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Pebble pavement in Queen Street, Lytham

A Grade II Listed Building in Clifton, Lancashire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.7368 / 53°44'12"N

Longitude: -2.9651 / 2°57'54"W

OS Eastings: 336435

OS Northings: 427147

OS Grid: SD364271

Mapcode National: GBR 7TQ7.V5

Mapcode Global: WH85P.FB8M

Entry Name: Pebble pavement in Queen Street, Lytham

Listing Date: 11 February 2015

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1423135

Location: Fylde, Lancashire, FY8

County: Lancashire

District: Fylde

Electoral Ward/Division: Clifton

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Lytham St Anne's

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Lytham St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

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Lytham St Annes

Summary

A length of pebble pavement of mid-C19 date on the east side of Queen Street, Lytham.

Description

A section of pavement formed of multi-coloured pebbles, predominantly dark grey, pink, white and blue, running along part of the east side of Queen Street and considered to be of early-mid-C19 date with later repairs. It is composed of beach pebbles laid thin side up on sand and inlaid with various patterns.

The length of pebble pavement fronts Nos.12 &13 Queen Street and is edged with granite setts at the roadside. It comprises five designs of light-coloured stones each within a frame of similar stones and inlaid on a background of largely dark grey pebbles. The designs, from south to north, comprise a candelabra with good colour detail in red and blue of its lights, a heart formed by a double row of white pebbles with a single inside row, a small white star over a mound possibly representing a hill, a simple design considered to represent a tree or shrub, and an elaborate crown with a date of 1854 in an adjacent smaller frame.

History

At the beginning of the C19 as Lytham developed from a fishing village into a sea bathing resort beach pebbles were used as the standard material for making paths for the new houses, and permission was required from the Lords of the Manor, the Clifton family, in order to remove pebbles from the beach. The craftsmen who built these pavements developed their own techniques and frequently created geometric patterns and pictures from the multi-coloured pebbles using predominantly dark grey, pink, white and blue. They were traditionally laid on sand in order to be porous and packed tightly together with their thin side uppermost.

This tradition of using pebbles and cobbles as building material in Lytham appears to date to an even earlier period and the Lytham Times of 4th December 1872 reports that prior to the construction of Lytham Parish Church in 1834 a cobble pavement or pathway associated with ‘a small edifice with a low tower’ built in 1770 on the site of the later church, was discovered.

Evidence that pebble pavements abounded in Lytham during the C19 comes from the St Annes Express 28 February 1919 which quotes the Lytham Times of January 1855 who published ‘The Reminiscences of Lytham by Crofton’: ‘The main street was little frequented by us, for there was enough traffic for an order to be made that if we went there we must keep on the footwalks, which were paved with sharp thin pebbles which did not suit bare feet, or those who, in wet weather, wore iron pattens to keep themselves dry-shod. The pebbles were worked into patterns, mostly geometrical; there were also arches, ships and other devices, and a most ambitious effort showed a Mongolfien (sic) balloon with a flag at each end of the car’.

In later years modern surfaces have either covered or replaced the pebble pavements and today only a fraction remain in situ, including those on the east side of Queen Street between Henry Street and Market Square.

Reasons for Listing

The C19 pebble pavement in Queen Street is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Date: the pavement is of mid-C19 date:
* Intactness: despite minor alteration and improvements to the pavement it survives in very good condition;
* Rarity: pebble pavements are relatively rare nationally;
* Architectural interest: the pavements clearly display innovation in terms of the use of local materials and their design and artistic merit.

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