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Singleton Fire Engine House
Singleton, near Blackpool, Lancashire
Singleton Fire Engine House
associated engineer
Not known
date  after 1871
era  Victorian  |  category  Building  |  reference  SD382382
photo  Paul Dunkerley
This little gem is probably unique in Britain in its combination of decoration and purpose. It housed a horse-drawn fire appliance. By 1912, the village still retained its own volunteer fire brigade whose first duty in a callout was to catch the horse, which grazed in the adjacent field.
The cotton spinner Thomas Miller bought the Singleton estate near Blackpool in 1852 and introduced improvements to make it the ‘Model Village of The Fylde’. His son, Thomas Horrocks Miller, continued the idea, building Singleton Hall and estate housing, and largely paying for the construction of the local church. It was he who built the fire engine house, in a field at the centre of the village. In 1913, a local historian, Reverend W.T Bulpit, noted that "The squire, Thomas Horrocks Miller Esq., exercises a firm but beneficent rule over his tenants".
The tiny building is 5.5m long by 4.3m wide. The mock half-timbered walls sit on a brick base. The wall panels have decorative mouldings featuring the national plants of the four countries forming Great Britain. Various shapes of tile adorn the roof and there is an iron gutter with ornamental brackets of lion-head castings. The small tower at the back of the building houses the alarm bell, which summoned the volunteer brigade. Above the doorway is a large metal plaque bearing the words 'FIRE ENGINE'.
The building now houses the village electricity substation.
The Horrocks family also built Centenary Mill in Preston.
Research: PD
b I b l I o g r a p h y
"The Victorian History of the Counties of England - Lancashire"
University of London, 1699 (original 1912)
"Historical Notes on the Fylde" by Rev. W.T. Bulpit
Spring Brothers, St Annes on Sea, 1913
Location

Singleton Fire Engine House