Report - - Grand Imperial Studio of J. Monk, Preston. June 19 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Grand Imperial Studio of J. Monk, Preston. June 19


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I came across this place totally by accident after finding access from the roof of an old theatre next door. I was on the roof of the empty stripped theatre about to call it a day when I noticed a small hole that went into another building, so I thought "be rude to not look". With a serious lack of stairs in the place going between floors it wasn't easy and with the heat in June I almost didn't bother.

Glad I did in the end, A few things seamed a bit odd in the place like the long half drum looking lighting and a dark room, But I thought nowt of it until a few months later when I found something about it while I was looking at the previous names of the old theatre. Turns out it was an old photography studio that originally opened in 1879. Not what I expected from the little building, luckily I did manage one return trip for a few more shots.

History stole from Here

The studios opened in 1875 as business boomed. John Monk - Photographic Artist is first listed in the P. Barrett & Co, Directory of Preston, Blackpool etc, in 1885. Again his photographic business is listed in 1885, 1892, 1898, 1901 & 1904 for these premises. The cutting below details his business and standing in the Preston community.

In the Barrett’s Directory of Preston, Ninth Edition - 1907, the business for 135a is listed as H. Melling - Photographer. One can deduce that between 1904 - 1907 the premises were taken over by H. Melling from John Monk and similarly used as a premises for a photography business.

The last entry in the Barrett’s Directory of Preston for H. Melling having sole use of the premises is 1940 whereby in 1948, T Atkinson - Cycle Dealer is listed in Barrett’s Directory of Preston, Seventeenth Edition in 1948. The same Directory lists T. Atkinson in the 1952 & 1953 editions. The Barrett’s Directory of Preston from 1963 has the entry as: Thomas Atkinson, Babyland; Peter Wilson; John Barber; H Melling - Photographer.

Beyond these dates it isn't clear what the premises were used for. Judging by the decor and the Bakelite light switches still in situ, it does look - from being inside - that little alteration or upkeep has been done for many decades so it could be that the upper floors at least, haven't been used since around the 1960s for any business or living purposes.

A cutting from 1889

Old bottles left around on the floor

Dark room

When opened in 1879

Now in 2019, some features remain but very few.

Not an epic site I know but something a bit different. Hope you liked.

Bikin Glynn

28DL Regular User
Regular User
I really like that, there is a certain irony about photographing a photography studio too!

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Nicely done. Ninja style. Looks like a case of test every step in there. Great photos :thumb

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