Historic wall stands in path of university walkway in Preston

A small section of this 200-year-old wall could be demolished.
A small section of this 200-year-old wall could be demolished.

University bosses in Preston have applied for permission to demolish a portion of a 200-year-old church wall to improve a campus pedestrian area.

The Grade II Listed structure, around the former St Peter’s Church, was built around 1825 and is considered to be “of considerable historic and aesthetic value” according to Historic England.

UCLan wants to remove a short section of the wall in St Peter’s Square and realign it to widen access between the church - now St Peter’s Arts Centre - the University Library and a soon-to-be-built Students’ Centre which will form part of the £60m University Square project.

As part of the work new stepped access to the Library and Arts Centre will be created and four headstone memorials will be relocated in the old churchyard.

“The proposed development will open up the existing pathway between the library and the arts centre facilitating a more direct route to the new students’ centre,” says a planning statement.

It adds that the scheme would “contribute to the positive regeneration of the site, protecting the significance of heritage assets and enhancing the local character.”

The former St Peter’s Church was built between 1822 and 1825 and is one of only 20 Grade II Listed properties in Preston.

It is considered to be “of exceptional historic, communal and aesthetic value.” It was taken over by Preston Polytechnic in 1973.