F T Pilkington, 1860. 2-storey Rogue Gothic shops and tenements with distinctive corner oriel; arranged in 4 blocks around courtyard; 2 principal blocks to Bridge Street, linked by Moorish archway; plainer blocks to rear (32-34 Bridge Street and 1-7 Park End). Squared and coursed sandstone with rock-faced dressings. Contrasting red sandstone banding to ground floor arches; contrasting column mullions with foliate capitals to bipartite windows; 1st floor windows breaking eaves in jerkin-headed dormers; overhanging eaves; long and short quoins.
W (PRINCIPAL, 22-24 BRIDGE STREET) ELEVATION: 3-bay, formerly shop at ground. Central doorway, with later infill and replacement door. Segmental-arched windows with later timber mullions at ground in flanking bays; corbelled bipartite window at 1st floor in bay to left; round-headed bipartite at 1st floor in bay to right. S ELEVATION: single window at 1st floor to outer right. E (REAR) ELEVATION: segmental-arched doorway to centre flanked by similarly arched single windows; lean-to sheds adjoining to outer right. Single and bipartite windows at 1st floor. N ELEVATION: blank gable.
ARCHWAY: rock-faced Moorish archway with stepped top; panel inscribed "PARK END".
W (26-28 BRIDGE STREET) ELEVATION: 4-bay with arcaded angle entrance and oriel above. Segmental-arched openings to 3-bay shop; panelled door; bipartite and single windows above. Segmental-arched bipartite window at ground to right; single window above. Substantial column with foliate capital flanked by open round arches at angle; corbelled 3-light oriel above with dog-tooth moulding and contrasting red sandstone column mullions. S ELEVATION: 2-bay with arcaded entrance to left. 2 round arches at ground; left arch infilled with single window; prominent corbelled wallhead stack above; right arch open. N ELEVATION: chamfered angle at ground to outer left; segmental-arched doorway at ground to left; single window above. E ELEVATION: not seen 1999.
S (PRINCIPAL, 32-34 BRIDGE STREET) ELEVATION: recessed from main block; no dormers; advanced bay to outer right. Segmental-arched bipartite windows to outer left and right; bipartite window above; irregular distribution of openings between outer bays. N and E ELEVATIONS: irregular distribution of openings.
1-7 PARK END: near L-plan. Regular arrangement of single and bipartite windows to both floors; pend and entrance stair to centre. Bracketed timber projection to re-entrant SE angle.
Original glazing pattern (plate glass upper sash over 2-pane lower sash) largely survives at 1st floor of main blocks; 12-pane timber sash and case windows to rear blocks. Purple-grey Welsh slate jerkin roofs; idiosyncratic corniced multi-flue ridge and gable stacks; cast-iron rainwater goods
INTERIORS: not seen, 1999.
Statement of Special Interest
Designed in typical exuberant and eccentric Pilkington style as shops and housing for single women working at the Valleyfield Mill for Charles Cowan. Only one of the original ground floor shops remains in use. The main buildings are lavishly detailed with carved capitals, rock-faced dressings, contrasting red sandstone columns, jerkin-headed dormers, and unusual chimney stacks. Although much more subdued, the plainer buildings to the rear also have rock-faced dressings and quoins, and form an integral part of the scheme.