Members of the Ramsbottom History Society visited the church and school rooms this morning and after lunch in the Old Boar’s Head, were conducted on a tour of the Conservation Area and the Edgar Wood properties. If you would like details of a visit or tour, please get in touch via the web site.
In preparation for Andy taking images of the nave of the Arts and Crafts Church, which we wanted to look in its ‘pristine’ state, the nave was emptied of cupboards and the bits and pieces that accumulate over the months. On completion of the new Edgar Wood web site, some of the images will be featured.
Maureen and Christine of the EWS invited the new RMBC Conservation Officer, Jessica Smith to Long Street Methodist Church and the Edgar Wood School Rooms for a tour. Having ‘brain washed’ Jessica on the importance of EW they went on a walk around the Conservation Area.
Not quite the same angles but compare the photograph from Saturday 1st September 2018 above with the early 1900s below. The door canopies have been partly fitted and require their brackets so temporary props are in position. The door plates to match the ones on the left image will then be fitted. Watch this space!
Sibby an Edgar Wood Society committee member led a guided tour of 25 on a city centre Arts and Crafts tour. A sell out with the funds being donated to the EWS.
The start was at the war memorial in the Victoria Station, sculpture by George Wragg then on to the Eric Gill bas relief on the Cathedral 1930’s extension. Moving on to the Boar War memorial in St. Ann’s Square followed by Lutyen’s bank on King St. We also found Edgar Wood’s office on King St. (picture above) and the site of his previous office on Cross St. On route we visited the John Ryland’s Library then on to Albert Square to find a fine example of the work of John Cassidy, who designed and made many sculptures for the city.
The staff at the Midland Hotel kindly allowed us to view a beautiful window by George Wragg, before we crossed the road to Lutyen’s war memorial. The tour concluded at this point although several of the group went on to the Art Gallery to see the Annie Swynnerton exhibition, which is highly recommended.
July saw a flurry of paint brushes as the restoration moved onto the redecoration of the interior. Colour sampling by David Morris brought to light the original Edgar Wood colours for all but two of the rooms. The image above shows the original scheme for the Ladies Parlour which was painted in a William Morris style grey-green. The School Hall was found to have eleven coats of paint… at one time the walls were painted bright red/orange! Edgar Wood’s colour was pale blue making for a fresh and relaxed interior. See the coloured up photos below… the old colour scheme is on the left and the new one is on the right. Continue reading “Redecoration well under-way – original Edgar Wood colours discovered”
Last night at Lindley Methodist Church, Huddersfield, 80 people attended a fascinating lecture by Nick Baker about the Arts & Crafts Movement in the Pennine areas and the impact of the Northern Art Workers Guild.
Nick identified the principal architects, such as Barry Parker, Edgar Wood and Walter Brierley and the Guild’s artists, like sculptor J. J. Millson, plasterer J. R. Cooper, metal worker George Wragge, painter Frederick Jackson, and sculptor Stirling Lee, who combined their talents to enrich the strucures erected by the architects, both on the outside and in the decoration and furnishing of rooms.
Nick introduced the audience to many new buildings as well as presenting old favourites in a new light. He also highlighted the importance of the northern Arts & Crafts movement to the development of European fin de siecle architecture and how buildings like the grade I listed Banney Royd, Egerton, Huddersfield had international fame.
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!
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”
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”
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.
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.
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.