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Preston’s Most Impressive Listed Buildings

Preston is home to a staggering 770 individual listed buildings, ranging from controversial Brutalist architectural constructions to classic Gothic revival churches, this city is full of history.

With a huge selection of historic buildings and architecture on offer, we’re not surprised this city is fast becoming a top tourist destination. Over the past few years there has been an ever growing increase in tourism which shows no sign of slowing down!

If you love the history and heritage of Preston as much as we do, check out our selection of Preston’s most impressive listed buildings.

St Walburge’s Church


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St Walburge’s Church is a Roman Catholic church in Preston, located northwest of the city centre on Weston Street.

The Grade I listed venue was built in the mid 19th century by the Gothic revival architect Joseph Hansom, designer of the hansom cab, and is famous for having the tallest spire of any parish church in England.

An outstanding building by an ingenious and imaginative architect, St Walburge’s is one of Preston’s greatest historic listed buildings.

From Autumn 2014, Michael Campbell, Roman Catholic Bishop of Lancaster, the church was be entrusted to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest as a shrine for Eucharistic Devotion.

The Shrine Church was officially opened on 27 September 2014, with a High Mass celebrated by Gilles Wach, Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King, in the presence of Bishop Campbell.

Harris Library, Museum and Art Gallery


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In the 19th century, it became legal to raise money for libraries by local taxation, and the town of Preston wanted a grand museum and library for its inhabitants.

From 1850, local people held fund-raising events to try and gather enough money to fund a free library and museum. However, it was not until 1877 that a bequest by the Preston lawyer, Edmund Robert Harris, made the idea of a free library, museum and art gallery a reality.

Edmund Robert Harris left £300,000 to Preston Corporation in memory of his father, the Reverend Robert Harris, who had been vicar of St George’s Church for 64 years.

In 1879, the first Preston lending library was set up in the Town Hall basement, while a public museum was set up on Cross Street, opening 1 May 1880. Success led the council to erect a new building for both. Work started on the museum in 1882 during the Preston Guild, and it officially opened in 1893.

Today, this grandiose Grade I listed building stands on Market Street and is a jewel in Preston’s crown.

Preston Cenotaph


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The Preston Cenotaph stands proudly in Market Square, a monument to soldiers from Preston who perished in World War I and II.

Unveiled on 13 June 1926, the memorial is Grade I listed and was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott with sculptural work by Henry Alfred Pegram.

The monument’s main feature is a figure of “Victory” whose arms are raised, holding laurel wreaths in either hand. At the very top of the monument there is an empty coffin with cherubs and strands of foliage carved around it.

The main inscription reads: Be ever mindful of the men of Preston, Who fell in the Great Wars, 1914–1918 1939–1945, This land inviolate your monument.

St Joseph’s Orphanage

St Joseph’s reportedly opened in 1872 as an orphanage for Roman Catholic girls following an endowment from Mrs Maria Holland, a local Catholic woman who died six years later.

On the eastern side of, and immediately adjoining, the Orphanage, there is “St Joseph’s Institute for the Sick Poor.” This building, which has its front in Mount-street, was erected out of funds bequeathed for the purpose by Mrs. Holland – the lady who erected the Orphanage; and it was opened in 1877.

Today, the magnificent structure still stands as one of the most famous listed buildings in Preston.

Museum of Lancashire


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The Museum of Lancashire is housed in a Grade II listed former quarter sessions house in Preston.

Designed by Thomas Rickman in the Neo-Classical style, building of the courthouse began in 1825 and is now one of the oldest remaining listed buildings in Preston.

The Museum draws on the collections of Lancashire County Museum Service to provide an overview of Lancashire history and heritage told through objects and stories of Lancashire residents.

Miller Arcade


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Preston’s first ever indoor shopping centre was designed to echo the Burlington arcade in London, one of the most inspirational in the capital city.

Built in the late 1890s by Nathaniel Miller, it was designed to be safety conscious and fireproof, even winning an award for the latter.

In the Victorian period, Miller Arcade housed Turkish Baths from 1901 until 1947.

The arcade was refurbished in the 1970s and is now a Grade II listed building with many shops starting to move back into the impressive building.

Sessions House

Designed by Manchester architect, Henry Littler, in the Edwardian Baroque and constructed of sandstone, Sessions House is a courthouse on Lancaster Road.

A Grade II* listed building, it was built between 1900 and 1903 as a venue for the Quarter Sessions and Assizes. It is still used as a courthouse today as well as being an administrative office for Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service.

The tower makes Sessions House one of the tallest buildings in Preston rising to 54.7 metres (179.5 ft).

Fulwood Barracks


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The barracks were built between 1842 and 1848 as a base for the 2nd Battalion 60th Rifles following the chartist riots.

