Woodplumpton Council is looking to carry out urgent repairs to the two stock stone poles to prevent further decay and the potential future loss of the stone poles.
On 26th July 2022 a planning application was registered with Preston City Council for consent of a listed building for alterations, extension or demolition to renovate and repair the stock of a listed building of grade II.
The stocks are located five meters south of the lychgate of the grade II listed St Anne’s Church building in Woodplumpton and can be accessed via Woodplumpton Road.
Stocks have been present at Woodplumpton since the 18th century and may be even older. They are likely to have played an important role in the identity and communal histories of generations of Woodplumptons residents.
In terms of historical value, stocks were used in villages and towns in medieval Britain and later, to publicly punish crime and serve as a visual deterrent to any would-be offenders.
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The inward facing slots in the two stone posts allow the rails to run mechanically, and the four leg holes in the wooden rails are still in evidence in the 21st century to indicate how people were trapped inside.
Experienced archaeologist and author of Heritage Statement – Woodplumpton Stocks, Jamie Skuse said: “Woodplumpton Stocks are in poor condition due to faulty repairs carried out in the mid-20th century which resulted in severe cracks in the poles of stone and cavities where the cement disintegrates.
“This damage is gradual and if left unchecked will continue to affect the significance of the heritage asset and surrounding setting and will likely result in the eventual destruction of stockpiles.”
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The repairs needed are extensive, including the careful removal and transportation of the left post to a workshop to attach a new stone. and the insertion of pins and dowels to keep the existing structure intact on top of the straight post.
The proposed repairs are significant and will cause damage to the fabric of the heritage asset.
The contribution that the stocks will make to the local area and its setting when properly repaired ensures that the benefits of the proposal outweigh the risks.
To find out more about Jamie Skuse’s heritage statement, visit the Preston City Council website.
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