Peg’s Cottage to Holy Trinity, Eccleshall

Turquoise painted window frames and the cheerful floral displays of Peg’s Cottage capture Eccleshall at its summery best.  This drawing continues the north side of the High Street concluding at No 80 where it meets Holy Trinity Church.

Peg's Cottage Eccleshall pen and ink drawing

Peg’s Cottage and 60 High St Eccleshall

This row of  cottages is unlisted but falls within the conservation area. At the time of writing, I have an exhibition up in Eccleshall Library of all nine of my Eccleshall street drawings.  It’s one half of a twin exhibition – Staffordshire streets are on display a few doors along at Gallery at 12.

I’m inviting people to add their own history to this archive/blog and I’ve been delighted by the response so far. Thank you to all those who have contributed! It’s all to easy to see history as big events but we all make history wherever we go.  Adding a few names and occupations brings life to these homes.

62 High St Eccleshall Ronnie Cruwys

62 High Street Eccleshall

pen and ink drawing of High Street Eccleshall

72 (left to right) 68, 66, 64 High Street, Eccleshall

The cottage with the red door belongs to No 68, where Martin and Julie Ratcliffe lived during the early 80’s until around 2013.  Martin is an architect and Julie works for the Fire Service. They raised their two sons here, Tom a GP in Yorkshire and Sam, an artist/record producer.

Next door (64/66) used to be two cottages where Mick and Jackie Murray lived for a similar period. Francesca, their daughter, now works for Staffordshire Police. The youngsters all went to Lonsdale School.

To see a photo of these cottages between 1890-1900, here’s a link to  Staffordshire Past Track where you can see them in the distance.

red brick house painting on Eccleshall High Street

72 High Street, Eccleshall

pen and ink drawing of 74 High street Eccleshall

74 High Street, Eccleshall     

No 74 is listed grade 2 and is described in British Listed Buildings online:

Mid C19 villa ornée. Engraved stucco; central projecting bay with gable having a blocked window at centre and a renewed window (with glazing bars) at either side; ornamental bargeboards. Ground storey has 2 later bow windows flanking a moulded wood doorcase with fluted pilasters and 6-panelled divided door, all under a tiled lean-to roof; projecting eaves; ornamental tiles.

76 High Street Eccleshall pen and ink artwork

76 High Street Eccleshall

No 76 is also listed grade 2 and British Listed Buildings on line  describes it:

‘Late C18. The core late C16 or early C17. Plastered brick with stone plinth;
gabled end to west partly of timber frame (exposed during restoration work,
1978); 2 storeys; 3 sash windows, the outers 3-light and the central with keyblock;
plain pilasters at sides with moulded caps; central pediment; moulded cornice
at 1st floor; moulded wood pilaster doorcase with pediment, part-glazed panelled
door, and stone steps up; plain eaves; tiles. The interior has some exposed
ceiling beams.’

78 High St

‘Ivy Mount’ 78 High Street, Eccleshall

In 1871, Ivy Mount was once home to schoolmaster Joseph Bernard. Staffordshire Past Track has a photo of a man standing outside the house – no name but the photo dates between 1890-1900. It also shows the ornate railings which have since gone, possibly during the war effort.

From British Listed Buildings Online:

‘Grade 2 listed.  Late C18. The core late C16 or early C17. Plastered brick with stone plinth; gabled end to west partly of timber frame (exposed during restoration work, 1978); 2 storeys; 3 sash windows, the outers 3-light and the central with keyblock;
plain pilasters at sides with moulded caps; central pediment; moulded cornice at 1st floor; moulded wood pilaster doorcase with pediment, part-glazed panelled door, and stone steps up; plain eaves; tiles. The interior has some exposed ceiling beams.’

80 High St

80 High Street

To see this building during the 1920-30’s, Staffordshire Past Track have a photo here.

Last of all, we reach the end of High Street where it leads into the boundary of  Holy Trinity Church and its grade 2 listed lychgate designed by the architect Basil Champneys in 1892.  From here High Street meets Church Street.

pen and ink drawing of Holy Trinity Church Eccleshall lychgate

Holy Trinity Eccleshall, Lych Gate

Staffordshire Past Track  has a photo which shows a clear view down the High Street  taken during the 1960’s.

I hope you can visit the twin exhibitions in Eccleshall on until the end of November. Eccleshall streets in the library and Staffordshire streets in Gallery at 12. All my Eccleshall drawings are available to buy as limited edition prints through Gallery at 12 or contacting me directly and all my drawings can be seen in full on my website Drawing the Street.

