On this day … 25 January 1902

The Preston Guardian reported that the firm of Horrockses, Crewdson and Co. was planning a new entrance on Stanley Street to its vast Yard Works. The company was expanding rapidly at the time and the new entrance was to serve as a fittingly imposing entrance to the vast site.

Of course, rapid growth had marked the company from its formation by John Horrocks in 1791. It became Horrocks, Miller and Co in 1815 when Thomas Miller became a partner. Miller and his family lived in a house in the Yard Works. Following Miller’s death in 1840, his son, also Thomas, inherited his position, and went on to become the sole proprietor. While the Horrocks name remained in the company title, no members of the family were involved in the business after 1840.

The company name changed again in 1887 when Horrocks, Miller and Co. merged with the firm of Crewdson, Crosses and Co. to form Horrockses, Crewdson and Co., and that was the name that visitors saw at the top of one of the buildings flanking the entrance, along with the date ‘1912’ marking the completion of the work (see picture below).

Those visitors passing through the entrance soon included royalty both British and foreign, such as King Fuad of Egypt in 1927 and the Sultan of Zanzibar in 1929.

By the 1960s with the decline in the company’s fortunes the whole site was being cleared for redevelopment, with only the former office building at the side of the entrance surviving, and serving as a branch of Barclays Bank, with the last vestige of the Horrocks name excised from its position on the front of the building. When the bank closed, the building was demolished.

Map of the Horrocks Yard Works in Preston
Source: National Library of Scotland (https://maps.nls.uk/view/126517601)
Horrockses Yard Works / Stanley Street / New Hall Lane, Preston. Aerial Image
The vast Yard Works, looking north with the prison top left (https://www.flickr.com/photos/rpsmithbarney/4194146436/)
Golden Square House, Horrockses Yard Works Preston 1949
‘Golden Square House, Horrockses Yard Works Preston 1949. Golden Square House was built in 1794 by John Horrocks. Given in 1801 to Thomas Miller senior after Miller was made a partner in the firm. John Horrocks’ brother Samuel also lived here briefly before moving to Lark Hill. The house later became the Refuge for Friendless Girls.https://www.flickr.com/photos/rpsmithbarney/4608326301/’Golden Square House, Horrockses Yard Works Preston 1949. Golden Square House was built in 1794 by John Horrocks. Given in 1801 to Thomas Miller senior after Miller was made a partner in the firm. John Horrocks’ brother Samuel also lived here briefly before moving to Lark Hill. The house later became the Refuge for Friendless Girls.’ Image and caption: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rpsmithbarney/4608326301/
Horrockses Former Office, Stanley Street, Preston 1986
Horrockses Former Office, Stanley Street, Preston 1986. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rpsmithbarney/6029218928/

For more on the Yard Works, and more photographs, see Paul Swarbrick’s article for Blog Preston: https://www.blogpreston.co.uk/…/a-nostalgic-journey…/

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