end of the road was described as one of the most desirable residential districts of the town where a quarter of the householders were retired or had private means (J.K. Walton, thesis, p.74).  However many of the large houses shown on the 1912 OS map which would fall into this category have been greatly altered or demolished.  The road was largely built up by 1932. 


Fig. 34 Views up Hornby Road from the east
Fig. 34 Views up Hornby Road from the east

Long views up and down the road, which rises from the west, can be obtained, with shorter rising views from the east end (fig. 34).  The density of the street has been affected by the replacement of a number of properties in the late 20th century with blocks of flats, and by a mid 20th century club.  These are largely of negativequality as they disrupt the street line and take forms which are generally alien to the character of the remainder of the street.  An exception is No. 177 (Hillcrest) a block of early 21st century flats which adopt traditional forms and materials and are of neutralquality.  Otherwise the Wainwright Conservative Club, Lawn Court, Hornby Park Court and

Fig. 35 214 Hornby Road
Fig. 35 214 Hornby Road

Lincoln Court can be considered to be negative, as is No. 167.  The former Eagle Club, now offices, has been greatly altered, in particular with respect to the forecourt.  Otherwise there are a number of positive terraces and semi-detached houses, as well as three houses of local listquality, Nos. 135, 136 and 214 (figs. 15, 11 and 35 respectively).


Street surfaces are generally tarmac, with tarmac pavements and concrete kerbs.  There is generally good survival of boundary walling, but there are instances where it has been lost or replaced in modern materials. A few houses have trees and shrubs in the front gardens which contribute welcome green character to some stretches of the road.

9.5    Liverpool Road and Leeds Road


Fig. 36 Typical terrace Houses on Leeds Road
Fig. 36 Typical terrace, Leeds Road

Streets of positivecharacter which first appear on the 1912 map, by which time they were largely built up.  These streets share many of the characteristics of others in the area, and are partly lined with early 20th century terraced housing (fig. 36).  One or two detached and semi-detached properties are also represented.


The distinctive shared quality of these streets is the fact that they form part of the boundary to the large bowling green associated with Raikes Hall, which stands at the north end of Liverpool Road.  The walls of the bowling green provide a distinctive note in the townscape and, although the bowling green is only visible from one or two openings in it, the sense of space and views along Liverpool Road towards Raikes Hall are important to local character and for historical associations with the pleasure grounds and the designed landscape which preceded them.  The bowling green can also be considered as an important part of the setting of the grade II listed building.  

Road surfaces are tarmac, and pavements generally of concrete slabs. 

9.6    Longton Road, Leicester Road and Lincoln Road

Streets of positive character which first appear on the 1932 map by which time they were largely built up.  These roads were laid out at approximately the same time within

Fig. 37 Houses at 19-21 Lincoln Road
Fig. 37 19-21 Lincoln Road

the former Raikes Hall Gardens.  They are lined with semi-detached and a few small detached houses of similar styles and materials of strongly positivecharacter.  The designs are standard for the day.  Views are restricted, though glimpses of Leamington Road can be obtained.  With few exceptions these streets retain boundary walls and cultivated front gardens; Lincoln Road has been planted with young trees.  Only three neutral buildings occur - on Longton Road late 20th century houses which do not, however, intrude in the local scene.  Some of the houses retain a good range of contemporary features, such as Nos. 19-21 Lincoln Road, a semi-detached house of standard design with original doors, windows and decorative glass (fig. 37).


Fig. 38 29-31 Leicester Road intact houses with possibly contemporary garage
Fig. 38 29-31 Leicester Road: intact houses with possibly contemporary garage

Some of the houses have what seem to be contemporary garages, especially on Leicester Road (fig. 38).  There is also a small group of bungalows on Leicester Road.


9.7    Whitegate Drive

An historic rural route shown on the Yates map and on the 1838 tithe map as the lane to Lytham from Church Street.  This map also shows the Old No. 3 (formerly also known as The Didsbury Hotel), a former coaching inn strategically located at the junction of the two historic roads.  On the 1877 town plan, buildings on the lane also included the Belle Vue Hotel and associated gardens.  By 1893 OS, Belle Vue Terrace (Nos. 2-20 and dated 1878) had been built just south of the Old No.3, the west side was then occupied by Raikes Park. 

