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South Wigston

Townscape analysis

Countesthorpe Road

Countesthorpe Road runs south from Blaby Road on the western edge of the Conservation Area before turning sharp left to cross Canal Street and then turning sharp right to cross the canal itself and head off across open land to Countesthorpe Village.

Views from the north part of the road focus on the late nineteenth century 2.5 storey bay windowed houses (one now a shop) on Blaby Road and the adjacent former school rooms. The latter is a late 1920s Georgian revival building with a hipped slate roof which was built on the site of the 'tin church' the forerunner of today's St Thomas' Church.

The northern part of Countesthorpe Road is rather fragmented in townscape terms. On the east side are a staggered 1980s block of three storey flats with an open area of car parking to the south. A row of evergreen trees to the rear gives this some enclosure, though otherwise it contributes little to the street scene. At the south end of the car park is the gated entrance to the Parkland Primary School. Looking back to the north, the gable end of the flat block is prominent and unattractive.

On the west side are nineteenth century shops, a mostly twentieth century small textile manufacturing building and the gable ends of 1920s Council housing on Timber Street and Healey Street. Whereas the nineteenth century buildings have boundary walls of brick, the Council housing has timber fences and the strong character defined by the use of red brick elsewhere is further weakened where buildings are painted or rendered. With the exception of part of the clothing manufacturers on the end of Bassett Street which rises to three storeys and a single storey building behind the shop on the corner of Timber Street, all the buildings facing the street are of two storeys.

The building on the point where Countesthorpe Road and Orange Street diverge is a real focal point with its narrow gable end, semicircular parapet and stone detailing.
On the east side of the road are more modern houses whilst the realigned road Junction has attracted several signs, concrete bollards and a mix of inappropriate paving materials.

On the east side of the road is a row of sixteen terraced houses between Healey Street and Garden Street. These are small with just a single large window to each floor and the front door all under quite simple lintels. Between Garden Street and Irlam Street is modern housing set behind a parking court with railings to the road frontage. The style of the houses respects the local character and the materials are well chosen.

On the west side of the road, a triangle of land gradually widens southwards. Behind the building on the northern point of Orange Street and Countesthorpe Road is a play area with hooped railings and beyond this the Roman Catholic Church which opened in 1905, and is of red brick and with a steep Welsh slate roof gable end onto the street. Next to it is the red brick presbytery. South of this is Alpha House. This is an uncompromising three storey office block with a flat roof, lift tower at the north end and with windows set in deep horizontal strips.

The building contributes nothing to the character of the Conservation Area and the parking along the frontage adds to its inappropriate character. South of Alpha House are 1930s houses, one a rather incongruous bungalow in white painted render and a vacant site used for car parking behind a red brick wall.

On the east side, south of Irlam Street, are more modest terraces on the back of the footpath though closer to Canal Street is a well detailed four bay industrial building of red and gault brick and beyond attractive houses and shops with bays and terracotta detailing turning the corner. Next to these is a single storey tyre depot behind an ugly galvanised railing with terraced houses of gault and red brick beyond. These have small front gardens and bay windows and a taller former shop on the corner of Canal Street.

Countesthorpe Road continues beyond the 1930s red brick factory buildings on Canal Street. Opposite these is a rendered and painted nineteenth century building (a laundry on the 1914 Ordnance Survey) subsumed into a tiled and metal clad late twentieth century industrial building. A long vista looking north across the park can be gained from the corner. Set back industrial buildings of little merit stand north of the canal though a nineteenth century fence and some trees line the road. Attractive vistas down the canal and across the open land to the south east can be gained from the bridge. This area gives an idea of how the area must have looked when the settlement of South Wigston was first built in the late nineteenth century.

Orange Street

At the north west end of Orange Street, the former Primitive Methodist Church which opened in 1900 stood. This was demolished in the early 1980s when new housing on Best Close was built. South of these are a group of terraced properties built in 1900 in pairs with shared arched entrance lobbies and a single window at ground floor and two above. The southernmost property is gable end onto the street and has a bay window. The rest of the west side of the street has eight pairs of larger houses standing directly on the back of footpath. These are each of two bays with a central doorway. Originally the windows had a large central sash flanked by mullions with margin panes. Most have now been altered. A good brick boundary wall stands behind the house on the corner of Park Road.

