Middleton's Arts & Crafts Architecture

Middleton, in north Manchester, is not generally regarded as an attractive place. Its centre has been ravaged by post-war planners and it shows a lot of the signs of deprivation common in so many former manufacturing towns.

But there is another side to Middleton which we became aware of thanks to a piece of work we are doing there. It has a surprising number of fine examples of buildings of the Arts and Crafts movement. At its peak in the early 20th century, the movement's style was characterised by high pitched roofs and pointed arches, giving buildings a gothic appearance. Buildings usually feature a high level of traditional craftsmanship such as carved stoneware.

The wide-ranging movement spanned architecture and furniture design as well as economic and social ideologies and included a number of famous names: William Morris, John Ruskin, Hillaire Belloc, Edwin Lutyens.

Middleton's own father Arts and Crafts was Edgar Wood who was born and practised locally. His masterpiece is Long Street Methodist Church, a beautifully designed church and school incorporating a number of Arts and Crafts features including a charming garden area between the church and the school.

Long Street Methodist Church
Edgar Wood's life and works are now celebrated by the Edgar Wood Society which aims to ensure that this Mancunian exponent of the Arts and Crafts movement is as celebrated as the better known examples.
51-53 Rochdale Road