A little while ago a Facebook group was set up for people interested in the history of Tulketh Hall in Preston. The site, which once was home to a Norman castle and a medieval monastery, now faces the threat of being redeveloped for housing. And so the group has reinvented itself as the Friends of Tulketh Hall with the aim of preserving the site and developing it as a community hub: a much needed facility in the district.
For a detailed account of the site and its history see: The story of Tulketh and Tulketh Hall by Kim Travis.
Below, in more detail, are the proposals the group is putting forward to support its case.
Friend of Tulketh Hall Objectives
This site is, without doubt, the most interesting historically in Preston and surrounding areas. It has been a royal castle; an ancestral hall for over 800 years; and possibly a Roman settlement. It was also the beginnings of Furness Abbey.
The site has been largely undeveloped since Tulketh Hall was demolished in 1959, which makes the possibility of uncovering its rich history highly likely.
It has, however, been The Star community centre and resource for many decades. We believe it should remain so and we are determined to give it a bright future, with much improved facilities and wider remit.
The decision to sell this space and community building for housing, in a tightly built area, with few such amenities is certainly not the right way forward, especially during these pandemic times, when the value of such amenities is so precious to communities. Doubly so, when such a rich history is just waiting to be uncovered.
We understand the budget constraints that Lancashire County Council are under and that it cannot afford to maintain this now underused space.
We would like to offer an alternative – The Friends Of Tulketh Hall, a charitable organisation, taking custodianship and responsibility for the maintenance and development of the site into a fantastic amenity.
We will …
- reopen The Star building as a meeting space for community groups, an arts centre, teaching resource and general hub for the area.
- Significantly improve the facilities over time and make this a bustling centre.
- fully explore the wealth of history contained within the external parts of the site and preserve it for future generations.
- This will involve excavation and an archaeological exploration of these external areas to reveal the foundations of the Hall and potentially the Castle, so this history has visibility for people to explore and interact with.
- continue to manage and develop this site, so it becomes an attraction for the whole of Preston and the region in general.
We believe that if the current auction goes ahead, this will be of huge detriment to the local community and the people of Preston and furthermore means we will lose a unique site of regional interest and a significant link to our past.
We ask that LCC withdraw the site from the current auction, as we cannot compete financially with housebuilders and enter negotiations with our group to secure this precious resource for future generations.
We believe that people can make a difference and together we can achieve these goals.
If you would like to offer support to achieving these goals, please share our objectives and help us build momentum. Please get in touch if you think you can offer assistance. Like and follow our Friends of Tulketh Hall Facebook page or write a letter of support and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We particularly want to hear from groups or organisations who may want to use the space or would like to show us support. Everything strengthens our case. Time is short to achieve the first part of this goal, so please help.