The east side of the street has a more fragmented character. Although the apsidal end of the church adds some interest to the street scene, the ugly concrete wall and view of the rear of Alpha House is unattractive. Beyond this is a modern house behind a picket fence and five pairs of 1930s semis with a modern house squeezed between the second and third pairs.

Occasional street trees add some greenery though their scale is modest. The vista looking south is stopped by a very poor low flat industrial building on Park Road. The pavements along the street are a mixture of concrete flags and tarmac infill and offer considerable scope for improvement.

Park Road

The western end of Park Road is now a modern housing development on the site of the former recreation ground. This is outside the Conservation Area. Between these and Orange Street is a nineteenth century terrace of good quality with stone detailing and ornate brick eaves. These houses were similar to those on the west side of Orange Street with their mullioned windows. Opposite these on the south side of Park Road is the ugly industrial building so visible along Orange Street. The rest of the south side largely comprises fairly poor quality industrial buildings and houses and a bungalow of the 1930s. A view of the open countryside behind can be gained beside the bungalow. Almost opposite the end of Canal Street is an attractive but semi derelict building of red brick and render with a prominent gable to the street.

The north east end of Park Road has more 1930s semis built on the site of the former Wigston Iron Foundry. The vista east along Park Road is given interest by the unusual roof form of the building at the end and the repetition of the gables on the industrial building on Canal Street which blocks the view. A few quite large evergreen trees provide some greenery to the west end of the street.

Railway Street

Railway Street is a short street linking the bottom of Orange Street with the east west leg of Countesthorpe Road. The south side largely comprises 1930s semi detached houses again on the site of the iron foundry. The north side has more typical terraces of nineteenth century terraced houses arranged as pairs and with small front gardens.

Canal Street

Canal Street is a long street running north east from the canal to meet Blaby Road originally close to South Wigston Station and the level crossing. It developed as a street with a split personality; the east side being lined by factories making biscuits and footwear, with the west side lined by houses, shops and some smaller industrial uses. The factories at the north east end (Perseverance Works) were amongst the first buildings in the new town.

The buildings at the extreme south eastern end are of some interest with the domestic scaled industrial buildings giving a strong sense of rhythm to the street scene with their repetitive gable ends with buttresses in the middle. In contrast, the poor quality structure on the opposite side of the road contributes nothing to the street.

North of Countesthorpe Road on the east side is a part of the biscuit factory terminated by a brick building of 1947. This angular building is quite modest in scale and is set back from the Canal Street frontage. The boundary is formed by a rather hostile galvanised steel fence with views of car parking and lorries maneuvering beyond. The block south of Irlam Street is by contrast quite rich in townscape terms. The staggered pairs of houses sat at 45 degrees to the street allow prominent gables of gault brick with different red brick patterns to enliven the view north, whilst looking south, the narrow blocks with doors and bay windows squeezed into very narrow frontages has some charm. One house retains its original fenestration. The end house which was presumably associated with the workshop to its side and yard behind is more elaborate with very fine eaves decoration and more elaborate first floor window surrounds. The cast iron fence to the frontage survives.

The workshop to its side is also of some interest and its scale, vertical pattern of windows and appropriate materials allow it to sit easily with the neighboring houses. The rather untidy forecourt and semi derelict storage building is less attractive.

On the south side of the Irlam Street corner is a typical shop now converted to a house and unfortunately painted white. The north side is part of a large, but appropriate modern residential development which replicates the character and form of the terraced houses. This is mostly of two storey’s but steps up to three on Canal Street to reflect the scale of the industrial buildings on the street. The east side of the street is part of the biscuit factory and is a rather monolithic brick structure hard on the footpath edge. This varies from one to three storey’s in height and is of red and buff brick with horizontal windows. These buildings are mostly post Second World War.

