Blackpool seafront’s 10 features that have been made Grade II listed

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‘We welcome these latest listings from Historic England which underlines the significance of Blackpool’s heritage in the national context’

Middle Walk Colonnade, in Blackpool

Middle Walk Colonnade, in Blackpool

Ten features on Blackpool seafront have been listed at Grade II.

The decision was made by Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) today (August 27) on the advice of Historic England.

Eight promenade shelters and the Middle and Lower Walk Colonnades are now Grade II listed; meaning they are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them.

The Middle and Lower Walk Colonnades are reinforced-concrete structures that run for around one kilometre along Blackpool’s sea front.

They were designed by the Borough Surveyor’s chief architectural assistant John Charles Robinson, who later became the Borough Architect.

Following Blackpool’s growth as an important leisure destination in the second half of the 19th century, the early 20th century saw further improvement and extension of the town’s three-level promenades.

The Lower Walk colonnade was built in 1923 as a link between the upper and lower levels, and a gateway to the middle level.

From 1923 to 1925, the Middle Walk colonnade was built as a strengthening structure and a way of vertically stacking the upper walk over the middle walk. This allowed the tram tracks to be moved to free up road space for cars.

Seaside resorts began as a relaxing place for the wealthy few to promenade and look out to sea, as well as recover from illness.

Later, destinations like Blackpool were the place for working class people to holiday and unwind.

Promenade shelter, on Queen's Promenade, in Blackpool
Promenade shelter, on Queen’s Promenade, in Blackpool

The seafront is lined with promenade shelters – most of which have stood for more than 100 years as civic features intended to enhance the street scene.

Eight shelters are already listed at Grade II and now another eight shelters have been listed.

Most of the shelters were made between 1903 and 1904 by renowned iron-founders Walter MacFarlane and Co (MacFarlanes), of Glasgow and the Lion Foundry Company, of Kirkintilloch.

They were commissioned by Blackpool Corporation, some especially for the ‘new promenade’ at South Shore.

They stand as a symbol of the archetypal British seaside town, visited by so many holiday-goers since the 1800s.

Alan Cavill, Director of Communications and Regeneration at Blackpool Council, said: “We welcome these latest listings from Historic England which underlines the significance of Blackpool’s heritage in the national context.

“Despite being a resort with a long history of change and development, the council recognises that preserving our heritage is important for local communities and forms a significant aspect of the resort’s tourism offer.”