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Victoria Park District of Manchester

Victoria Park
is a relatively new district of Manchester, having been created during
the 19th century as a high class residential area for people of wealth
and influence. To all intents and purposes it is actually part of
Rusholme, and remained so until 1839 when
land was purchased and top architects commissioned to build elegant
houses for the Victoria Park Trust which was established in 1845.

The Park was to
be completely enclosed by high walls (to keep the riffraff outside)
and entrance was to be made only via one of the several toll gates
situated on its boundaries. Notable and influential residents of Victoria
Park included Sir Henry
the distinguished chemist, Richard
the radical reformer, Ford
Madox Brown
the painter, Sir
Charles Hallé
and suffragette Emmeline

The main toll
road through the Park was Anson Road (the A34) running southwards
out of Manchester to Wilmslow and beyond. So wealthy was the district
that it had its own church, St John Chrysystom, built on Anson Road
in 1877.

the elitist wealth of Victoria Park did not survive the Great War
or the 20th century – its great residences, by now far too large for
modern families, began to stand empty and by the mid-20th century
were somewhat run down and dilapidated. Many were turned into flats
and rented accommodation, a large number became Halls of Residence
for the University, at least one became a public house, several became
part of the Xavarian College complex, two were converted into nursing
homes, and many were eventually demolished. In 1938 the toll road
was made public. Later Anson Road housing estate was built and the
exclusiveness of Victoria Park was gone forever.

Nowadays the Park
contains a good proportion of Manchester’s Grade II Listed buildings
and is well worth an excursion just to look at the heights of Neo-classical
and Victorian “Gothick” domestic architecture.

See also:

We have made reference to several sources in compiling this web page,
but must make special mention of the Breedon Books’ “Illustrated
History of Manchester’s Suburbs” by Glynis Cooper, of which we
made particular use. Information about this book can be found on our
Books About Manchester webpage.


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This page last updated 14 Nov 11.