Garden Street has shops on either corner and behind the northern most one is a pair of nineteenth century houses squeezed onto a narrow plot. On the south corner of Healey Street is an attractive but empty former factory. This is of two storey’s and semi basement, red and gault brick with arched headed bays with large multi paned windows. The entrance is on the corner of Healey Street and has a later porch. The building is ripe for conversion. An equally attractive building fills half of the block between Healey Street and Timber Street. This is a former footwear factory of the same scale though of just red brick. The sharp juxtaposition of scales between this building and the first terraced house on Healey Street is a particular feature.

At the north end is a linked building (probably originally stables) gable end onto the street. Beyond this is a rather incongruous car lot with a chain link fence to the street.

The east side of the street has part of a nineteenth century red brick building which may once more have been a footwear factory. To the north of this is a grey 1960s block with curtain wall glazing. This looks over one of the few areas of greenery in the street. The garden of the Grand Hotel has some good mature trees and a very fine gault and red brick boundary wall to the street. The Grand Hotel is a very attractive late nineteenth century gault brick building with red brick detailing and Welsh slate roofs. There is a prominent corner tower, whilst the main range has paired gables with ornate barge boards and original lettering to the signs within the gables. The chimneys add further to the attractive silhouette of the building which is a particular feature in views east along Timber Street.

Adjoining the hotel is a range with three storey end pieces, gable end onto the street which flank a two storey block. The painting of the brickwork has robbed the building of character. Next to it is the tall red brick United Reformed Church. This was built in 1887 and is gable end onto the street with a range of arched windows.

The corner of Timber Street is once again marked by original shops. That on the south side, which is now a restaurant, retains a good nineteenth century shop front though the ground floor has been rather spoiled by the rendering of the brickwork. The shop on the north corner has been similarly disfigured at ground floor level. This building, together with the terrace on the north east end of Timber Street and the pair of houses squeezed to the north of the shop on Canal Street are amongst the earliest buildings of the new township. To the north of this pair of houses is a small, oddly shaped two storey workshop building, painted and with the roof covered in ivy. Again this has the potential to be restored.

Along the east side of the street is a very attractive range of factory buildings of three and two storey’s. These appear to be part of the

Ordinance Survey 1887

Perseverance Works, probably the first factory in the new township. The three storey block has a regular rhythm of arched windows whilst the lower block to the north has different window head detailing at ground and first floor. At the end of this block, all of which is unfortunately empty, is a poor quality 1960s block of boarded up curtain wall glazing and a gap through to poor quality industrial buildings which line the footpath beside the park to the rear. The east side of the corner with Blaby Road is formed by two storey red brick shops. The southern part of the block is more recent than the block right on the corner which runs east along Blaby Road and is thought to be the first building in South Wigston. The differences in windows, head details and eaves detailing show the two different periods of building.

The west corner of Canal Street is formed by Warwick House. This was a temperance hotel in the early twentieth century and has fine detailing, first floor windows in the prominent gable end and, beneath the modern signage and a good nineteenth century shop front. Although the building has lost much detailing, it is still a key building on an important corner. If this building could be restored, it would make an attractive 'gateway' to the area.

Irlam Street

The south side of Irlam Street has a continuous row of 25 houses sat on the footpath edge. All have arched brick window and door heads with continuous drip moulds. This terrace has retained more of its character as fewer properties have been rendered and painted, though unfortunately the shop on the south east corner has been painted white.

The north side of the street is the complete redevelopment of the Brunswick Mills with modern two storey houses mostly of red brick sat on the back of footpath. After being an elastic webbing factory, the mill was used for the manufacture of electric vehicles for many years.

Garden Street

The north side of Garden Street is lined by a terrace of 32 houses with a former shop on the east corner with Canal Street. The houses all sit on the back of footpath and have rectangular window heads with decorative brick relieving arches above on the ground floor. The corbelled eaves cornices are quite pronounced.

The south east end of the street has an identical terrace of 12 houses. Beyond however is a modern development of similar form, scale and materials which is part of the major redevelopment of the old Brunswick Mill site. The street has parking bays on either side demarcated by street trees. The vista east is of the Jacob's Factory and to the west of the single storey addition to the Roman Catholic Church with the houses on Orange Street behind.

