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New application to have historic Raven Inn listed

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A new application has been submitted to Historic England, to have the historic Raven Inn at Glazebury, Warrington, listed.

A previous application was not accepted, with no right of appeal unless new evidence could be unearthed, for a fresh application. This latest submission by American based history enthusiast Van Hostetler, contains fascinating new evidence.

The application is extremely detailed with case made for this rare survivor’s importance to Lancashire and within a national context.

It contains new historic information and further attempts to demonstrate group value as desired by Historic England.

Perhaps most interesting are images which indicate that the Raven Inn, clearly shown on the 1786 Yates Map, had former functions both as an agricultural barn and as a water mill.

Many mysteries also remain.

Within a national context, this building is a rare example of a purpose-built brick banked mill barn.

National interest is also supported by its multiple ties to the feudal manorial estate system of old Lancashire.

New information indicates that the building now housing the Raven Inn is much older than previously documented and that it exhibits new evidence of prior agricultural and milling functions.

Prior agricultural use is shown by a brick pitching hole clearly seen in its gable in a 1926 photograph. The existence of this pitching hole dictates the former placement of a loading ramp for wagons on the east side of the building’s second story.

The 1843 Ordnance Survey maps also indicate past function as a water mill. It is shown that a mill pond existed adjacent the building. This mill pond was connected to the existing (now covered) mill race which runs along the front of the building.

The above findings support medieval origins for the Raven Inn as well as the listed buildings found on the furlongs to its north and south. Its placement shows it to be older than previously documented.

The Ordinance Survey from [1843] shows that the Raven Inn was formerly a water mill.

Despite some alteration, architectural integrity is retained to a significant degree. This is the most intact structure to survive upon the medieval Holcroft estate and is in much better condition than any of the adjacent listed Holcroft structures. The building still exhibits its original foundation, original brickwork, original mill race, and underneath added overlays, likely its original pitching holes and original timber frame

When evidence of its prior functions is considered, the Raven Inn is likely much older than previously thought.

No other structure in the area can illustrate multiple ties to the feudal estate system of old Lancashire in quite the way this one can. Much more must be learned about its history and thus, this asset must be protected.

This is the most intact structure to survive upon the medieval Holcroft estate and is in much better condition than any of the adjacent listed Holcroft structures’.

Meanwhile campaigners, who have succesfuly had the pub Listed as an Asset of Community Value by Warrington Borough Council and put in a bid to buy the building, have adopted an effigy of Colonel Blood as their mascot by.

It is believed the pub was built by Holcroft family in 1562 providing direct links with Colonel Thomas Blood,and King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn via the Holcroft family.

As manorial lords existing as far back as the 13th century, they achieved notoriety through the marriage of their daughter Maria to Colonel Thomas Blood, an Irish adventurer.

Thomas Blood served with Cromwell in Ireland and when he was stationed in south Lancashire the wedding took place at nearby Newchurch Parish Church on the 21st June 1650. A turbulent life of political intrigue was marked by a failed attempt to steal the Crown Jewels, when Thomas was imprisoned in the White Tower before trial. Surprisingly he was pardoned and eventually became a favourite of King Charles II, dying at his Westminster home in 1680.

Campaigners with their mascot Colonel Blood

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About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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