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A Grade II Listed Building in Cronton, Knowsley

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Latitude: 53.3911 / 53°23'28"N

Longitude: -2.7509 / 2°45'3"W

OS Eastings: 350156

OS Northings: 388517

OS Grid: SJ501885

Mapcode National: GBR 9Y77.73

Mapcode Global: WH87J.Q173

Entry Name: Wayside

Listing Date: 17 July 2012

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1410214

Location: Cronton, Knowsley, WA8

County: Knowsley

Civil Parish: Cronton

Built-Up Area: Widnes

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: Farnworth St Luke

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool

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House, probably C17 with an C18 rear extension and later alterations. Mainly constructed of dressed local red sandstone with some later, mellow red-brick replacement believed to have been inserted following fire damage, brick chimneystacks, slate roof, two storeys


PLAN: Wayside consists of a linear, 2-storey, 3-cell range with a lobby-entry plan. The central and eastern rooms appear to have originally been heated, with heating being added to the ground floor western room later. Attached to the north side, and forming an irregular L-shape, is an C18, 2-storey, cross-gabled range (the western half of which is not accessible internally from the rest of the building) incorporating the main stair, and a late-C19/early-C20 lean-to porch. Attached to part of the south side of the building is a mid-late C20, flat-roofed, single-storey extension, which is not of special interest.

EXTERIOR: the C17, 3-cell range is constructed of dressed sandstone blocks of varying size and has quoining to each corner with tooled stonework. Changes in stonework, window positions, and the internal roof structure confirm that the building's roof has been raised on two separate occasions; the first time taking place at some point between the building's construction and the addition of the C18 north range, and the second time, which only involved raising the roof on the north side of the building, taking place when the C18 north range was added.

The C17 range's principal south elevation faces a large garden and is of 3-bays with three large windows to the first floor; like all the windows on the building these have modern uPVC glazing. The presence of stone jambs adjacent to the lower parts of the windows reveal the location of original window openings, and the presence of further jambs immediately below the eaves signify the later raising of the roof to incorporate a half-attic, which has since been removed and replaced by larger windows. The outer bays of the ground floor have similarly-sized windows to those to the first floor with deep, painted wedge lintels and sills; that to the right is now hidden by a mid-late C20, flat-roofed, sun-room extension (not of special interest), which also encloses a large mullioned window (probably 5-lights) that has been blocked-up and converted into French doors (visible internally). To the left of centre, and aligned with a rebuilt brick chimneystack is a window that appears to have originated as a doorway and is believed to have formed the original entrance.

The western end of the C17 range has a later hip to the roof, which joins with an C18 extension attached to the rear left of the building. The west return-wall of the C17 range has a 3-light mullioned window to the ground floor and a 2-light mullioned window to the first floor, both with stone surrounds. To the ground floor right is a large stone indicative of a blocked-up opening (a possible small, blocked-up arched opening is visible internally). Attached to the left, beyond the original range's quoined corner, is the west wall of a 2-storey C18 extension, which has mainly been re-built in brickwork following fire damage. To the first floor is a later inserted window. Attached to the later extension is a single-storey, gabled, stone and brick outbuilding with plank and batten doors to the south and east sides, and garage doors also to the latter. The outbuilding's roof coverings have mostly been removed, but it retains a stone ball and pyramidal finial.

The C17 range's east elevation is blind and has a catslide roof due to the raising of the north side of the roof for a second time (probably in the C18), which would have enabled the provision of additional height in the interior off the stair landing and first-floor room entrances. A chimneystack that must have existed at this eastern end due to the presence of interior fireplaces has since been removed.

The C17 range's north wall has a 3-light mullioned window to the eastern end of the ground floor and a 2-light mullioned window to the first floor above, both with surrounds in the same style as those to the west elevation. The surviving fabric suggests that both windows were originally wider with additional lights; that to the first floor was of 3-lights (the third blocked-up light is visible internally), whilst that to the ground floor was probably of 4 or 5-lights. The additional lights appear to have been blocked-up following the addition of the C18 north range and stair. Projecting from the C17 range's north wall is a 2-storey, C18, cross-gabled range with a slightly lower, lean-to stair tower set to the eastern side and forming a continuous outshut. The stair is lit by a tall, mid-late C18, round-headed window with a painted ashlar surround incorporating a prominent keystone. Attached in front and obscuring most of the window is a late-C19/early-C20, lean-to, brick porch with an entrance door to the east side. Projecting forward of the stair tower is the gable end of the C18 range, part of which to the western half has been rebuilt in mellow red brick following fire damage. Rising from the roof is a slender brick chimneystack. To the left of centre on each floor are windows in the same style as those to the ground floor of the south elevation. To the ground-floor right is a C19 plank and batten door with a deep wedge lintel. Above and also to the right of the door are later inserted windows, which light a store and first-floor workshop that are not accessible internally from the rest of the building.