Healey Street

Healey Street has a strong character formed by the opposing terraces of houses, with the three pairs of 1930s semis at the north west end the only contrasting building form. Otherwise the north side of the street has 36 terraced properties, the south side two terraces of 18 and 17 with a gap in the middle. The houses have ground floor bays, small front gardens, plain door and window heads and dentil eaves cornices.

The street has parking lay bys on each side demarcated by street trees. The view west is terminated by the modern houses at the end of Best Close, whilst those to the east are blocked by the bulk of the Jacob's Factory, though its painted arched doorway is a focal point.

The attractive warehouse buildings on each corner of Canal Street are a particular feature and provide an interesting juxtaposition of scale with the terraced houses. The blue painted former shop on the south west corner of the street is a less successful contrast.

Timber Street

The north east terrace of twelve houses plus corner shops is part of the first phase of building and is dated 1884. These houses have eaves brackets and paired front doors. The detailing of the slightly later south east block of ten houses is more like the north east block of Bassett Street. Both shops and restaurant on the east end of the street include elements of original shop fronts and are attractive features.

In the middle of the street on the south side are 1930s semi detached local authority houses, and opposite car parking behind railings in what was the old school grounds. The large mature trees here contribute greenery and scale to the street.

On the south west end of the street is a terrace of nineteenth century properties of two builds. The eastern ten properties have arched headed windows and plain dentil eaves; the western houses have squared lintels and bracketed eaves. At the north west end of the street are four pairs of brick and render 1950s semis and a block of three on the corner of Countesthorpe Road.

The building line along the street is quite consistent despite the different ages of building; all the properties having small front gardens. Although the car park could be something of a gap in the street frontage, the railings and mature trees maintain the sense of enclosure on the north side. The most anomalous feature is the view of the back gardens and rear elevations of properties on Dunton Street visible from the east end of the street.

The vista looking east is well blocked by the fine Grand Hotel, whilst that to the west is partly blocked by the tall evergreen trees beyond the Countesthorpe Road car park. The pavements along the street are formed by concrete slabs with stone kerbs.

Bassett Street

This is the largest of the east west streets south of Blaby Road and was originally the site of the Council Girls' School (now the Community Centre) and the earlier infant school which stood beside it with the boy's school opposite where the 1980s housing stands today. It is dissected by Dunton Street. Although a typical linear street, with wide tarmac footpaths, it lacks the intimacy of some of the other streets because of the set back nature of the old school, the staggered building line of the 1980s housing on the north side and the car park on the corner of Dunton Street. Telegraph poles with a spider's web of wires are quite prominent.

The blue painted water tank on top of the industrial building at the top of Canal Street is very prominent, whilst the trees at the rear of the car park on Countesthorpe Road help block views west.

Beginning at the north west end, on the corner is the cycle shop of painted brick with a slate roof and modern windows. This has been a cycle shop since the 1930s when it moved here from the corner of Blaby Road. Beyond is a terrace of 14 houses, the westernmost dated 1885. Although terraced, typically these are built as named pairs with regular snickets through to the rear. Although all the windows and doors have been altered and some rendered, many retain their slate roofs and all the chimney stacks remain (although one has been shortened). The houses at the east end are slightly later and have different eaves and window head details.

A staggered block of 1980s houses with yellow brick walls and concrete tiled roofs without chimney stacks stretches to the corner of Dunton Street. Not only is the staggered building line inappropriate but the access road and parking court leaves a wide gap in the street allowing vistas through to the rear yards of the Blaby Road properties.

The south west end of the street includes a mostly 1950s clothing manufacturers' which incorporates part of the 1936 Adult School. Beyond are three pairs of interwar semi detached Local Authority houses. Set back behind new metal railings is the former Council School, which was built in 1904 and has been well converted to a library and community centre. Beyond and dated 1991, is the Bassett Centre, a block of red and blue brick with a concrete tiled roof. A tiled and glazed pergola links this building to the old school. This stands on the site of the infant school.

The north east side of the street has, on the corner with Dunton Street a car park and beyond 16 red brick nineteenth century terraced properties. These have different detailing to the other houses on the street and one retains its original windows; the ground floor bay has multi paned upper sashes, whilst the first floor has plate glass sash windows with margin panes. The front door and some gate thresholds are unusually granite. At the north east end of the street is a larger building including the corner shop which has a carriage arch and an original door through to the rear yard with red granite setts (possibly from Enderby Quarry).