Thanks for reading,






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Perrys to Daru Chini, Stafford St, Eccleshall

Perrys the butcher drawing by Ronnie Cruwys

Perrys the Butcher in Eccleshall

Perry’s of Eccleshall, master butcher and game dealer, is in a fine 18thC building on the south east side of Stafford Street, the short length of road between two intersections.  Around the corner to the right was once the cattle market.

British Listed Buidings on line describe it:‘C18 with later alterations. Engraved stucco; 2 storeys; 5 modern casement windows; late C19 plain wood doorcase with small rectangular fanlight, modern glazed door and wood cornice hood porch on square pilasters with moulded caps; altered eaves on wood brackets. Projecting modern shop-front on left-hand side.’

If you look closely to the left of Perrys, at ground level, you may just notice the tip of an old milestone above a planter. It is listed grade 2, and thought to be early C19.

milestone listed Eccleshall

Listed milestone behind the planter and an old benchmark to the left.

historic milestone Eccleshall

7 miles to Stafford and 12 Miles to Woore

There was a period during the 18th century when stage coach travel became more reliable. The turnpike trusts had developed into a way of financing road improvements and Eccleshall was a convenient location on several different routes, including the main London to Chester road. The town and its coaching inns thrived, one of which was the King’s Arms.

pen and ink drawing of the kings arms historic pub in Eccleshall

Kings Arms, Eccleshall

The Ecclian Society has produced leaflets on the history of some of the town’s Pubs and Inns which are available in the local library. Reading up about the King’s Arms, ‘there has been an inn on this site since the 16th century and the half timbered facade conceals the original building once known as the Unicorn’. 

The inn was also a favourite with the locals and held an all day licence for the benefit of farmers attending the nearby cattle market.

Kings arms pub in eccleshall

Jan Baker walking past the well concealed historic milestone

Thanks to local historian Jan Baker who has been such a great help in bringing some of Eccleshall’s more hidden old features to life.

British Listed Buildings on line describes the Kings Arms: ‘C17 with later alterations. Two storeys, the ground storey red brick and the first storey a late C19 refronting of slam timber frame and plaster; gable on right-hand side; 4 late C19 small-paned casement windows, 2 with gables. Ground storey has 2 early C19 tripartite sash windows with a large C18 canted
bay window to right and plain doorway to left with modern brick porch; large brick stack; plain eaves; tiles. One storey wing on right-hand side having carriage-way with 4-centre stone arch and keyblock and semi-circular headed doorway to left. Two storey wing projects at rear. Interior has exposed ceiling beams and large ingle fireplace in room to right of entrance.’

Moving on from the old to the new – The Cooperative Food store. It appears to be on or near the site of a former school (Victorian Eccleshall by David Vincent, map page 21).  Does anyone know any more about the former use of this site?

Drawing of Eccleshall Cooperative Food store

Eccleshall Cooperative Food store

antique fire engine eccleshall coop

Old fire engine and artefacts on display in the Co-op window

There’s a photo from 1900 on Stafford Past Track where you can see the buildings which once stood here.

Looking at the Ecclian Society Historic Town Trail leaflet, it appears that the school was once in No 5, now home to Eccleshall Fish Bar. Note the stone crosses on the gables and the lovely fishscale rooftiles – apt! This was built as a residence for Roman Catholic nuns and used as a school room in the late 19th C. You can just make out this building in the photo in the above link.

pen and ink artwork of no 5 stafford street eccleshall

Last of all, we have Daru Chini Restuarant. Looking again at Stafford Past Track, there was once a rather grand doctor’s house standing next to this which was demolished to widen the junction with Stone Road and the High Street. You can also see a former view down the road here, from around 1910-20.

Indian restaurant Eccleshall

Daru Chini Restaurant, 3 Stafford Street

Before I sign off, I’ll be holding an exhibition of framed limited edition prints of all my Eccleshall Streets drawn so far, in Eccleshall Library from 1-30 November 2017.  Hope you can make it!

That’s enough from me and thanks for reading.



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32-56 High Street Eccleshall

56 High St Eccleshall

56 and 54 High St Eccleshall

Here’s another section along the north side of Eccleshall High Street. I’ve added the descriptions for each of the many listed buildings along this part of the street and added the link to the relevant page of British Listed Buildings online.

It would be interesting to learn a little more about who lived in these buildings, what they did and the changes of use that have happend over the years. I would love to hear from you if you can add a bit more life to this archive!

To see the drawing in full, please visit my website Drawing the Street, or if you live near Eccleshall, why not call in to Gallery at 12 on the High Street where there are some framed limited edition prints on display and available to order.