By 1912 the road had been developed with parades of shops and businesses to serve the newly built housing on surrounding streets. The north end of the road had been realigned to allow the tram to run into the road from Church Street, with a shelter built on a fragment of the Raikes gardens that survives as an island on the junction with

Fig. 39 Houses 1-13 including bank on junction with Leamington Road
Fig. 39 1-13 including bank on junction with Leamington Road

Church Street.  The street is overall of positivevalue with some attractive groups of buildings.  Surfaces are all modern – tarmac and concrete kerbs.  Street trees are important on both sides.  On the west side, Nos. 1-13 is a parade of shops built soon after 1900 with a few original features.  No. 1 is now the Christian Science Reading Room with a stone porch, and No.5 has an intact bay, sash windows and a gabled timber porch.  No. 11-13 is a little altered bank on one corner of Leamington Road (fig. 39).  No. 15 is also a stone-fronted former bank on the opposite corner of Leamington Road (fig. 18) with nos. 17-29 forming a parade of shops.  Early 20th century shop fronts are retained at nos. 19-23.

Some ground floor elevations have been spoilt by modern shop fronts and fascias, for example Barclays Bank on the corner of Hornby Road.

Nos. 39-49 is a group which includes 199 Read’s Avenue, little altered commercial premises on the corner.  No. 43, the Sunshine Deli has a rare original early 20th century shop front with curved glass, leaded top lights and doors with tiled recesses.  On the east side, Nos. 2-20, (named Bellevue Terrace and dated 1878), are much altered with deep fascias to shops and rendered frontage to houses.  Nos. 22 and 24 are former houses, now in business use.  The post office on the corner of Bryan Road (26/28) has an altered shop front.  Nos. 28a –30 is an infill late 1930s detached house, now a dentist’s surgery but little altered.  Nos. 30-50 are large semi-detached houses with a corner bank (No. 50) probably built before WW1; all set back behind front gardens and most retain walls and gate piers.   No. 38 has sashes and a panelled door.

9.8    Beech Avenue

The whole street has positivevalue.  First shown on the 1912 OS map, Beech Avenue was laid out as a new road across former fields; it does not follow historic field

Fig. 40 Image of GR pillar box
Fig. 40 GR pillar box

boundaries.  This is fairly wide road running in a straight line uphill northwards to Newton Drive from the entrance to Stanley Park.  There are good views to the south from the brow of the hill near the junction with Bryan Road.  Spatial quality is low density with houses set well back with front gardens.  Beech Avenue is a busy through road used by buses, and with traffic lights at junctions.  The road surface is tarmac, with concrete paving kerbs.  There are no street trees.  Historic street furniture includes a GR pillar box (fig. 40) on the corner with Bryan Road.


Fig. 41 Minimally altered terraces at the north end, c.1910
Fig 41 Nos. 15-41 Little altered terraces at the north end, c.1910

There is a mix of house types including a long terrace Nos. 15-41 (fig. 41), first shown on the 1912 OS and the first development on the road.  No.35 Forest Gate is part of the same group with canted external stack with circular inglenook windows on corner.  Most houses have replacement windows. 


9.9    North-South Streets between Bryan Road and Forest Gate

Positive value is attached to all streets.  Myrtle Avenue, Maple Avenue, Poplar Avenue and Elm Avenue were laid out on a tight ladder grid c.1900, on land owned by the Worthington estate (formerly Clifton Charities land).  The streets run between Bryan Road to the north and Forest Gate to the south.  The topography falls towards the south, with terraces having stepped roof lines.  Terraced streets are little altered with front gardens and boundary walls intact, which presents a visually homogenous scene.  The streets are first shown on 1912 OS map when Myrtle, Maple and Poplar were all fully developed.  The 1893 OS shows the area as a large field. House types have subtle variations suggesting different builders responsible for development of blocks.  Towards the east side, Elm Avenue was only partly developed until the 1930s when the west side was finally in-filled – this side is first shown on 1938 OS.  The spatial quality is fairly high density in relation to the rest of Raikes, with blocks of terraces with small front gardens and back yards off narrow back lanes where there area two-storey rear gabled outriggers.  The plots are smaller and more densely developed than terraces on Bryan Road, reflecting the social status of the intended occupants – probably skilled working class or lower middle class.


Fig. 42 Typical cast iron and tiled street sign
Fig. 42 Typical cast iron and tiled street sign

The floorscape is generally tarmac road surfaces, and concrete paving with concrete kerbs.  Back lanes are setted, covered in tarmac. Linear views along back lanes are punctuated by gables of end terraces.  Street furniture includes tiled and cast-iron street signs (fig. 42).