In 1873 a system of recruiting areas based on counties was instituted under the Cardwell Reforms and the barracks became the depot for the 47th (Lancashire) Regiment of Foot and the 81st Regiment of Foot (Loyal Lincoln Volunteers).

Following the Childers Reforms, the 47th and 81st Regiments amalgamated as the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with its depot at the barracks in 1881.

The barracks also served as the depot of the East Lancashire Regiment from 1898, when the regiment re-located from Burnley Barracks, until 1939.

The barracks, which went on to become the regional centre for infantry training as the Lancastrian Brigade Depot in 1960, became the depot of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment in 1970 as well as Headquarters North West District in 1977 and then the headquarters of 42 (North West) Brigade in 1991.

The keep, and 15 other buildings and structures in the barracks, are Grade II listed buildings.

Former Preston Conservative Club, Guildhall Street

Built in 1878 in the neo Elizabethan style, this impressive building is Grade II listed and was the former Preston Conservative Club.

It became a cocktail bar and restaurant called Fives and gained quite the reputation in Preston until it closed in 2006.

It re-opened in 2007 as the Cocktail Factory in the basement, and became Vintage Bar and Priory Bar upstairs.

Finally, the building closed in 2011 and was purchased by Edgar Wallace in 2012 who has began planning to transform it into a casino.

Tulketh Mill


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Tulketh Mill is steeped in history, built in 1905 at the height of the cotton boom, this Grade II listed building was one of Lancashire’s most notable former spinning mills.

Tulketh Mill survived for many years with its original purpose. By the end of the 1960s, however, Lancashire’s cotton industry entered terminal decline, and the whole future of the building came into question.

The Lancashire Evening Post reported on a campaign to save the mill, but it wasn’t until Littlewoods, the catalogue company, came to the rescue in 1968 that the future of the mill was assured. Littlewoods was based here for over 30 years.

Carphone Warehouse’s links with Tulketh Mill began towards the end of 2005 when the company sought planning permission to set up a new call centre.

Today, there are plans for flats and shops to be built within the large listed building.

Chingle Hall

Chingle Hall is a Grade II listed 13th century manor house in the township of Whittingham near Preston.

Originally, the land where Chingle Hall now stands was owned by Ughtred de Singleton from around 1066. In 1260 Adam de Singleton built a small manor house known as Singleton Hall.

It was surrounded by a moat and the studded oak front door was accessed via a small wooden drawbridge, which was replaced in the 16th century by a brick-built bridge. The door and bridge have survived to this day.

One of the oldest listed buildings in Preston, the hall, renamed Chingle Hall, remained in the possession of the Singleton family until Eleanor Singleton, the last of the line, died in 1585.

The current owner is an eminent professional person and local historian who has carried out detailed research into the history of Chingle Hall and the families who have lived there since its construction.

The house contains a small private chapel, complete with priest holes, and has been home to several alleged episodes of paranormal activity.

Preston Bus Station


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Perhaps a controversial choice when you think of listed buildings, however there’s no doubt that Preston Bus Station is impressive.

Granted Grade II listing in 2013 when it was facing demolition, the bus station has been previously described as one of the world’s most treasured locations by the World Monuments Fund.

It has divided opinion since its inception, being labelled an eyesore by the city council’s former leader, Ken Hudson, however it has become a focal point in the city centre.

The station was built between 1968 and 1969 in the Brutalist architectural style. The building’s engineers, Ove Arup and Partners, designed the distinctive curve of the car park balconies. The edges are functional, too, in that they protect car bumpers from crashing against a vertical wall. The cover balustrade protects passengers from the weather by allowing buses to enter beneath the lower parking floor.

Today, Preston Bus Station is set to be transformed into a youth centre, with planning permission accepted in 2015.

Old Post Office

Last but certainly not least is Preston’s iconic former Post Office, one of the city’s most impressive listed buildings.

In the early 19th century and up to around 1854, Preston’s only Post Office operated from a small building at the southern end of a terrace of butcher’s shops, known as The Shambles, on Lancaster Road.

With continued growth of the postal service there was a great demand for a larger building for the headquarters. In 1903 this beautiful building was completed and known as the Preston Head Post Office.

In 2005, the Post Office moved from the building to Theatre Street, leaving it empty for many years.

However, recently luxury hotel developer Signature Living, the company behind Liverpool’s historic 30 James Street and the football-themed Shankly Hotel, have submitted plans to turn this stunning Grade-II listed building into a boutique hotel that will follow the same brand as The Shankly Hotel in Liverpool.

The ambitious proposals include 60 rooms, a restaurant and bar, a spa and pool and a function suite for weddings and celebrations.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to some of the most beautiful listed buildings in Preston, if there are any you haven’t seen, why not visit them this weekend!