The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

The Pennine Tower, Forton Motorway Service Station, Lancashire. Photograph by Mick Bellamy.

Forton M6 service station listed


 Aidan Turner Bishop of our north west group emails to say:

“Great news for all concrete and motorway fans! Forton, Lancaster, motorway service station has just been listed grade II by English Heritage:

Forton is the Dan Dare-like tower between junctions 32 and 33 on the M6 to the south of Lancaster. The architect was T P Bennett & Sons who also designed some Mormon chapels in London and the Home Counties. Bennett believed in ‘old fashioned’ drawing skills for his staff and I read, I think in an AJ article about Forton, that he arranged life drawing classes for his colleagues on the Forton job. The C20 Society has visited Forton twice, ascending the pentagonal lift to the derelict former Pennine Tower Restaurant. When Eddy Rhead and I went there we were told by the manager that staff were unhappy to visit the former restaurant because they believed it is haunted: not bad for instant folklore.

Now that EH is at last getting round to taking motorways seriously when can we expect listings for the wonderful Northern bridges and viaducts such as Snow Hill Lane, Lune Viaduct, Lowther Viaduct and the marvellous M62 Pennine Way footbridge? EH turned down for listing the 1958 Preston Bypass Opening Stone commemorating the “First British Motorway” so they have still to learn. I live in hope.”


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