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 www.drawingthestreet.co.uk 

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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1-29 York Street, Leek

pen and ink drawing with egg tempera wash

Bury and Hilton, Surveyors, No 1 York Street, Leek,

Leek is a delightful market town, lying at the meeting point of several ancient routes in the middle of the Staffordshire Moorlands. It’s streets are full of history and it can trace its origins back to a Bronze age settlement.

pen and ink drawing with egg tempera wash

No 3 York Street

For this street drawing I’m not looking so far back, just a hundred and sixty or so years ago.  York Street, together with Market Street, Silk Street and Deansgate, were all laid out in 1855, possibly to provide accommodation for workers in Leek’s growing silk industry.

5 and 7 York Street Leek Staffs pen and ink drawing

5 and 7 York Street Leek Staffs

I would love to know more about who lived here when the terrace was first built, what the occupants did, their families and so on.

This blog aims to record local history associated with the places I draw. Please get in touch if you can shed any light on their history, I would love to hear from you!

The drawing of the entire street is now available to buy as a fine art limited edition print, unframed for £75. The print run of the York Street drawing is small, only 30 prints in total, at 60cm long. If you would like to see the street drawing and live in or near Leek, Sherratt and Reece, the framers above Odeon Antiques on St Edward Street stock and frame these prints.

If you would like to order a print from me directly, please get in touch with the form at the end of this post.

Pen and ink drawing of architecture in Leek

9 and 11 York Street Leek Staffs

Flowers on York Street in Leek

13 and 15 York Street Leek Staffs

17 and 19 York Street Leek Staffs drawing in pen and ink

17 and 19 York Street Leek Staffs

21 and 23 York Street Leek Staffs drawing in pen and ink and egg tempera

21 and 23 York Street Leek Staffs

25 and 27 York Street Leek Staffordshire

25 and 27 York Street Leek

29 York Street Leek Staffordshire

29 York Street, Leek

To see this and another drawing of Leek, please visit Drawing the Street

Thanks for reading.


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Fenton: Hitchman Street and Victoria Road

Fenton Thumbnail cruwys.jpg


Hitchman Street is located in Fenton, one of the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent. Hitchman Street Conservation Area consists of thirteen red brick terraced dwellings and a shop which hinges around the corner from Victoria Road. The buildings date from 1889 and there is a date stone of 1890 to mark their completion. Another terracotta stone bears the monogram ‘WMB’. From the conservation area appraisal:

“William Meath Baker was the absent owner of an adjacent pottery, inherited from his Uncle, William Baker. William Baker’s sister (Aunt of WMB) was called Hitchman when she married, hence the name of the Street.”

No 9 and 11 Hitchman Street Fenton

No 9 and 11 Hitchman Street Fenton

No 11 marks the end of the terrace where it leads down towards Fountain Street.

No 7 Hitchman Street, Fenton pen and ink drawing

No 7 Hitchman Street, Fenton

Number 7 Hitchman Street was once home to the Hammersley family:  Samuel, his wife Mary and their only son Charles Meakin Hammersley. Looking at the records, Charles was a Staff Sgt in the 1st North Midlands Royal Garrison Artillery who was killed in France almost 100 years ago to the day. His death was recorded on 7th July 1917,  age 38. His father lived for only four months after and he passed away on 17 Nov 1917, aged 74.

Mary Hammersley however, must have had a strong constitution as she endured another war and died some 32 years later on 24th Nov 1949, aged 98.

Derek Scragg has collected a large number of memorial inscriptions from Stoke-on-Trent and surrounds, and his most up-to-date transcriptions, with maps and photographs can be found on his site of North Staffordshire Headstone Inscriptions

5 Hitchman Street fenton by Ronnie Cruwys

No 5 Hitchman Street, Fenton

3 Hitchman Street cruwys

No 3 Hitchman Street

No 1 Hitchman Street cruwys

No 1 Hitchman Street Fenton

Detail of some of the terracotta tiles seen high up in the gables.

Victoria Road and Hitchman Street corner

Victoria Road and Hitchman Street corner

32 Victoria Road by Ronnie Cruwys

32 Victoria Road

34 Victoria Road

34 Victoria Road

36 and 38 Victoria Road

36 and 38 Victoria Road, Fenton

40 and 42 Victoria Road

40 and 42 Victoria Road

44 and 46 Victoria Road

44 and 46 Victoria Road

Do you know of any one who lived along here? Would you like to share any history to be included here? Please get in touch as I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading


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