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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:37 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:55 pm
Posts: 175
My general observation is that most of us are guilty of going about our business taking no interest whatsoever in architecture that surrounds us. For the last year photographing the humble terrace plaque in the Burnley area has been one of my projects. Why terrace plaques? Primarily because it as never been done before and secondly because they represent a large part of our hidden local heritage.
An example of this plaque blindness was brought home to me when pointing my camera at a plaque at Duke Bar. A rather tall elderly gentleman stood next to me staring intently at the plaque. He was still staring even when I had finished. Feeling a little intimidated I commented that this was one on the oldest plaques in Burnley. “You know” he said “I’ve lived here all my life and never seen that!”
Terrace plaques are not just blocks of stone with names on them. They were often the original street address. Looking back at the development of the cotton towns most of our current primary roads were originally little more than country lanes with no definitive name. Consequently, a new terrace would in effect be the equivalent of our post code. Typically on Colne Rd Burnley nearly every terrace block has a different name. The whole system of terrace names becoming redundant as soon as the road obtained its official name.
Of course the builders soon spotted the advantage of giving their houses some upmarket name, Blenheim, Marlborough, Knightsbridge Grove and for the more erudite Shakespeare Terrace. The last one being perhaps the most sophisticated of all. (see photograph). The more common names of Jubilee Terrace, Victoria Terrace, Pendle View popping at regular intervals. Although the majority are simply the builders choice reflecting features of the local area or prominent people ie: Cromwell or Wellington there are instances where we may regard name as being a little “over the top”, Riviera Terrace, New Discovery Terrace, Perseverance Terrace. Burnley has approximately 150 terrace plaques not including finials or house names. Quite a lot to digest even for the most enthusiastic observer. Brierfield and Briercliffe are more manageable at 14 and 8 respectively.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:53 am 
Spider Lady
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:23 pm
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Location: Staffordshire
Wow! Shakespeare Terrace is very impressive!

I agree Plaques, we rarely look up although I do make a point of it doing so these days, particularly in areas of older buildings. There is a perfect example of this in my husbands family. His mum descends from a pottery manufacturer though the company went out of business decades ago. In our local town, there is a plaque bearing the name of the family. Something we were unaware of, despite the interest in genealogy, until about 10 years ago

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:28 am
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Location: Near Chorley
Thanks Plaques. When you pass by buildings, you should always look up, even on plain buildings it's surprising how ornate they can be under the gutters etc.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:55 pm
Posts: 175
One thing I forgot to mention is that people doing family history from out of the area would never know about these plaques. (see Mels comments) Its just one more of these small details that gives meaning to what they are doing.


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