So to go into each of the buildings in turn on this drawing:

British Listed Buildings: “Nos 54 and 56: Early C19. Red brick; 3 storeys; 4 sash windows with flat brick arches; elliptical arch with stone key-block to carriage entrance. No 56 has moulded wood pilaster doorcase with slight cornice and doorway to No 54, which is on west side within yard, is a simple wood doorcase with 6-panelled door. C19 shop-front. Moulded wood eaves; tiles.”

Eccleshall High St

‘The Old Post Office’ 50 High St, Eccleshall, featuring local resident Dave Hall and his son.


Eccleshall 48 High St by Ronnie Cruwys

 48 High St, Eccleshall featuring Angela Smith, (left) one of the founder members of Staffordshire Artists Cooperative, @pearlysmith

British Listed Buildings:   “No’s 46 and 48 High St., Listed grade 2. Late C18. Red brick with stone plinth; 3 storeys; a large range in 3 bays with passageway in centre; 8 sash windows (single glazing bars and a C19 canted bay window on left-hand side tiered over 2 storeys. Right-hand section has moulded stone or stucco cornice and C19 hooded doorcase with hood supported on slender shafts. Left-hand bay has moulded wood pilaster doorcase with modillioned hood, rectangular fanlight, and modern door; moulded stone eaves with central moulded stone pediment with blocked circular light; tiles.”

Eccleshall High St

Eccleshall High St with local resident Caroline Burley taking photos of the people featured on this drawing.

Eccleshall 46 High St

46 High St, Eccleshall

Earth Selection and the Curious Wren 42 High St Eccleshall

Earth Selection and the Curious Wren, 42 High St, Eccleshall

British Listed Buildings: “No 42 High Street, listed grade 2, Early C19. Roughcast with stuccoed plinth; 2 storeys; one sash window and a canted bay window tiered over 2 storeys; moulded wood pilaster doorcase with ornamental fanlight, cornice hood and 6-panelled door; slates.”

High St Eccleshall Ronnie Cruwys

40 High St Eccleshall

British Listed Buildings:  “No 40 High Street “Listed Grade 2 Early C19. Red brick; 3 storeys; 2 sash windows with cambered heads; doorway with plain stuccoed cornice hood porch and part-glazed divided door; moulded wood eaves; tiles.”

Sean Hirst Flowers, 38 High Street

Sean Hirst going into his flower shop, 38 High Street

British Listed Buildings:  “Listed grade 2, 38 High St: “Late C18. Red brick; 3 storeys; 4 sash windows with cambered heads. Covered passageway on left-hand side and late C19 shop-front on right; moulded brick eaves; brick coped gables; tiles.”

38 High St Eccleshall Cruwys.jpg

Coverred passageway with date plaque of 1741

Eccleshall 36 High St '&Buttons'

Eccleshall 36 High St ‘&Buttons’

Listed Grade 2 British Listed Buildings: “36 High Street “Early C19. Yellow brick; 2 storeys; 3 sash windows with plain lintels; late C19 double shop-front (modern glazing) with a segmental-headed covered way at either side; plain eaves; tiles. Included for group value”.

Samuel Yates, 32 High St, Eccleshall

Samuel Yates, 32 High St, Eccleshall

I’m working on the next stage of this street at the moment, getting ready for an exhibition in both Eccleshall library and Gallery at 12 this November 2017.

Thanks for reading.


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7-17 Stone Road, Eccleshall

A row of two storey red brick terraced cottages lie on the south side of the Stone Road, close to Eccleshall town centre.  7-17 Stone Road were built during the mid 19th century and consist of ten dwellings. They are similar to the cottages closer to the town centre (no 12- 24) which were built a little before these.

7 Stone Road Eccleshall

7 Stone Road Eccleshall

9 Stone Road Eccleshall ronnie cruwys

9 Stone Road Eccleshall

In 2016 I received an email from a former resident of No 9 Stone Road. Mr Tom Renshaw  had received a birthday card from his niece which illustrated 12-24 Stone Road. Here’s the link to them over on Drawing the Street

Tom gave some insights into the earlier life of some of the buildings – the wooden fronted building used to be a corn merchant, ‘F.Gardner’ and the building next to it a bakery, ‘where we would buy bread fresh from the oven and eat it without butter or anything else’. When you reach 82, it was a prompt worth recording so I drew this section of the Stone Road to include Tom’s former home on the archive.

I will be holding an exhibition in Eccleshall library this November when I will be displaying framed limited edition prints of all the Eccleshall drawings so far. I am also asking for any insights into the lives of these buildings to add to this archive. Look forward to hearing from you and hopefully meeting some of you!