The south east end of the street has 23 terraced houses, plus shops at either end. Whilst the houses have ground floor bays and small gardens like the properties on the opposite side of the road, the first floor windows have mullions and the eaves detailing is different.

Dunton Street

Dunton Street runs south from Blaby Road to Timber Street and is dissected by Bassett Street which was originally the educational centre of the township with infants', boys' and girls' school. The site of the boys' school (on the north west corner of Bassett Street) is now 1980s buff brick housing, whilst on the site of the infants school is the Bassett Centre built in 1991 of red, blue and gault brick. The north east corner of Bassett Street has an open car park surrounded by concrete bollards serving a single storey block of late 1920s shops on Dunton Street.

Only the south east side of Dunton Street has a domestic character with a block of seven nineteenth century terraced houses on the back of the footpath. The railings and trees around the Bassett Centre are an attractive feature, whilst the vista north crosses Blaby Road and runs on up Fairfield Street before finally being blocked by the 1920s terraces on Kirkdale Road. The shorter view south is blocked by the 1930s semis on Timber Street.

Blaby Road

Blaby Road is the main commercial street in South Wigston and contains some fine individual buildings and terraces of good quality. The latter in particular have been robbed of character, particularly where later shop fronts have been formed in what were houses. The road runs east west and there are long views down the numerous streets to the north and south.

Along Blaby Road, the view west is the most appealing with the repetitive bays of the terraces, gables of the Hotel and the end feature of St Thomas' Church tower contributing to the strong townscape. Unlike the streets of terraced housing, there are several street trees which have been heavily pollarded, seemingly for many years.

South side

The eastern boundary of the Conservation Area is formed by the park which was established in 1929. An avenue of mature trees helps to screen the rear of the industrial buildings on Canal Street which effectively demarcate the line of the old railway line. Some nineteenth century iron fencing lines the footpath on the west boundary of the park.

The row of shops between the old railway crossing and Canal Street are thought to be the first properties to be constructed in South Wigston. From the turn of the century until the 1960s the premises were Huddleston's Garage. Sadly these are in poor condition and the blank gable end, together with the derelict 1960s office building which is very visible across an area of derelict land, is a poor introduction to the town.

On the corner of Canal Street stood Warwick House, originally one of the most imposing of the town's stores. Although it has lost much of its architectural detailing, it has the potential to be restored. This building has been extended west to virtually adjoin the Methodist Church. This was built 1886 and part of the early building survived as schoolrooms to the rear when the church was largely rebuilt in 1902. The frontage is imposing with a central gable with a large window with Perpendicular tracery flanked by shorter castellated wings. The frontage was slightly altered again in 1971.

Next to the Methodist Church is a modern red brick working men's club and then a very unusual row of shops and houses with Gothic arched window heads and very unusual deep eaves detailing. Originally these were all houses and were built in 1884 as part of the first phase of building in the town. Whilst the first floor retains considerable character, the insertion of shop fronts at ground floor level has been rather clumsy and the heavy fascia signs and Dutch blinds are especially jarring.

The Co op store has occupied the site since before 1900. The original building, which is evident in the central first floor range, was given a facelift in the Edwardian

Ordinance Survey 1904

era when the flanking bays were added and the shop front remodeled. Whilst the first floor is still of great character, any character at ground floor level has been obliterated by the clumsy fascia which runs unbroken into the extension to the west.

Beyond Dunton Street are a small block of terraced shops on the footpath edge and then the taller 1938 facade of the former Ritz Cinema. This is of red brick and render and in the 'Moderne' style so popular for cinemas of the time. It replaced a more modest 'Picture House'. Beyond this, the terrace which runs to the corner of Countesthorpe Road was again part of the first phase of building and was built as houses. The upper floors have windows with mullions and the eaves of 'special' bricks are quite pronounced. By 1914, the houses on the west end had been converted to shops and now all of them are in retail use.

West of Countesthorpe Road is a modern development of flats and then the Vicarage built c 1899 to the designs of Stockdale Harrison. The Grade II Listed Building has an attractive entrance front with a shaped gable above the arched entrance door. Typically of the town it is of red brick with a slate roof. The finials on the gable, chimney stacks and hipped roof all contribute to an interesting silhouette.

