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.

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On-line fund-raising to save Voysey’s Winsford Cottage Hospital

The Landmark Trust aims to raise £355,000 from the public in the next 12 months to save the Arts & Crafts Grade II* listed Winsford Cottage Hospital in Devon, which was designed by C. F. A. Voysey in his long low-lying architectural style.

The money will match a £487,000 grant offer from Heritage Lottery Fund. The trust has also received a lottery grant of £96,000 to develop the project. Full details are HERE on the trust’s website. Continue reading “On-line fund-raising to save Voysey’s Winsford Cottage Hospital”


It’s gratifying when owners of Edgar Wood buildings show a deep concern for the heritage under their care and this is especially true for Greystoke, a Grade II listed building in Hale, Cheshire,  which the Edgar Wood Society is currently assisting with through its chair, David Morris.

Greystoke is one of Edgar Wood’s seven Hale houses. These wonderful house designs trace Edgar’s style as it developed from vernacular inspired Arts and Crafts to the very first art deco architecture. Greystoke was built in 1902 and with nearby The Homestead represents his more expressionist arts and crafts manner.

The owner has liaised with the Edgar Wood historian and architect, John Archer, for many years and this shows in the quality of the work that has been done previously. The new works will involve restoring a series of lost features using old photographs and the society’s knowledge of related buildings and features.

Art Nouveau in Riga, Latvia

fascinating outpost of continental art nouveau is the Latvian capital Riga and its famous architect contemporary of Edgar Wood, Mikhail Eisenstein whose flamboyant and sculptural buildings are very engaging.

Today, Riga is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its art nouveau architecture making up an amazing 33% of all city centre buildings… the highest density of art nouveau in the world.

Here is a new on-line piece about Riga’s architecture and cultural associations that is well worth reading…

A mixture of styles in the Latvian capital, by Katherine Wood

See Hokusai’s The Wave… in Blackburn

Japanese art had enormous influence on art nouveau and the British Museum’s  Hokusai – beyond the Great Wave exhibition is literally making waves of enthusiasm this summer.  But what if you can’t get down to London? Well did you know that Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery also has the Great Wave as well Hokusai’s  ‘Red Fuji’?They are not isolated prints, either, but part of the country’s second largest Japanese print collection which also includes much of 60-Odd Provinces and 53 Stations of the Tokaido Road series by that other great Japanese master, Hiroshige.

You could event visit both!

Will Mellor: an arts and crafts book artist – MMU Exhibition – ends 26th May

Will Mellor: an arts and crafts book artist

24 April – 26 May 2017

In the Foyer, Sir Kenneth Green Library. Continues upstairs on the 3rd Floor of the library, in the Special Collections Reading Room.

This exhibition  will be closing before the end of the month. See it while you can!

Special Collections
Sir Kenneth Green Library
All Saints, Manchester M15 6BH

Phone: +44(0)161 247 610
Fax: +44(0)161 247 6349
E-mail: lib-spec-coll@mmu.ac.uk

Monday – Friday 10.00 – 16.00
Thursday 10.00 – 19.00 (term time only)
Saturday 12.00 – 16.00 (term time only)

Continue reading “Will Mellor: an arts and crafts book artist – MMU Exhibition – ends 26th May”

Filming for Edgar Wood has now begun…


Filming for Edgar Wood has now begun… it started on Thursday with the first tranche of shooting at the following Edgar Wood houses… The Sheil, The Hollies, Greystoke and Halecroft.

There will be another Hale shoot later in the summer. Next week, Anthony Dolan and crew will be filming at Briarcourt, near Huddersfield.