Preparations for Visit to the Edgar Wood Centre, Manchester

Edgar Wood Society’s David Morris met up with (left to right) Bill, Danny (and his dog) and Pete to see how Edgar Wood’s First Church was faring in its restoration and to assist with some conservation issues.

The Edgar Wood Society is visiting this Saturday and Danny wanted the building to look its best (as far as you can while restoring it). The external redecoration is well under-way and the new garden planting is looking good. All future lighting will be fixed in the garden not on the buiding. The latest set of works included the removal of vast amounts of cabling, trunking and electrical fittings, from when the Centre was used as offices. Two modern radiators have also been removed, exposing more of the original marble panelling and now the historic skirting  boards are also being restored. The interior is starting to look very good. 

Restored Jubilee Park Staircase is Officially Opened


Edgar Wood’s restored Jubilee Park staircase with its unique curved exedra was officially opened at 12 noon on 13th October, 2017 by the Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Ian Duckworth. Also in attendance were MP liz McInnes, Mayoress Christine Duckworth, Chairman of the THI board Mr. Malcolm Alan and Councillor June West. The photograph was taken by surveyor, Lynda Jubb, who oversaw the conservation work. It was funded by the Edgar Wood & Middleton THI.

This was, in fact, the very first official opening. The original opening ceremony was cancelled because the benefactor, T. B. Wood, Edgar Wood’s father, was taken seriously ill and it was never rescheduled. At that time, the staircase had a unique art deco drinking fountain at the top and was known as the Jubilee Drinking Fountain.

Click Here for details of the history of the Jubilee Drinking Fountain and its restoration.



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.

Edgar Wood Centre repair and restoration scheme approved

The application by Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust for listed building consent (Ref: 16/01312/LBC) to restore the School buildings at Long Street Methodist was approved by Rochdale planning department on 7th April. The scheme was drawn up by Alan Gardner Associates last November, with assistance from Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust conservation officer, David Morris. You can see the approved restoration work by clicking the ‘Documents’ tab on the online planning file HERE 

This is part of the rescue plan for the buildings, which so many people supported last Autumn CLICK HERE and HERE . Detailed grant bids are now being drawn up and it is hoped that restoration work will begin late summer or early autumn.

Restoration of Edgar Wood’s Guardian Buildings – A Review

Before Restoration

An early Edgar Wood designed commercial building has  been restored by the Edgar Wood and Middleton Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) conservation scheme. The building was in a terribly mutilated state and its appearance is now a hundred times better than it was. The THI, which is superbly managed by Sue Oakley Rochdale MBC conservation officer, is warmly congratulated for its achievement. Bringing historic buildings forward for restoration is a slow and complicated procedure and one that doesn’t always bear fruit. Continue reading “Restoration of Edgar Wood’s Guardian Buildings – A Review”

Another Edgar Wood building is being restored


Guardian Buildings, Market Place, Middleton
Guardian Buildings, Market Place, Middleton

Guardian Buildings were originally the headquarters and printshop for the Middleton Guardian newspaper, which is still going strong today. They were designed by Edgar Wood in 1889 in a simple direct way with an art nouveau verticality and a pair of strong gables.

Never expensive, the building has been known only in a very mutilated form for several decades. That is until now, as the Edgar Wood and Middleton THI is funding its restoration to something close to its original form. We look forward to the result!

In 1906, the owner of Guardian Buildings, Fred Bagot, also commissioned Edgar Wood to build him a new home at 36 Mellalieu Street. It was his first flat roofed design and has also been restored by the THI.


Listed Places of Worship Grant – Unsuccessful

For the second year running the Greater Manchester Building Preservation Trust has not been successful in receiving a grant under the Listed Places of Worship scheme for dedicated repairs to roofs, gutters and drains.

The application ticked all the correct boxes and matched funding was in place, being supported by the Edgar Wood Society, Middleton Township and others. This Church is on the National Buildings at Risk Register, yet still did not get grant approval. We are very disappointed.20160621_151452_resizeda                                                                                                      IMG_2068aIMG_2065a