Park Hotel, Preston
Visited in August 2022 after seeing the building many times as i took walks through the beautiful Avenham Park. Visited with David [Scrappy NW] one warm evening and finding a way in was fairly straight forward despite the previous attempts of securing the building from intruders. We spent a couple of hours inside and went up to the balcony on the tower. It was whilst we were there looking out across Preston that a local reported us out of concern for welfare, not knowing we were there to photograph the place as opposed to anything more sinister. We'd pretty much done with photographing inside when the police arrived on horse back and entered the building with security [the horses stayed outside]. As per, they understood why we were there and after a quick look around led us out and that was it.
Since our visit, the site has been heavily sealed up with metal sheets yet local vandals are still finding a way inside.
Inside were still original features, tiled walls and ornate staircases...albeit showing signs of neglect but still a reminder of how this beautiful building looked in the past.
Opening in 1883, The Park Hotel was a railway-owned hotel at East Cliff, Preston in Lancashire and was later used for many years as offices by the local council.
The hotel was operated jointly by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and London and North Western Railway. In the 1923 grouping of railway companies, ownership passed to the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. When the UK's railways were nationalised in 1948, it passed to the British Transport Commission's Hotels Executive, and thence to British Transport Hotels, who sold it in 1950.
It was subsequently used as offices, and renamed 'East Cliff County Offices' by Lancashire County Council, who also had a modern annexe, adjacent.
Located on a small hill, the red-brick building overlooks Preston railway station, on the West Coast Main Line to its north-west, and Miller Park / Avenham Park as we all the River Ribble to its south-east. In its heyday, the hotel was connected to the southern end of the main south-bound platform (the modern-day platform 4) at Preston station by a covered footbridge.
Various pre-1923 objects from the hotel are in the National Railway Museum at York. These include Mappin & Webb cutlery and Elkington & Co. tableware and candlesticks, the latter marked with the initials "P.P." and a lamb and flag, the coat of arms of the city.
The historic hotel structure was used for many decades as an office building for the Lancashire County Council, along with an adjoining tower, constructed in the 1960s. In 2020, the modern office tower was demolished as part of a plan by the Council to restore the hotel to operation.
In 2019 LCC approved plans to create 71 hotel guest rooms in the main building, another 44 in a new block on the site and capacity for around 200 diners in a new banqueting suite pavilion yet that didn't see the light of day and was shelved.
As of May 2023 a proposed scheme, has been brought forward by The Heaton Group, would involve the conversion of the hotel itself and the construction of two residential blocks - one eight storeys high and the other nine - in its grounds. Another existing building - number 8 East Cliff, which was built in the mid-1830s - would also be converted. Hopefully this planned conversion sees the light of day as the building as it is now in June 2023 has suffered damage and vandalism as it lies empty and decaying.