INTERIOR: internally there are mainly tiled and floorboard floors. A number of walls in the C17 range are covered with exposed daub/mud plaster. Most internal doors have been removed, but two C19, 5-panel doors and an early 3-plank plank and batten door with tapered strap hinges survive. The building's mullioned windows are all set within deep reveals and most have substantial timber lintels internally.

The central room of the C17 range contains a large fire bay to the western side with an inserted C18 stone fireplace (partly hidden by plaster) with corbelled jambs; the original fireplace opening has been bricked-up and a later, smaller opening inserted. Two chamfered beams cross the room from north-south with simple run-outs, and French doors which lead into the 1970s sun lounge, have been inserted through a large stone mullioned window (probably 4 or 5-lights originally) to the south wall. The dividing wall between the central room and a room to the east (now divided into two rooms and a hallway) is constructed of stone and brick. The south-eastern room contains a rebuilt brick stack with a probable C18 painted fire surround and a cast-iron basket, whilst the north-eastern room, which is now a bathroom, is lit by a 3-light mullioned window (the window's additional blocked-up/removed lights are not visible internally).

The westernmost ground-floor room is also lit by a 3-light mullioned window and has two beams running east-west with probable early-C19 roll mouldings to the outer edges, flanking a brick chimneybreast. To the north wall is a blocked-up window opening and to the south wall is a blocked-up door opening. This room is linked to the central room via a south passageway adjacent to the central stack where the former main entrance is located (now a window). A similar passageway on the north side of the stack has been blocked by a later, angled brick wall inserted in the central room, and access is now provided from the western room into a former kitchen in the rear C18 range, which contains a tall painted-timber fire surround to the north wall.

A C18 dog-leg stair with a curtail step and ramped wall string lies to the rear right of the building and is enclosed to the lower flight. The upper flight has a boxed-in balustrade and it is unknown whether any balusters survive underneath. The stair is lit at half-landing level by a mid-C18, round-headed, stair window with a stone surround incorporating tooling work and a prominent keystone. The arched upper light has been blocked-up. Off to the south side of the first-floor landing are two doorways leading into the C17 range, whilst two steps to the west side lead up into a room in the C18 range.

The easternmost first-floor room in the C17 range has a rebuilt brick chimneybreast with a bricked-up fireplace opening to the east wall with a tooled stone lintel. A 3-light mullioned window exists to the north wall (the far-left light has been blocked-up due to the addition of the C18 stair tower). Separating it from the central room is a plastered partition wall with a visible truss above with angle struts and a mud plaster covering, suggesting that these rooms were always partitioned. The central room has a brick and stone chimneybreast with a fireplace opening incorporating a tooled stone lintel; a later, mid-C19 cast-iron insert has been removed and lies within the room. A blocked-up, 2-light mullioned window exists to the north wall, the external face of which is contained within the C18 range, and another small, blocked-up opening exists to the south wall above the former main entrance. At least one jamb from a former half-attic window is also visible to the south wall. A doorway to the north side of the stack leads into the westernmost room, which incorporates a 2-light mullioned window and a slender, rebuilt, brick chimneybreast with no fireplace opening, suggesting that this room was never heated. The first-floor room in the C18 range to the rear has a slender brick chimneybreast to the north wall with no opening, again suggesting that this room was also never heated. Ceilings have been removed throughout the main rooms of the first floor leaving the roof structure exposed. Early timbers, including purlins and rafters are all visible. The roof in the C17 range also clearly indicates the various stages of roof raising, and the C18 range is separately gabled.

The interiors of the ground-floor store and first-floor workshop (possibly related to Cronton's tool-making and watch-making history) in the C18 range were not inspected.


It has been suggested that Wayside has its origins as a C16 hall house. However, analysis of the fabric suggests that Wayside was constructed in the C17 as a 2-storey, 3-cell house that was enlarged in the C18, with further alterations taking place in the C19 and C20. The nearby Pex Hill quarry, from which the stone for Wayside is believed to originate, was in use from the C16-late C19.

Reasons for Listing

Wayside is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: it is an interesting survival of a C17 lobby-entry house that has been altered in later centuries, including enlargement and updating in the C18;
* Regional distinctiveness: its construction materials and methods reflect the vernacular buildings traditions of the region and it is a rare surviving example of its type within the local region;
* Legibility: each phase of the building's development and history is readable in the plan layout and surviving fabric including tooled stonework and a round-headed, C18 stair window with an ashlar surround and prominent keystone indicative of the building's early origins as a mid-status dwelling
*Interior survival: the interior retains features from each phase of the building's history, including C17 chamfered beams, mullioned windows with deep reveals and internal timber lintels, early roof timbers, daub plaster, a C17 fire bay, C18 fireplaces, an C18 stair, and two C19 doors;

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