Restoration of The Square, Uppermill

Proposals  from Saddleworth Civic Trust



1. Renovation and Repair of Flagged Footpath in Front of Shops on West of Square

A substantial amount of original flagstones exist in this area. We suggest that these are retained and damaged stone flags and alien concrete flags replaced with matching reclaimed local material. A large number of the original gritstone kerbstones are still present. Again these should be retained and absent ones replaced in matching reclaimed material. No attempt should be made to change the levels of this area and every effort made to retain the existing diversity of appearance which has grown up over a long period of time. The concrete steps to the Halifax Building Society and adjacent premises should preferably be replaced in local reclaimed stone. Any original material that may exist underneath the concrete should be used if possible.


2. Restoration of Shop Fronts

Unfortunately, little remains of the original early 19th century shop fronts on the row of shops on the west of the Square. Neither are there any Victorian or early 20th century features worthy of preservation. Early photographs of this century show a pleasant uniformity of sash windows with stone surrounds, lintels and cills. We feel that where the owners of these properties express an interest in renovation, the early photographs should be used as a guide to appropriate restoration styles, with the local Georgian style being reinstated wherevere possible. The Halifax Building Society and adjoing Hairdressers was one of the earliest buildings in the Square, being shown on the 1822 township map as the only building on this side of the Square. Photographs of early this century show it as a fine double fronted building with a central entrance and windows on the ground floor matching those on the upper floor. The doorway to the hairdressers has been inserted at a later date distroying the symmetry of the facade. The Indian Restaurant on the North Side is of fine construction and retains most of its original features on the side facing the Square. However it would benefit from the reintroduction of sash windows. The side entrance of the Commercial Hotel has a fine Victorian lamp which should be retained.

3. Retention and Repair of Cast Iron Railings on North West of Square

An original mid 19th Century set of iron railings survives with some attractive detail. Some restoration is needed of the upper part; more serious restoration however is required of the lower part. Nevertheless this is felt to be worthwhile to recreate an historic and attractive feature of this part of the Square.

4. Repair of Wall, Step and existing Area of Setts next to Railings.

The original wall and coping stones should be retained. At the east end of this the original kerb and setts remain to form a slight stepped area which should also be retained as contributing to the character of this area.

5. Retention and Surfacing of Open Area on West of Square

The two important features of this area are the central gutter formed from gritstone setts and the gently slopping levels draining into the gutter which define the shape and distinctiveness of this area. The area essentially defines the character of the west side of the Square and every effort should be made to retain its fundamantal characteristics. The approach to this area should one of minimal intervention; most importantly the existing levels should be retained together with the settstone gutter. We suggest the use of reclaimed gritstone setts would be the most appropriate way to resurface this area, providing a contrast with the main carriageway and a suitable area for market trading, community activities and occasional parking.

6. Reflagging of Existing Footway Area along West of Carriageway

Reclaimed stone flags should be used for the footpath in place of the existing tarmac surface. It might be possible to retain the existing granite kerbstones along the carriageway although reclaimed local stone would be preferred. A new kerb demarking the footpath from the central sloping area would be desirable. The brick surrounds to the trees should be replaced to match those done in setts.

7. Pavement in Front of Indian Restaurant

This should be repaved in reclaimed stone flags and the concrete kerbstones replaced by gritstone.



8. Restoration of Original Setts

The ultimate aim in this contentious area should be the restoration of the original levels and its settstone surface. It is recognised that this may not be possible in immediate future, but it is important at this stage that nothing is done that is not compatible with this aspiration and existing original material should be preserved at all cost.



9. Restoration of Original Footpath on North Side of Chapel Street

Much of the original gritstone kerb survives along this footpath and should be retained. Similarly many of the original flags have also survived and more may exit under the tarmac surface. These should be exposed and replaced where necessary.

10. Resurfacing of Chapel Street

Ideally we would like to see this done in reclaimed gritstone stone setts to match the materials in the rest of the Square. Any new kerb on the southside should be in keeping in style and materials.



11. Restoration and Replacement of Original Setts

In the north-east part of this area quite a large section of the original gritstone setts survive. This area should provide the key to the renovation of thie rest of this area which ought to be restored in matching materials as apparent from early photographs. It would be desirable to reinstate the line of the carriageway as it was prior to the construction of the bus pull-in. This line is currently indicated by the present line of concrete kerb stones along the carriageway. A restoration of this area to its original proportions and to pedestrian use is seen as very important to visual unity of the Square.. Sensitively renovated, this area could make a dramatic impact to the whole restoration scheme. the original line of kerbs should be restored in Church Road – some of these still survive.

12. Return of Victorian Lamp Base and Replacement of Lamp Standard

The 1850 gritstone base of the original lamp still survived in King George V playing fields. We welcome the proposals to reinstate the base to its original position as indicated in early photographs and provide a replica of the original Victorian lampstandard.

13. Return of K6 Telephone Kiosk

Until recent times the telephone kiosk was of the K6 pattern (this had replaced an earlier K2) and its Georgian style harmonised well with the architecture of Square. The return aa K6 kiosk would help to restore something of the original character.



14. Pavements

The line of the carriage way as at present existing should be reatined if at all possible and the pavements resurfaced in reused flagstone with gritstone kerbs.



J. Barnes



Saddleworth Civic Trust June 2000



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