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Academic Buildings

Regional College of Art, All Saints

Located in Cavendish
Street in All Saints, the former Regional College of Art, now part
of the Metropolitan University of Manchester, whose oriiginal building
dates from 1880-81, was designed by G Tunstall Redmayne. A symmetrical
gothic building with central entrance porch and large studio windows. Extended
at the back in 1898 (to facilitate its growing popularity and the
renewed interest in Arts & Crafts design), the extension is of
red brick and was designed by J Gibbons Sankey. A novel geometrically
constructed bridge connects the two buildings.
Adjacent, also on Cavendish Street, is the old Chorlton (on Medlock)
Town Hall, long part of the Art School and for many years its main
refectory. It was designed by Richard Lane around 1830, and is nine
bays wide of strict Doric Greek style with triangular pediment and
a decorated frieze. Originally symmetrical, though part is now missing
due to Second World War bombing.

Wesleyan Theological
Institution (Didsbury College of Education)

This fine building,
located on Wilmslow Road in Didsbury, has undergone many different
transitions and functions, having begun life as a Methodist training
college, it later became Didsbury College of Education before being
incorporated into the Metropolitan University of Manchester where
it is now their Institute of Education, responsible for teacher training.
The original building dates from 1842 and is distinctive for its long
stone frontage in a pseudo-Grecian style, eleven bays long and two
storeys high, giant pilasters and end pavilions. The central three-storey
block was originally the Governor’s residence. Long stone built wings
behind create a sizeable open courtyard. Further extensions behind
the main building in the late 1960s by Francis Jones & Son.

Shirley Institute,
(‘The Towers’), Didsbury

Shirley Institute, The Towers, Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, Manchester

Originally designed in 1865 for the proprietor and editor of the Manchester
Guardian, John Edward Taylor, by Thomas Worthington. The house on
Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, is purported to have cost £50,000 –
a small fortune at that time. Ironically when it was purchased in
1920 by the British Cotton Industry Research Association it was sold
to them for a mere £10,000. It is now a Grade II Listed Building
of special architectural interest.
Described by Pevsner as “… grossly picturesque in red brick
and red terra cotta” it is an imposing gothic building with
an asymmetrically placed porch tower (hence sometimes known as “The
Towers”), a polygonal oriel window and spire. It was here that
the first Manchester
Ship Canal
Meeting was held in 1882, and was once the home of
the celebrated Manchester engineer, Daniel
. During the First World War the building was used as a
recreation centre for wounded soldiers.
The Shirley
Institute as such was established in 1919 as the British Cotton Industry
Research Association (BCIRA). A significant part of the purchase price
was contributed by a cotton spinner and Member of Parliament for Stockport,
William Greenwood, who asked that the place be named after his daughter
Shirley. The first purpose built laboratories were opened in 1922
by the Duke of York. Other Royal openings on the site took place in
1953 by the Duchess of Kent, 1963 by Princess Margaret and 1990 by
the Princess Royal.

Hollings College,

Designed by Manchester
city architect, L C Howitt and built between 1957-1960, Hollings College,
located on the corner of Wilmslow Road and Old hall Lane, affectionately
known as “the Toast-Rack “, is a most distinctive
and original 20th century design and local landmark.

Hollings College, Fallowfield - the Toastrack

Originally called
the College of Food & Fashion. Its nickname comes from its appearance
– a tall and closely set number of parabolic concrete arches with
glass infilling. It also has a large circular hall building on the
road side (which was at one time also affectionately known as “the
poached egg” ).

Manchester Grammar
School, Rusholme

The Manchester
Grammar School (known locally simply as “MGS”), is located
on Old Hall Lane and the main building was designed in 1930 by Francis
Jones and Percy Worthington. It had long been one of the UK’s leading
grammar schools, when it outgrew the original premises on Long Millgate,
adjacent to Chethams Library
in Manchester city centre. In the mid-1930s it decamped (lock, stock
and barrel), to the (then) more spacious campus next to Birchfields
Park in Rusholme. The original Long Millgate building is now part
of Chetham’s Music School.
The present building consists of a large brick built quadrangle approached
by a long, (almost triumphal), avenue drive from Old Hall Lane, and
entered by a tripartite arch under a clock tower cupola. (The author
has many fond memories of time spent teaching in the art studios located
above the entrance arch and beneath the clock tower during the late
1960s and early 1970s).
To the east, a second quadrangle leading to the refectory, gymnasium
and swimming pool, now contains a much later 1960s built modern masters’
common room block. The original old library has excellent wood panelling,
as does the Assembly Hall.
Many other outlying additions have been made to the school, but the
original building still stands fairly proudly when viewed across the
extensive playing fields. A bronze statue of Bishop
Hugh Oldham
, the school’s founder, done by William McMillan stands
behind the Lecture Theatre at the Birchfield Park entrance.