Fig. 43 Terraces on the east side of Myrtle Avenue
Fig. 43 Terraces on the east side of Myrtle Avenue

On Myrtle Avenue small red brick terraces with Welsh slate roofs and ground floor bay windows are fairly plain but have coherence (fig. 43) although most joinery has been replaced with the exception of a few original doors (eg. No 4). Maple Avenue is similar to Myrtle but terraces exhibit slightly different details such as stone sill bands.  The higher status of the end terraced house is expressed by richer gothic stone door surrounds at No. 2, with foliated terminals. 


Poplar Avenue was built in two stages, with the east side comparable to Myrtle Avenue and the west side slightly later – the latter have some polychrome details and large gabled timber porches to each pair of doors.  Original sashes and door survive at No 12.  Elm Avenue is again of two phases with the east side similar to Myrtle Avenue, with ground floor bays and some original sashes and doors, for example at Nos. 13 and 15.  The west side developed in the 1930s with two-storey bows or bays, some gabled, such as Nos. 12 and 14. No. 10 has original leaded windows. The back lane to the rear of the east side has intact boundary walls and larger gardens compared with earlier houses.

9.10  Forest Gate


Fig. 44 Characteristic view along back lane looking west from Elm Avenue
Fig. 44 Characteristic view along back lane looking west from Elm Avenue

A street of positivevalue first shown on 1912 OS map when it was called Hornby Road East.  It was laid out as a new street across former fields but does not follow historic boundary lines.  Houses on the north side towards the west end were the first to be built c.1910.  All of the south side and north side towards the east end are later, probably inter-war and by the time of the 1932 OS survey the street had been renamed Forest Gate and was fully developed.



Fig. 45 Long view west along north side of Forest Gate, with Hornby Road beyond
Fig. 45 Long view west along north side of Forest Gate, with Hornby Road beyond

The road runs in a straight line uphill to the east between Whitegate Drive and Beech Avenue, with good views to the west (fig. 45) towards Blackpool Tower.  Spatially, the road has an open low density character, reflecting the relatively higher social status of this middle class residential road.  It also functions as a through route and is busy

Fig. 46 Little altered, well detailed terrace (Nos. 32- 40) on the north side, built 1920s
Fig. 46 Little altered, well detailed terrace (Nos. 32- 40) on the north side, built 1920s

with traffic; surfaces are modern with a tarmac road surface, concrete paved footways with concrete or stone kerbs.  The north side of the road is lined with short blocks of terraces relating to the short ‘tree’ streets running north, with larger semi-detached houses, similar to those on Beech Avenue further east (fig. 46).  The south side has detached or semi-detached houses of slightly later date. 



Fig. 47 Well-preserved details at No 1, built c.1920
Fig. 47 Well-preserved details at No 1, built c.1920

Front gardens make a strong contribution to the street scene with front walls and gate piers in brick and terracotta.  Towards the west end No. 2 is a little altered detached villa, probably of c.1900 which merits local liststatus.  Groups of terraces from Nos. 4-26 are of c.1910 with polychrome details.  Nos. 32-40 and Nos. 33-35 have well-detailed frontages with brick and terracotta bows, probably of interwar date.  Houses with original joinery include Nos. 1, 23, 31 and 35 (fig. 47). 


9.11  Bryan Road

A street of positive value first shown on 1912 OS map.  Bryan Road was laid out as a new road across a large field; its line does not follow a historic boundary or other feature.  Development began in the 1890s and is shown mostly built-up on the 1912 OS map with a few gap sites towards the east end (App. 6).  By 1932 the street is shown fully developed. 


Fig. 48 View west to Tower along north side of street
Fig. 48 View west to Tower along north side of street

The road runs uphill to the east from Whitegate Drive, with good views to the west towards Blackpool Tower, and then falls slightly to Beech Avenue (fig. 48). The carriageway is tarmac with concrete paving and concrete or stone kerbs. The back lane on the north side is setted, although now overlain with tarmac.


Fig. 49 Little altered terraces and garden walls (Nos. 30- 60), north side
Fig. 49 Little altered terraces and garden walls (Nos. 30- 60), north side

The social status of the road, in a Raikes context, is expressed in largely terraced, rather than semi-detached housing, though houses are well-detailed and have generous front gardens, particularly to the long terraces on the north side, facing south.  These houses are built slightly above the level of the road, reached by sloping paths and steps. A continuous run of brick garden walls with gate piers unifies the street and defines private gardens (fig. 49). 



