Greater Manchester is a Metropolitan County comprising ten Metropolitan Boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Trafford, Tameside, Wigan, and the cities of Manchester and Salford
We have long been amazed by the quality and variety of architecture to be found in the City of Manchester and its surrounding suburbs. The former cotton industry warehouses are a well-known feature, quite unique to Manchester, but there are also many fine churches and pubs, and a good few interesting municipal, school, shop and office buildings. The main Victoria railway station building is a spectacular example of its kind, as also are some of the nearby city railway bridges. There are more than twenty fine "half-timbered" halls and houses dating from the 15th century onwards, and numerous Victorian "gentlemen's houses" built for the mill and factory owners. Their workforces were accommodated in extensive terraced housing, some of which is especially ornate or distinctive in design.
Our interest was heightened by Clare Hartwell's excellent handbook "Manchester" in the Pevsner Architectural Guides series, first published in 2001 (ISBN 0-14-071131-7), and by the English Heritage guide "Manchester - The Warehouse Legacy" at about the same time. Both these have a very comprehensive coverage of the City itself, but are somewhat sparse and selective in the outer districts of the county. Our own sketchy knowledge of these areas was filled out considerably by consulting the various websites containing details of the numerous "listed" buildings. The earlier Pevsner volumes covering SE Lancs & Manchester, SW Lancs (for Wigan area) and Cheshire (for Stockport, Trafford, south Manchester and part of Tameside) have much more detail on the outlying towns and suburbs, but sadly a significant number of the items mentioned have since been demolished.
We Over a period of seven years from 2009 we have visited and photographed around 3000 "interesting" buildings and structures in Greater Manchester county, on some 250 day trips mainly by train, bus and walking. By no means all are "listed", and of those that are, some, though undoubtedly of importance architecturally, are not particularly "photogenic" or are so similar to several others that they contribute little new to the overall picture.
A searchable index to those we have recorded so far is appended below (last updated 23rd September 2016). It is not a complete list, but merely our "personal favourites", and we have surely missed others of equal merit - would much appreciate hearing about any such!
We have tried to include a guide to the precise location of each item, as some are difficult to find when not in possession of local knowledge! The first street name column is the road on which the item is located, and the second is that of an adjacent intersecting road or other nearby feature (as shown on the "A-Z" street maps). The item name shown is generally the original name or function of the building, where known, which can often be very different from the present use - in some cases so different that we also included this present name/use in (brackets)! The date shown is either carried on a plaque, or is that when the structure was completed and opened, substantially in the form now seen. The column filters can be used to quickly find structures of any one type, date period, or designer etc, as desired.
The last column can contain a variety of information, depending on the building type. Generally, the architect is shown, where known, or the person or organization for whom the item was built. For Inns and Hotels, the only generally available information (e.g. from trade directories and/or censuses) is the name of the licensee or proprietor, who before around 1890 is probably in many cases the owner. Many old-established inns and hotels were rebuilt in mid to late Victorian times, and the licensee nearest the time of that rebuilding is shown ,where known.
The picture galleries for each of the areas and boroughs will be found on the following 12 web pages.......
Manchester Architecture database website version.xls
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