A different Arts & Crafts church is opening on Heritage Open Days

Long Street Methodist Church and Schools are not opening this coming Heritage Open Days. However, the wonderful St Martin’s Church, Low Marple, Cheshire is, so why not visit there instead?

Opens Friday 18 September 2020, 14.00-18.00 and Saturday 19 September 2020, 10.00-15.00

St.Martin’s Church, Brabyns Brow, Marple Bridge, Marple, Stockport SK6 5DT

Next to Marple Railway Station.

Covid-secure arrangements observed.

Saint Martin’s Church was established in 1867 by Mrs Hudson of Brabyns Hall. It was designed by John Dando Sedding and subsequently extended by Henry Wilson. The church contains art works by William Morris, Dante Gabrielle Rosetti, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Maddox Brown and Christopher Whall.

Edgar Wood painted a picture of the art nouveau Lady Chapel which was designed by Henry Wilson. It shares some of the stylisms used by Wood.

Lady Chapel ceiling

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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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.

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!

Banney Royd – online 3D model

Conservation surveyor and Edgar Wood specialist, Rupert Hilton, has made a superb 3D bird’s eye view model of Banney Royd, Edgerton near Huddersfield – Edgar Wood’s largest and most elaborate house. Rupert has studied the building in great detail over several years.


Art in the Square – tile exhibition at Darmstadt Artists’ Colony

The third art nouveau event to report on this month is at the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony, famous for its wonderful art nouveau buildings. The exhibition mainly concerns art nouveau tiles and the centrepiece is a collection of English tiles, including designs by Wiliam De Morgan and tiles by Pilkington’s Tile & Pottery Co. See…


Article with more photos… (press the translate button)


Nb. The Mathildenhöhe Institute has a wonderful website, see…


BANAD – Brussels Art Nouveau Art Deco festival

The annual BANAD festival is all about Brussels’ art nouveau and deco heritage. It is now integrated into the city’s wider tourism drive and the following Guardian article and BANAD website give you a flavour of what has been on offer this year…

Bannad Website… http://www.banad.brussels/en/

Guardian article – https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/mar/13/10-top-tips-from-our-brussels-correspondent

Liberty in Italy

Liberty in Italy is an interesting Italian exhibition on the so-called minor artists of art nouveau. In their day, these were prominent practitioners and part of the cultural world that Edgar Wood experienced during his regular trips to Italy and his eventual retirement there. The exhibition has been so popular that the initial closing date of 14th February was extended till 1st April.

The exhibition website has a selection of images…


Gaudi, Liberty and Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco Festival

Gaudi, Liberty and Brussels Art Nouveau & Art Deco Festival

Here are three recent articles of interest…


Five of the best Liberty prints, from over 140 years of extraordinary history