Fig. 50 2-4 Bryan Road, an unusual example of a pair of semi-detached one and half storey houses with good details.
Fig. 50 2-4 Bryan Road, an unusual example of a pair of semi-detached one and half storey houses with good details.

Towards the west end there is an unusual pair of single-storey semis with gabled dormers, bays and polychrome brick details.  Nos. 2-4 (fig. 50) are notable.  Nos. 6-14 is a fairly plain terrace but retains little altered frontages and some sashes and panelled doors (eg. No. 6).  Nos. 16-28 is a terrace of varied designs, with original joinery at Nos. 22 and 24.  Nos 28 and 30, flanking Whitley Street, are slightly later infill.  Nos. 30-60 is a long terrace built in phases; the west half is the earlier, with polychrome brick to frieze, and fretted timber eaves.  Original details survive at No. 32.  Nos. 62-76 are interwar houses at the east end. 



Fig. 51 North side of Whitley Avenue
Fig. 51 North side of Whitley Avenue

Whitley Avenue is a short street of neutral valuerunning north off Bryan Road, and was developed in the early 1900s; the terraces are shown on the 1912 OS but the brick detached houses to the south end were built later, probably in the inter-war period.  The terraces are red brick and rendered with no bay windows, expressing their intended position lower in the social scale compared to Bryan Road (fig. 51).  They have small front gardens with low brick walls and gate piers.  Some stone paving survives on the footways.  The street is terminated by a fall in ground levels to the north.


On the south sideof Bryan Roadhouses are broken into short blocks by north-south cross streets, with short front gardens and back yards.   There is a mix of semi-detached houses towards the west end.  No. 5 has original leaded windows and door.  There are groups of short terraces to the east (Nos. 11-53); original joinery at Nos. 21-27 and 43-49.  The east end was developed later than the west (Nos. 43-53 first shown on 1932 OS map).

10. Summary and conclusions

Raikes can be summarised as a good, well-preserved example of a largely early 20th century suburb with notable religious buildings, almost all of which are of good or very good architectural and historical quality.  It is one of the best surviving areas of inter-war housing in Blackpool and compares well with comparable areas of similar date elsewhere in the country.  It is considered that the area bounded by Leamington Road, Bryan Road, Raikes Parade, Beech Avenue, Forest Gate and the east end of Reads Avenue merits being considered for designation as a conservation area.  The area is distinctive for a combination of suburban character and historic interest.  It incorporates two of the oldest buildings of Blackpool’s central area, the late 18th century Raikes Hall and the No 3 pub.  There are also places of worship and educational buildings of historic interest and architectural quality, some of which are listed buildings, and several buildings of Local List merit.  The area has a strong residential urban character which developed around historic north-south and west-east routes.  The townscape includes good views along key streets and westwards towards Blackpool Tower.

11. Next steps

On 21 July 2014 approval was received to hold a public consultation on the proposed designation of a Raikes Hall Conservation Area, the results of which will be incorporated in a report to the relevant Cabinet member for formal adoption of the conservation area appraisal.  This process will confirm designation.  Public consultation will be through publication of the proposal in Your Blackpool together with a meeting of local heritage groups.

Following designation a conservation area management plan will be produced which will include recommendations for heritage protection.   The plan will analyse what is positive and negative, and identify opportunities for beneficial change or the need for additional protection and restraint through the use of article 4 directions to remove a number of permitted development rights.  The use of article 4 directions would help to protect vulnerable features such as boundary treatments and original windows and thereby maintain the character and special quality of the conservation area. 


Appendix 1

Appendix 1 Detail of Blackpool from Yates Map of Lancashire 1786
Detail of Blackpool from Yates Map of Lancashire 1786



Appendix 2


Appendix 4 Detail of Tithe map 1838 from Blackpool Library
Detail of Tithe Map 1838 from Blackpool Library


Appendix 3


Appendix 3 Detail of 1893 Raikes Hall Park Area from Blackpool Library
Appendix 3 - Detail of 1893 Raikes Hall Park Area from Blackpool Library









Appendix 4


Appendix 4 1912 OS Map Showing Raikes Hall Development
Detail of 1912 OS Map, Raikes Hall Park area from Blackpool Library



Appendix 5


Detail of 1912 OS Map Showing East of Whitegate Drive
Detail of 1912 OS Map, East of Whitegate Drive