... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Thursday, 8 April 2021


You might be forgiven, on the basis of my last post, for thinking that I object to all student accommodation developments.  Well, politically I might object to the large-scale provision of expensive accommodation for a largely captive market for private profit, and I might also wonder at who is going to fill it if predictions of a post-Covid, post-Brexit fall in international students, and of a trend towards students continuing to study closer to home or at home and online come to pass, but architecturally, here is one new development that I like. Unlike most that are going up around here, it's not a bland, hard-edged brick-faced box.
It's called Nurtur [sic] House (yep, stupid name) and it opened last year. It has actual architects - David Cox Architects of Preston, who have an annoyingly flashy website which shows that they have been responsible for a great deal of student accommodation, including their share of bland brick boxes.

Nurtur House has 288 rooms and covers a big site (again, I fear I have no idea what was there before, but a long derelict works would be a fair bet), making the most of an isosceles triangle footprint with two acute angles.

A local pub, the Three Tuns, which I have long admired from the outside but never quite plucked up the courage to enter, is similarly squeezed into a sharp little peninsula between two roads.
There were some nice little details, like these bats on terracotta covers for what I guess are drainage holes in the top of the wall in the photo above:
I have no idea why bats, but they're nice

Its curves echo those of the nearby Record Ridgway works, which ironically is slated for demolition (and has been for years)
And which I have long had a bit of a soft spot for, since I first viewed it from the now-defunct No. 31 bus.
I haven't been able to find a date for this building - most commentators assume it's 30s, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were a bit later. This bit is just the frontage for a massive works (of which more another time) where tools including Marples chisels were made.

Coming full circle (kind of) I particularly like this sun-bleached photo I took of it at the weekend which, I think, makes it look like one of those developers' artist's impressions, complete with arboreal garnish and solitary pedestrian - the ruined past presented as if it were the saleable future.


  1. I think those bat tiles are the entrances to a bat "box" - I'd guess that the building that was there before had bats roosting in it, and nowadays you have to provide roosts in any replacement building.

  2. Ah yes, that does sound very likely. Thank you!

  3. Dave on nb Midnight Trace8 April 2021 at 16:09