11 Stone Road Eccleshall drawing

11 Stone Road Eccleshall

13 Stone Road Eccleshall artwork by Ronnie Cruwys

13 Stone Road Eccleshall

15 Stone Road Eccleshall pen and ink drawing

15 Stone Road Eccleshall

17 Stone Road Eccleshall

17 Stone Road Eccleshall

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Lord Combermere and the Crown of Audlem

the Lord Combermere, Audlem, artwork painted in pen and ink

The Lord Combermere, Audlem

The Lord Combermere Audlem, is a family run pub and has a regular entry into the Good Beer Guide. It’s situated at the intersection of Audlem’s two main roads, one of which was the Market Drayton to Nantwich turnpike road and is considered to be the oldest part of the village.

The pub predates both the Shropshire Union Canal and the Nantwich to Market Drayton Railway.  The pub’s name relates to Stapleton Cotton, the first Viscount Combermere.

From a google search this evening, I can find that in 1850 this pub was owned by a John Dutton and the landlord was John Prince. Do you know of any other historical insights to include here? If so, I would love to hear from you.

drawing of the Square, fromerly the Crown Audlem

The Square, formerly The Crown, Audlem

The Crown is a grade 2 listed building, built in the late 18th or early 19th Century.


drawing of Crown Courtyard, Audlem

Crown Courtyard, Audlem

Adjacent to the Crown, this more recent development was built on the site of a former stables and coach house.

crown mews red brick building in Audlem Square

The Crown Mews, Audlem

The drawing can be seen in full here on my website Drawing the Street where you can order limited edition prints. They are also available to see and or buy from Williams of Audlem.

Thanks for reading


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49 Cardinal Cap Alley, 51 and 52 Bankside

pen and ink drawing of Cardinal cap Alley by ronnie cruwys

49 Cardinal Cap Alley, Bankside, London


Cardinal Cap Alley and Bankside are tucked between the Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern on London’s South Bank.  I was intrigued to read the plaque on number 49 which looks fairly convincing but it turns out it isn’t exactly true.

christopher wren plaque cardinal cap alley


The writer and historian Gillian Tindall delved into the history of this building in her book ‘The House By The Thames: and the people who lived there’.

49 Cardinal's Wharf, Bankside

So who really lived here?

From her book, No.49 dates back to 1710 (now the oldest house on Bankside) the same year St Paul’s Cathedral was complete. This makes it highly unlikely that Sir Christopher Wren lived here during the construction period.

That said, Tindall believes the plaque originally could have stood on the actual house that Wren did live in, but a few houses east – situated where a modern block of flats stands today behind the Founders Arms pub. It is also likely that the owner of the property retrieved the plaque in 1945 when the original Wren building was demolished and placed it in turn on No.49. Tindall suggests that this simple act may have been the one thing that saved this building from all the demolition that went on in later years.

coat of arms cardinals wharf

There is a coat of arms above the door to no 49 which depicts what looks like crossed antlers on a blue background above three canon balls on a yellow background on a shield. To the right,  three ravens/crows sit below a five pointed star on a grey background, over a diamond shape. Both shields sit beneath a crown.  Do you know who might be associated with this coat of arms?

coat of arms

Coat of Arms above the door of No 49 Cardinal Cap Alley

red brick Georgian architecture of Bankside London

No 51 Bankside, London

Reading the blog written by Memoirs of a Metro Girl the author notes that this building dates back to 1712 and no 51: ‘was named as Provost’s Lodging in the 20th century, with the future Bishop of Salisbury, George Reindorp living there after the war-damaged No.50 and No.51 were purchased from Bankside power station in 1957 (who had owned them for 20 years) and knocked together. Due to its location, Bankside was not an appealing place to live in the 1960s and 1970s due to the constant humming noise from the power station.’

red brick georgian architecture bankside London

52 Bankside, London

Do you have any insights into the lives of any of these three buildings? I would love to hear from you.

Signed limited edition (set of 50) mounted prints are now available to order, presented in ivory white double mounts 16″ x 12″ for £70 each.  If you would like to see the drawing in full please visit 

Thanks for reading.


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Leek: 54 to 76 St Edward Street

Sherratt and Reece Framers

76 to 78 St Edward Street, Leek

Driving into Leek along the A53 from Stoke, you catch sight of the striking black and white profile of the Victoria Buildings on the left hand side. Turn the corner from Broad St (A53) into St Edward Street and you will find the home of Odeon Antiques on the ground floor and Sherratt and Reece,  picture framers above.

