Townhead House, untouched since 1939, to be restored

Townhead House, Lancashire (Image: SAVE Britain's Heritage)

Townhead House is a rare thing indeed – a house which has not been altered since before the last people to use it left in 1939 but also is not in a dire state of dereliction.  Its unoccupied status was a cause for concern and although parts of the house required attention, overall the house was in remarkable condition.

Built in 1729 for Henry Wiglesworth using parts of a 17th-century building, the architect is unknown but achieved an elegant if somewhat austere house using large blocks of coursed limestone.  Inside, the main rooms with their fine Georgian panelling and particularly the staircase indicated the architect was influenced by other such as Wren, Jones and Gibbs.  This can be seen with the use of certain architectural elements before they became widely known through pattern books such as Batty Langleys.

The grade-II listed house was used just a shooting lodge between the 1890s and 1930s.  Now finally, a local man, semi-retired businessman Robert Staples, has bought the house and has promised to sensitively restore it to use as his home:

“The works will ensure that the integrity and longevity of Townhead is not compromised and that the building has a continued and long future.”

All this bodes well for this important part of the local architectural heritage. Also encouraging is Mr Staples’ professed desire to return the house to being the centre of a ‘gentleman’s estate’ – a welcome reversal of the pattern of the last 50 years when small estates were increasingly broken up and lost.

Full story: ‘Historic Slaidburn house set to become a home again after 100 years‘ [Lancashire Telegraph]