Chethams School
of Music, Manchester

Chethams School of Music

In 1655 Chetham’s
Hospital and Chetham’s Library were established from monies left by
Sir Humphrey
, a wealthy local textile merchant, in his will
at his death in 1653. “Chets”, (as it is still known) was set up as
a charitable free school to provide education for about 40 boys from
poor families, who showed aptitude to learn.
Built in red sandstone, like the cathedral, it originally formed dormitories
and quarters for cathedral clergy. The buildings, grouped around a
central courtyard with a defensive entrance gate, were typical of
medieval building style.
From 1547, after the reformation, the premises became the town dwellings
of the Earl of Derby. The college was refounded in 1557, but by the
time of the outbreak of the Civil Wars, the buildings were in a dilapidated
state. Their purchase by Humphrey Chetham almost certainly saved them
from demolition. He purchased the lot for �400 just prior to his death.
Chetham’s is now a music school for musically gifted young men and
women, and attracts young protégés from all over the
northwest of England. It still largely maintains the original principle
of admitting talented youngsters, and barring none because of financial
hardship. The school is well funded and maintains poorer pupils. Lunchtime
concerts are held every Wednesday in the Baronial Hall. Concerts can
be combined with a guided tour of the school and library. The library,
containing a large collection of books, specialises in local history
material. In this library, Frederick
spent many hours researching for his numerous writings.

Xavarian College,
Rusholme/Victoria Park

Located on Lower
Park Road, just off Wilmslow Road, Xavarian College began life as
a well-to-do villa in the (then) rather smart suburb of Rusholme.
This expensive villa was built in 1874-1875 for the Hetherington family
by top architect Alfred Waterhouse,
who also designed Manchester Town hall. The family wealth came from
the construction of Blast Furnaces, which at that time were at the
cutting edge of a new technology, and this is reflected in the status
of the building, as are many of the surrounding buildings in Victoria
Park, which probably contains more of Manchester’s Grade II Listed
Buildings than any other district – well worth a gentle walk around
just to look at these houses of former glory – now predominantly converted
into small hotels, guest houses or student accommodation.. Nowadays
it is a Roman Catholic Sixth Form College.

Independent Congregational College, Whalley Range

Located in College
Road, Whalley Range, and now the General & Municipal Boilermakers’
Union National College, the former Lancashire Independent College
is a Grade II Listed Building which was designed by Irwin and Chester
in 1843. It was built specially for the purpose of training Nonconformist
Ministers, who because of their religious faith, were denied access
to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
It is a gothic-style stone building with octagonal tower and pinnacles,
completed in 1843. Recent refurbishment has converted the building
into a residential college for the GMB Union. The entrance gates and
octagonal gate piers are in the same style and are also listed buildings.
The most prominent building in the district, it lies within the Whalley
Range Conservation Area. It is a splendid example of Victorian gothic
collegiate style architecture set in 8 acres of its own grounds.

St Bede’s
College, Alexandra Park

St. Bede’s College
is an ornate red brick and terra cotta building in the Italianate
renaissance style, which incorporates the redundant aquarium building.
Designed by Archibald Dunn and Edward J Hansom in 1880, it is a Grade
II Listed Building. The eleven bays of the college form an incomplete
facade as construction ceased in 1880. A chapel to the rear was added
in 1898, followed by several subsequent additions. The three bay porch
has coloured tiled reliefs of a majolica type. One of Manchester’s
notable independent Roman Catholic boys grammar schools.

Hulme’s Grammar School, Whalley Range

William Hulme Grammar School

Located on Springbridge
Road in Whalley Range, just off Princess Parkway, William Hulme’s
Grammar School is an independent co-educational day school for pupils
between 11-18 years of age. It was designed by A H Davies-Colley in
1886-1887 as a large high building of red brick and yellow terra cotta.
There is a Hall of later date (c.1910) in the same style. Both buildings
are strictly symmetrical. The school is named after William
, founder of the William Hulme Charity, who lived at Hulme
Hall (later Broadstone Hall) in Reddish, Stockport.


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© John Moss, Papillon Graphics AD 2013 Manchester, United Kingdom – all rights reserved.
This page last updated 22 Nov 12.