Edgar Wood houses listed as (possibly) the first art nouveau houses in the world

Hillcrest and Briarhill, 37-39 Rochdale Road, Middleton were built by Edgar Wood in 1892 as ‘new art’ town houses, next door to Redcroft and Fencegate, 33-35 Rochdale Road, which were a matching pair of ‘country houses’.

After detailed research by the research group of the Edgar Wood Society for Heritage Trust for the North West, Hillcrest and Briarhill have now been listed grade II, despite their poor condition. They have enormous historical importance as possibly the worlds first art nouveau houses. Edgar Wood’s design was published in the UK, USA and Europe in 1893 and it pre-dates by a year what are generally considered to be the ‘world’s first’ art nouveau designs by Belgium’s Victor Horta and Paul Hankar.

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What is Destroying the Lawn in the Church Garden?

Extensive damage is occurring to the lawn as can be seen in the images. It has been suggested that it may be foxes, cats, badgers or birds. Whatever animal it is and what it is looking for is not the 20p piece, this just for scale. Any suggestion and cure would be welcomed.

Banner Comes Down on Heritage Open Days

The Heritage Open Days banner was taken down at 5.00pm after another successful three days at the Arts & Crafts Church with in excess of 150 visitors. At 2.00pm a group of 15 weathered the rain to do a walking tour of the Edgar Wood buildings and the Sam Bamford monument. It is good to know that Middleton and its heritage is being recognised in the wider area with visitors making a special journey down from Askham in Furness and many others from outside the Greater Manchester area. One written comment was “Middleton needs to be on the cultural tourist trail” we all agree with this.

A big than you to the volunteers that helped to make the three days so rewarding for the visitors, which is reflected in many comments on the visitors sheet. The next event is on Wed 13 Sept see the following link.

http://middletonheritage.co.uk/events/the-making-of-modern-middleton-part-1

Heritage Open Days Gets Off To A Busy Start

A busy and worthwhile opening to the first day of the heritage weekend at the Arts & Crafts Church with over 50 visitors travelling from around the region, despite the heavy down pours. When the sun did shine various architectural features lit up to reveal their full splendour.

It was good to hear the visitors say how impressed they were by this beautiful building.

Heritage Open Days Only 5 Days Away

The Arts and Crafts Church – Long Street Methodist Church and School Rooms will be open for visitors on Friday, Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 1-4pm, September 8-10th.

For details of other places to visit in the area, click on the links below or copy into your browser:

www.heritageopendays.org.uk

www.middletonheritage.co.uk

Mumbai art deco

Mumbai art deco – Increasingly, towns and cities with art deco buildings are beginning to value them.  Mumbai is India’s largest city with over two hundred art deco buildings and, in this regard, is second only to Miami, USA. Here are two recent articles with photos about Mumbai’s art deco…  Mumbai’s Art Deco buildings survive against the odds  and  Take a virtual tour of Mumbai’s Art Deco treasures  …There’s also a website dedicated to the city’s art deco… http://www.artdecomumbai.com/

Restoration of the Wesleyan School – Update

The Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust’s THI grant scheme to restore the Long Street Wesleyan School has been racing along these last few months, headed by architect, Lisa Mcfarlane of Seven Architecture. The finance is almost all in place, the work has been tendered and a contractor chosen. Now the final details are being nailed down.

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Grand Day Out – Pownall and Bramall Halls

On August 12th thirty eight people set off on the Edgar Wood Society’s visit to Pownall and Bramhall Halls. It was a wonderful day with so many beautiful objects to admire.

At Pownall the star of the show for many was the outstanding stained glass, probably by Carl Almquist of the Lancaster firm,  Shrigley and Hunt. Pownall also gave us the opportunity to see the only known example of the Century Guild’s work in its original setting. Mackmurdo fireplaces, De Morgan tiles, Art Nouveau door hinges – an absolute feast for the senses! Have a look through the gallery below. Continue reading “Grand Day Out – Pownall and Bramall Halls”

Willow Tea Rooms update

Willow Tea Rooms update – The last time I saw Mackintosh’s Willow Tea Rooms, they were looking a little seedy. Now the exterior is fully restored with the interior to follow (via an eye-watering restoration budget). Here are two articles with photos bringing you up to date…  Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s restored Willow Tea Rooms revealed  and  Willow Tea Rooms will complete stunning transformation with £4m lottery boost.

Tablet Course (computers) for the Over 50s Comes to an End

After completing their eight weeks course, four of the ‘youngsters’ show off their certificates of attendance. A thank you to Karen of Pride Media Association for putting on the course in the lecture room of the EW centre.  Karen would like to return in the future to put on similar courses. ‘Apps’ she will next year if not sooner.

The First Church of Christ Scientist, Manchester is on the market

First Church of Christ Scientist, in Victoria Park, Manchester is on the market and is likely to have a change of use. Agents Canning O’Neill are open minded as to what that use might entail but a well aware of the outstanding significance of the building. 

It would be great to find a new sensitive use that can also conserve and restore this Edgar Wood masterpiece. For example, why not reinstate the lost Edgar Wood chimneys at the ends of the wings (see photo) and undertake historical paint analysis to restore Edgar Wood’s original internal colour scheme? Along with the Middleton and Hale designs, The First Church has the potential to put Manchester on the international art nouveau visitor trail.

Middleton in Bloom

The inspection for Middleton in Bloom takes place tomorrow, Thursday 20th July. The route takes the inspectors up Long Street and past Long Street Methodist Church and School. The Edgar Wood Society team have been out doing their bit to help and the garden is looking good with the lavender flowering at its peak. The Middleton in Bloom committee have  provided plants and a planter for the front steps, for which we are grateful.  A big thank you  to this group of volunteers for their work in improving the visual environment of the area.