King Street was a main route westwards out of Blackburn and started to develop from the 1700s. No 43 was built in around 1777 of brick with stone quoins, and occupies a prominent location on the junction of King Street and Freckleton Street. It probably began life as a coaching inn before being purchased by Thwaites Brewery in 1853, when a third storey was added. The pub was sold in 1996, remaining unoccupied thereafter and acquired for development in 1999, but a fire in 2002 led to an application to demolish, subsequently turned down. It then lay disused and supported by scaffolding, and was finally acquired by the scaffolding company when the owner refused to pay the bill. The building was acquired by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council after threat of a compulsory purchase and handed to the Heritage Trust for the North West in 2006 for £1.
Whilst developing the scheme it became apparent that the acquisition of No. 3 Freckleton Street, also damaged by the fire and in a derelict condition, was a key component to the viability of the restoration of the King’s Head. It was subsequently acquired by the Council and passed on to the Heritage Trust for the North West. It has now been turned into a single dwelling, with the King Street property converted into offices. The main contractor was the Trust’s own building company, Conservation Services North West, with building trainees from Accrington and Rossendale College also involved. The project won a best practice award at the North West Regional Construction Awards ceremony 2009.
Sources of Funding:
Heritage Lottery Fund, Townscape Heritage Initiative Scheme: £53,185
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): £276,523
North-West Regional Development Agency: £45,066
Heritage Trust for the North West: £153,388
Total Investment: £528,162
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, European Regional Development Fund, North West Regional Development Agency.
Architectural Heritage Fund