Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Not as old as it looks

The magnificent old Post Office, now a Wetherspoon's
Stroll through the centre of Northwich and you'll be impressed by the numbers of beautiful medieval timber framed buildings. Except they aren't! Most are barely a hundred years old.
There is a reason – they were designed to be jacked up and supported - or moved - in the event of subsidence. And subsidence, as we know, has always been a major issue because of the underground salt workings. Timber framing, with its inherent flexibility, doesn't suffer the same disastrous cracking as stone or brick, if the ground moves and is also lighter and therefore easier to prop up or move.
The most remarkable of the town's timber framed buildings is the 1914 built three storey, Elizabethean style old Post Office, now a Wetherspoon's pub - The Penny Black. But there are plenty more: here are a few and a couple that aren't but still caught the eye.

The Brunner public library of 1909

An estate agent's office, complete with gargoyles

The Plaza Cinema of 1925, now a bingo hall but still an eye-catcher

And some wonderful old cigarette advertising on a shop wall

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