North side

Opposite the vicarage is St Thomas' Church. The first church was built in 1886 and was constructed of corrugated iron. The current St Thomas' Church opened in 1893 and was built without its tower which followed in 1901. Like the vicarage, the church was designed by Stockdale Harrison. It is of brick with a Westmorland Slate roof. The entrance is at the south west end through the base of the tower which is topped by a lead fleche. At the east end of the church on the road boundary is the war memorial and next to it the schoolrooms of 1928. These are in a Georgian Revival style and replaced the tin church. Between the two is the Portland stone War Memorial, set into the churchyard wall, which was erected after the First World War.

The terraces on the north side were again mostly built as housing and more survive than on the opposite side of the road. The terrace between Leopold and Fairfield Streets is quite ornate with full height canted bays and at the east end is the Marquis Of Queensbury (originally the Duke of Clarence). This is a fine late nineteenth century building with ornate brick gables facing the street. Although only two storeys, its scale is grander than the domestic buildings beside it. Another terrace with bay windows links to the Congregational Chapel, gable end on to the street, which opened in 1897. Next to it was The Limes, a large house with a sizeable greenhouse. It was originally the home of Mr Gamble the boot manufacturer. It is now part of the Conservative Club and has been much altered.

At the east end of the next block stood Ashbourne, the home of Orson Wright the founder of South Wigston. This was demolished in 1962 and is now a row of bland yellow brick shops. Between Glen Gate and Station Street were more nineteenth century nicely detailed purpose built shops, whilst east of Station Street, and on a very odd plot is the Helping Hands Community Trust. This has an attic storey formed in a prominent central squared gable. It was originally a pair of shops and has been robbed of character by the modern shop windows and painting of the facade. If restored it would complement the former Warwick House building on the south side of the road.

Saffron Road

Despite the presence of Orson Wright's burgeoning brick works on the west side of the road, Saffron Road was the home of the new township's businessmen and professionals and substantial houses were built a few years after the main part of the town.

The houses are mostly arranged in pairs. The nearest pair to the church is the plainest and the rather stark gable end of the southernmost house is quite visible to the rear of the church. Like the grander houses, these have two storey bay windows, though the houses further north have prominent gables facing the street.

Numbers 10 and 12 are of 2.5, the rest two storeys. Number 14 was the grandest house with tile hanging and a first floor oriel window. This has been linked to the final pair of houses which have lost their chimneys and, in the case of Number 16, its front wall. Most of the properties retain brick front boundaries, some with hedges.

Beyond these villas, up to the corner of Kirkdale Road, stood Toon and Black's Shoe factory. This was a very ornate range of buildings of eclectic design with oriental and Eastern European influences. On the site today is a modern two storey sheltered housing scheme of brick with a rendered first floor and with prominent gables to the street. The modern houses up to railway line are outside the Conservation Area.

The west side of the road is also outside the Conservation Area and has various nineteenth century commercial buildings and several 1930s houses towards the railway line. The only older building was probably the caretaker's house for the brickworks which appears on the 1886 Ordnance Survey Map.

Kirkdale Road

Kirkdale Road is a long road running east west which bends gently near the lane to the railway footbridge. The road is blocked by bollards at the west end to prevent 'rat running' through the residential streets.

To the south is the modern block of Jasmine Court, the sheltered housing scheme, whilst to the north is an open car park with views of the rear of the modern houses next to the railway line on Saffron Road. This site was originally occupied by another eight houses at the end of the long late nineteenth century terrace on the north side of the road.

The remaining part of this terrace stands east of the closure point, and runs along the north side all the way to the path over the railway line.

The houses stand on the back of the footpath and are arranged in pairs with snickets through to the rear in between. Each house has just a single window on each floor and originally a panelled front door with fanlight. The door and window heads are rather mannered though the brick eaves cornice is attractive. Parking bays for the houses have been incorporated in front of the houses on the north side.

