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Potter Gateway to Sunnyhurst Wood

A Grade II Listed Building in Darwen, Blackburn with Darwen

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Latitude: 53.7021 / 53°42'7"N

Longitude: -2.4865 / 2°29'11"W

OS Eastings: 367981

OS Northings: 422963

OS Grid: SD679229

Mapcode National: GBR CT2M.HM

Mapcode Global: WH977.S64Q

Plus Code: 9C5VPG27+RC

Entry Name: Potter Gateway to Sunnyhurst Wood

Listing Date: 24 February 2016

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1426172

Location: Darwen, Blackburn with Darwen, BB3

County: Blackburn with Darwen

Civil Parish: Darwen

Built-Up Area: Darwen

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Darwen St Cuthbert with Tockholes

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn

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Lychgate, 1904; dressed sandstone, timber and tile.


Lychgate, 1904; dressed sandstone, timber and tile.

DESCRIPTION: octagonal structure forming a main entrance to Sunnyhurst Wood. It comprises a tooled stone base with moulded ashlar coping set with eight stone bases and opposing out-turned entrances (gates removed). The timber superstructure comprises eight stout Tuscan columns rising from the eight stone bases; these in turn support the bracketed eaves carrying a pyramidal roof rising above a domed plastered ceiling. The roof has a tile covering and is surmounted by a carved stone finial. The interior is paved and a stone inscribed in contemporary script, records the gifting of the gate and the names of its benefactors. A metal fixing for a lantern is affixed to the underside of the dome.


Sunnyhurst Wood, a wooded valley with a brook running through it, was purchased by Darwen Corporation in the early C20 for the creation of a public park to commemorate the Coronation of Edward VII in 1902. Funds were raised by public subscription, through the efforts of Alderman John Tomlinson, Mayor of Darwen (1900-1902) amounting to £2600. Work on the park began in 1902 and involved the construction of a number of paths, additional planting and minor works to the stream. The opening ceremony took place on 2nd July 1903 performed by Mrs Shorrock, the Mayoress. Within a few months of opening, improvements were being made and benefactors were providing further amenities at their own expense; these included a fishpond, a shallow lake for paddling and toy boat sailing, an aviary and a sundial.

In 1904 a new entrance to the wood with a lychgate was the gift of John Charles Potter (1854-1920) in memory of the years passed at Earnsdale by himself and his family. John Charles Potter was a wallpaper manufacturer and collector. In 1884 he entered the family business, C. and J.G. Potter of Darwen, Lancashire, wallpaper manufacturers. 'Potters' had patented the steam driven, rotary wallpaper printing machine in 1839 which enabled cheap production of wallpaper and was adopted universally by mid-century.

Reasons for Listing

The Potter Gateway, Sunnyhurst Wood, of 1904 is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: it is a well-designed structure that utilise good quality materials with a high level of attention to detail;
* Degree of survival: it survives largely intact and compares very favourably with listed examples of park entrances;
* Historic interest: in common with the related structures in Sunnyhurst Wood, it attests to the widespread rise of leisure activities in the late-C19 and early-C20 and which, provided via the philanthropy of notable local people, together preserve a set of contemporary public inscriptions;
* Group value: as one of a group of listed Edwardian, municipal park structures, it benefits from a historic, spatial and functional group value, strengthened further by its relationship to the Grade II registered park itself.

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