Tuesday, 31 January 2017

A beautiful building gutted by fire, the House of Lords pub, Barrow

Sat on Abbey Road, which stretches through the centre of Barrow-in-Furness, stands a beautiful Victorian building. Built in 1870-71 the building served as a working mens club and later went on to become a public house called Lords Tavern or the House of Lords.

Image Courtesy of Google Maps (https://www.google.co.uk/maps/)


The building was designed by architect HA Darbishire. Derbishire served as the architect to the Peabody Trust from 1864 to 1885. The Peabody trust was set up by an American man, George Peabody, who had gained an affection for London. The trusts aim was to, in London, "ameliorate the condition of the poor and needy of this great metropolis, and to promote their comfort and happiness".

This charitable goal must have been something Darbishire was passionate about as much of his work, even outside of the trust and the capital, aimed to promote the welfare of others. The designing of a social club for working men, such as that in Barrow, is a natural fit for this philanthropic architect.

The building is exquisite with its large windows, ornate architectural features and cute oval dormer windows projecting out of the steep roof. The whole place looks grand, impressive and slightly gothic. It surely is a fine building on the streets of Barrow.

Sadly, just a few weeks ago, this building was nearly lost to a large, destructive and harrowing fire. The fire ripped through the property destroying the roof, causing walls to collapse and nearly  condemning this edifice, which has stood 146 years.

Luckily this may not be the end for this fine building, it may have life after the fire but only time will tell. 

It is always a saddening affair when something like this happens. Fire is so destructive and in an instant it can nearly destroy a part of our local history. But it does shine a spotlight on the need to look after these wonderful buildings. Not to let them fall in to disrepair or be left empty and abandoned. These buildings were built to be used, built to serve a purpose and it is a crying shame for them to be left to rot and for inevitably something like this to happen.

We are all guilty of ignoring these buildings, we see them every day, they become part of the background, something nice but something we don't take time to think about. But maybe we should all spend a bit more time looking at these old structures, seeing them for their beauty, their design and for what they are - places to be used, to be admired and loved, places to create safe havens for all.

2 comments:

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