The house at the east end is larger and substantially altered though the two storey outbuilding to the rear is probably contemporary with the house. From the painted brick railway bridge are views up and down the railway line and of the rear of the properties on the north side of Kirkdale Road.

Beyond the path over the railway line are 22 1930s houses all sat on the back of the footpath and with rendered walls and slate roofs which step down in blocks. Beyond are a small group of nineteenth century houses and at the end a modern factory with a very domestic facade to the street. The large area of factory units beyond this building to the east of Station Road is allocated in the Local Plan for redevelopment.

The south side is much more fragmented and mostly comprises the gable ends of properties on the streets which lead down to Blaby Road. There is an attractive former shop with a corner entrance on the east corner of Clifford Street. The 1930s houses at the top of Leopold Street generally have poor quality fences lining Kirkdale Road. Two pairs of 1920s houses of render with slate roofs face the road between Leopold and Fairfield Streets, The next block to Albion Street has mostly commercial buildings though a two storey element of this with a weather boarded first floor is of some interest.

Jasmine Court

Jasmine Court is a modern two storey development of sheltered housing. The main block faces Saffron Road. Two blocks face Kirkdale Road either side of the access road which is faced by another block. Although the building forms and brick and slate building materials are suitable, there is rather excessive use of render and the convoluted road layout is at odds with the simple grid of streets in the area.

Clifford Street

Clifford Street runs north south between Kirkdale Road and Blaby Road and is the only street in the township which is entirely lined by late nineteenth century terraced houses. The majority of the houses are virtually identical with a bay window and door at ground floor with a window above. The first floor windows were originally sashes with margin panes, but virtually all have been replaced. Some of the canted bays with their original lead roofs survive with the original fenestration pattern (multi paned upper sashes with two light lower sashes in the big central window). Many houses retain their low brick garden walls, though originally they were topped with low ornamental railings. Roughly in the middle of the west side are a pair of grander houses, whilst nearer Blaby Road, also on the west side, is a detached house with a former workshop behind. At the ends of the street are shops, facing either Blaby Road or Kirkdale Road.

Despite the various alterations, the street retains considerable character though it is instantly evident how much altering the shapes of the bay windows damages the rhythm of the street. There is no greenery along the street despite the widening of the footpaths. This has been rather poorly done in 'black top' although the granite kerbs have been reused. Despite the footpath widening, the street can easily accommodate parked cars on both sides.

Vistas north are stopped by the terraced houses on Kirkdale Road, and south by the shops on the south side of Blaby Road.

Leopold Street

The southern half of Leopold Street has a similar character to Clifford Street with rows of bay windowed terraced houses of similar character to those on the street to the west. The northern half is different however. These areas were left undeveloped in the new township and were not built on until the late 1920s when pairs of semis were constructed. These have rendered walls and slate roofs; those on the east side are more generously spaced and the larger front gardens allow hedges and even the occasional tree to add greenery to the street. A block of three 1960s houses stand towards the north of the west side of the street.

At the south end, the view west to the backs of the Blaby Road shops, which have rather industrial galvanized fences, is not particularly attractive, whilst the view east is potentially attractive, though the stables visible behind the Marquis of Queensbury are in need of repair and reuse. An attractive brick wall lines the southern part of the road behind number 2 however.

Fairfield Street

Fairfield Street has a similar character to Leopold and Clifford Streets, though the view north is now blocked by the rendered 1920s houses on Kirkdale Road whilst the view south continues across Blaby Road and down Dunton Street to be finally enclosed by the 1920s houses on Timber Street.

At the bottom of the street, the extensive range of stables and rear wing of the Marquis of Queensbury are a striking feature of the west side of Fairfield Street visible behind the high well detailed boundary wall. Beyond, the street is a mirror image of the east side of Leopold Street with bay windowed terraced houses and 1930s houses at the north end. The east side has a continuous run of terraced houses of the same type as the west side (and several of the other streets north of Blaby Road).

At the north east end of the street, is a larger house with an arched brick entrance porch and originally a side access through to a workshop behind. This is now a garage though the old company sign survives painted on the gable end of the first house in the terrace.

Albion Street

Albion Street has a much more fragmented character than the previous streets with a more diverse range of buildings erected over a longer period than particularly Clifford Street.