This building (grade two listed) dates back to 1897. It was designed by James G Smith for Henry Bermingham, a local silk manufacturer. Warm red ashlar construction to the ground floor, with black and white half-timbering above, all under a plain-tiled roof and the amazing Leek style chimney stacks which are described in their listing as: “End wall and axial stacks, all with star-shaped shafts and corbelled caps”.

serving Monmouth coffee on Burleighware

No’s 70 and 72 St Edward Street, with Spout Coffee Shop in Leek

Next along is Number 70 and 72, an early 19th century, red brick three story building where 70 is home to Spout Coffee Shop. From the listing information, it is grade two and “The building has been subdivided internally to the left of the entrance hall, and No.72 is now entered from a side door, approached through a doorway in stone architrave to the left of the building.”

The choice of Spout’s name for their coffee shop is an apt reference to the former name of this street: ‘Spout Street’ .

From the British History website, Leek’s name may “derive from either the Old English lece or the Old Norse loekr, both meaning brook.  The brook was perhaps the stream called the Spout Water running down what is now Brook Street (formerly Spout Lane) and the north side of Broad Street, or its tributary which ran from a spring in St. Edward’s churchyard down the west side of St. Edward Street (formerly Spout Street).”

norman Shaw Leek Spout hall

Nos 66 and 68 St Edward Street, Spout Hall 1873

‘Spout Hall’ was once possibly two dwellings but it is  now subdivided as flats. The year 1873 is inscribed in the sandstone above the left hand door and the design is attributed to the architect Richard Norman Shaw who favoured reviving vernacular materials like half-timber and projecting gables and tall chimneys.  It is another grade 2 listed building.

drawing of red brick georgian building leek

64 St Edward Street

Look closely towards the eaves of this red brick three storey building and you will see a date on the rainwater head: 1747. It also has the letters ‘LSM’ – any ideas what this stands for?

British History online writes:

“In St. Edward‘s Street no. 64, with rain-water hoppers dated 1747, has a brick front which rises to three full storeys; it contrasts with no. 62, dated 1724, which has an ashlar front of two storeys with attics. The more important houses built after the middle of the century are generally of three storeys and have parapets. Most have a moulded stone cornice, whilst the smaller houses have a wooden cornice or no cornice at all.”

leek rainwater hopper st edward street

Date on rainwater hopper

So looking at No 62 next:

artist drawing of building dated 1724 Leek

Double fronted No 62 St Edward Street, Leek

This building threw me a bit of a curve ball. It is actually all one building, and dates back to 1724, the year that Johann Sebastian Bach’s “St John Passion” had its premiere in Leipzig.

From the listing description: “The left-hand part of the building is a later refronting of an earlier structure: brick, but render in gable walls, and steepness of roof pitch suggest possible timber-framed core.” This move to resurface the exterior of the earlier building with brick reflects the changing architectural styles of the time and was probably due to the growing prosperity of certain inhabitants connected with the silk industry.

It’s worth taking a closer look at the finer details including fleur de lys and what could be stag motifs on the brackets holding the rainwater pipe. These could be clues to the people associated with this earlier life of this building.

Black and white half timber framed building in Leek

No 60 St Edward Street, dated 1883

rainwater pipe no 62

Details on the rainwater pipe brackets of No 62

Black and white half timber framed building in Leek

No 60 St Edward Street Leek

From the listing description (grade 2), No 60 is said to have been built for a member of the Sleigh family and appears to have been intended to include retailing from the outset.

There is an inscription ‘Les Hetres’ (beech trees) above the door and a date of 1883. Once again we see these flamboyant chimney stacks described as “moulded brick forming star-shaped shafts with stone caps”.  The building is considered possibly the work of William Sugden & Son of Leek.

red brick georgian building leek

58 and 56 St Edward Street

This pair of brick built houses was possibly originally designed to include shops and built around 1800. It is now in use as Joanne’s Hair Studio and One Little Daisy Photography  with accommodation over.

It still has the cast iron spear-head railings to the front.

photo of cast iron railings in Leek

Spearhead railings outside One Little Daisy

georgian building bowcock and pursaill leek

54 Edward Street Leek

Originally built mid 18th C as a house, this is now in use by the solicitors Bowcock and Pursaill.  There were some late C19 additions, probably by Larner Sugden, made to the rear.  It is listed grade 2.

The repeating motif of a fleur de lys on the rainwater bracket

The repeating motif of a fleur de lys on the rainwater bracket

The closer you look at these buildings the more you find.

The drawing can be seen in full on my website Drawing the Street and limited edition signed prints are available to view and buy from Sherratt and Reece above Odeon Antiques at No 76 St Edward Street.

I would love to hear from you if you can share any insights into the lives of these buildings and their occupants. Please get in touch!

Thanks for reading,








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