More Scaffold

The hall and school rooms are now fully encased in scaffold. All render has been removed and the Ladies Parlour bay brickwork has been taken down, prior to being rebuilt. Two internal walls are scheduled to be taken out this week. Watch this space!

Contractors and Volunteers Get Started

Stone Edge contractors have started removing the cement render that  replaced the lime render in the 1970s. Cement stops the bricks ‘breathing’ and results in damp. At the same time the EW volunteers are removing the shrubs so scaffolding can be positioned for the high level work.  Hidden damage to the stonework is revealed, caused again by the use of cement. The damaged stonework can be seen in the middle right of the centre picture and the lower image shows the extent of the damage. The new render will be lime based as used originally by Edgar Wood. Continue reading “Contractors and Volunteers Get Started”

The Contractors Move In

Stuart the site manager for the contractors (Stone Edge) was welcomed at 7.30am this morning to start the run in for what will be a tight restoration schedule. At the same time there is a lot of preparation needed by the Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust and the Edgar Wood Society, especially removing items to a safe storage area and journeys to the waste disposal site. Continue reading “The Contractors Move In”

Edgar Wood lecture given to Chester Civic Trust

This evening, Edgar Wood Society chair, David Morris, gave an illustrated lecture to Chester Civic Trust entitled “Edgar Wood – that Remarkable Manchester Architect”. The event was held in the Grosvenor Museum, Chester and, afterwards, David joined a group who retired to a nearby pub for an enjoyable chat about Edgar Wood and his buildings. The Trust is now planning a visit to Middleton next year.

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.

Continue reading “Edgar Wood houses listed as (possibly) the first art nouveau houses in the world”

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

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.

Continue reading “Restoration of the Wesleyan School – Update”

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.

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.

‘Lutyens in Lancashire’ lecture by Richard Fletcher

Richard showing an early photo of Lutyens’ Abbey House

Richard Fletcher delivered this afternoon’s Edgar Wood Society lecture on the subject of Lutyens in Lancashire.

It was a fascinating overview of Lutyens’ designs in the county, including his Grade I listed Rochdale Cenotaph and its cousin in Manchester. Rochdale also has the adjacent Post Office (but with an uncertain attribution) while Manchester has the impressive and definitely Lutyens Midland Bank, both white Portland stone buildings. Liverpool, on the other hand, has the huge crypt of Liverpool Cathedral which is just a fragment of the vast cathedral originally planned as Lutyens’ finest building. But it never came to be, apart for the large scale model now at Liverpool Museum (photo above by Mike Peel www.mikepeel.net ). Richard’s talk brought to the fore many interesting connections and anecdotes about people and buildings and how each linked into the wider historical scene.

Continue reading “‘Lutyens in Lancashire’ lecture by Richard Fletcher”