At the north west end is a single storey garage followed by 1920s housing of similar character to that on Kirkdale Road. This appears to have been brick built though several properties have now been rendered. Much of the rest of the east side comprises terraced houses but the character of those at the north end is different to those at the south end and the terraces on the other streets. The northern houses have two storey bays and rendered panels at first floor, though the window types in the bays are the same as in the older terraces. This block was built in more than one phase, as only the

Ordinance Survey 1931

northern six properties appear on the 1914 Ordnance Survey. The 'infill' can be seen by the step in the roof level. The southern part of the terrace
is more conventional with the usual pattern of single storey bays and walls of local brick with continuous stone bands forming the first floor window sills and heads.

At the south west end of the street was 'The Limes', a large house on Blaby Road with a walled garden behind. This has now become part of the Conservative Club and the garden is a car park and a bland flat roofed extension has replaced the attractive paneled brick wall which lined the footpath. The concrete bollards to prevent people parking on the pavement are equally unattractive.

The east side is probably the only street in South Wigston which contains no late nineteenth century buildings. It appears to have remained the garden to Orson Wright's Ashbourne House until at least 1914. By 1930, four pairs of semi detached houses had been built together with the angular red brick needle factory which retains its frontage wall and railings. Further south are 1960s houses, a rather incongruous bungalow and an equally incongruous unashamedly 1960s surgery in gault brick with flat roofs, full height glazing and over sailing canopies.

The consequence of these different building forms is that the south end of the street is not very well defined meaning that the gable ends of houses and the blocky needle factory are very prominent. Once more, the view north is stopped by the 1920s rendered houses on Kirkdale Street, whilst the view south is of the Gothic former houses on Blaby Road.

Glen Gate

The houses on the west side of Glen Gate were some of the earliest built in the new township and when built the terrace of 37 houses was probably the longest in South Wigston. The houses have no front gardens and had paired sash windows with a central mullion on each floor. The eaves had corbelled brickwork to the eaves. Several of the properties have been rendered and painted in recent years and few original windows and doors survive. The majority of the houses on the east side, a continuous terrace of 28 houses also on the back of the footpath were built later in the century. The
ground floor windows and door are set within arched rendered panels; the first floor windows are in rectangular panels. The shop on the south end of the east terrace retains a very fine nineteenth century shop front.

The north east end of the street has a late1920s terrace of six houses with rendered walls again without front gardens. At the south end of the street, the west side is formed by the bland flank wall of the supermarket which is red brick with render above. Opposite is an open car park protected by stumpy concrete bollards with taller concrete bollards to prevent parking on the pavement.

The car parking lay bys in the street are demarcated by trees. The view north is blocked by the terraced houses on Kirkdale Road, whilst that to the south is stopped by the Wesleyan Methodist Church on Blaby Road.

Station Street

Station Street has different characters on each of its sides. To the west is a block of 1920s terraced houses (corresponding to those on Glen Gate behind). To the south is a block of 28 nineteenth century terraced houses also on the footpath edge with patterned brick arched window and door heads and decorative eaves. Once again these were some of the first houses built in the new township. The building on the west corner of Blaby Road has an attractive gable and fine brick wall behind, though both sides of the road have unattractive concrete bollards arranged to prevent vehicles parking on the pavement.

The west side of the street has a much more industrial character. At the north end is the bus depot. The earliest part of the low two storey building is of red brown brick and in 'Modern Movement style with typical metal windows, Further south is a modern brick and sheet metal shed which, like the view over the car park to the south of it, does little to enhance the appearance of the Conservation Area. 8a Station Street was used or built as the fire station. Beyond is a converted gault and red brick former clothing factory with lower former houses now small scale commercial premises and shops. Several have been rendered and painted.

The northern eastern end of the street lacks the enclosure of space found in the majority of streets in the town as the buildings are set back from the street frontage behind a low wall with open car parking behind. The vista up the street to the north is of the modern commercial premises on Kirkdale Road which ape the terraced houses in the area, whilst looking south the view is blocked by the derelict shops turning the corner from Canal Street onto Blaby Road.

Ordinance Survey 1938

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View of Blaby Road

Orson Wright

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