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Gorton House

A Grade II Listed Building in Gorton South, Manchester

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.4595 / 53°27'34"N

Longitude: -2.1587 / 2°9'31"W

OS Eastings: 389560

OS Northings: 395876

OS Grid: SJ895958

Mapcode National: GBR FXCF.FK

Mapcode Global: WHB9P.T97P

Entry Name: Gorton House

Listing Date: 26 November 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393535

English Heritage Legacy ID: 507191

Location: Manchester, M18

County: Manchester

Metropolitan District Ward: Gorton South

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester

Church of England Parish: North Reddish St Agnes

Church of England Diocese: Manchester

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Listing Text

MANCHESTER

698-1/0/11225 HYDE ROAD
26-NOV-09 GORTON
(Off)
1075
GORTON HOUSE

II
House, c.1780s with mid-C19 and mid-late C20 alterations, mellow red brick with brick and sandstone dressings, Flemish bond to front and side elevations, irregular English garden wall bond to rear, two-span slate roof, two-storeys plus basement and attic. Small altered early-mid C19 worker's cottage abutting rear left corner (not of special interest).

PLAN: Quadruple pile plan formed of two parallel double pile wings. Central hallway, main stair to rear left of front wing, service rooms to ground floor rear.

EXTERIOR: Late-C18 multipaned sashes and mid-late C19 replaced one-over-one sashes with flat arched heads and stone sills, some casement windows. Substantial ridge stacks. Front (south) elevation: symmetrical three-bay facade. Painted dentil eaves cornice. Main entrance to ground floor centre consisting of a raised doorway with pedimented Ionic doorcase and plain fanlight, three-panel door with glazed upper panel, accessed by short stone stair flight. One-over-one sash window above with eared and shouldered architrave and cornice. Full-height canted bays capped by shallow hipped roofs to outside flanking bays. Side elevations with bracketed eaves and paired gables with central valley. Gables to each side contain a small eyelet window to each apex. Left (west) side elevation: left gable with blind window to far left of first floor (blind window to ground floor now obscured by later cottage annex), six-over-six sash window to right with four-over-four sash window to ground floor below. Paired sash windows (probably mid-C19) to both floors to right with carved shaped timber mullions, four-over-four sashes to ground floor, two-over-two sashes to first floor, set within a shared segmental arched head. Right gable with raised doorway to ground floor left with doorcase (replaced door) incorporating slender fluted Doric-style engaged columns, shallow flat hood above with shallow mutules to underside, accessed by short stone stair, basement access below. Blind window to each floor to far right of gable. Right (east) side elevation: left gable with two blind windows to each floor, large two-storey arched recess to right containing one-over-one sash window to each floor. Large twelve-light casement windows with cambered heads to each floor to right of recess. Six-light window to ground floor centre of right gable. Short section of later red brick garden wall projects out from right edge at right angle. Rear (north) elevation: six-bays. Segmental arched and cambered heads to windows and doors. Six-light casement window to far left of ground floor, ledged and braced door to right with six-over-six sash window to first floor above. Eight-over-eight sash window to right of door. Main rear entrance to right of centre with wide ledged and braced door with boarded-up overlight, large two-light window to first floor above with margin lights and incorporating stained glass star motifs (lighting rear first floor hall), relieving arch above. Altered window opening to far right of ground floor with replaced sill and lintel, small two-over-two sash window and larger window to first floor above. Small later stack (serving later inserted stove/boiler in rear kitchen).

INTERIOR: Original late-C18 and later mid-C19 features survive throughout. Timber floorboard floors. Six-panel (with fielded panels) and four-panel doors. C18 moulded door architraves, some with deep reveals. Plain and decorative moulded cornicing. Elaborate mid-C19 radiator boxes. Long, wide entrance hall to ground floor centre front with dentil cornice, deep moulded skirting, moulded dado rail, floor hidden by later carpet, rooms off to each side. Front left ground-floor room with dentil cornice, picture rail, replaced mid-late C20 fireplace. Front right ground-floor room not accessible. Wide moulded arched opening with later infill and inserted door to rear left of entrance hall leads into main stair hall with diamond-patterned stone floor. Wide late-C18 timber open-well stair with slender turned balusters, wreathed and ramped handrail, top-lit by dome incorporating painted glass. Six-panel door to rear of stair hall leads to small vestibule and west side entrance. Door to rear of entrance hall originally led to rooms to rear left of ground floor and rear entrance hall, mid-C20 partition wall now inserted behind. Door to rear right of entrance hall leads into room with plain moulded cornicing (later partition wall to south side), door to north wall leads into two large rear kitchens and small store. Kitchens retain stone flag floors, large timber fireplace surrounds (that to back kitchen/scullery with cast-iron grate). Shallow stone sink on brick supports and later inserted boiler/stove to back kitchen/scullery, blocked-up doorway to west wall originally led into rear entrance hall. Rear entrance vestibule with partly glazed screen and four-panel door with glazed upper panels, leads into rear hallway. Rear hallway with six-panel door to south wall leading to stone basement stair, arched opening to west wall leads to rear stair and two rooms; both retain chimneybreasts but fireplaces removed, one with shallow ceiling moulding. Narrow rear timber dog-leg stair with plain newel posts, closed string and substantial turned vase balusters, probably late-C17/early-C18 and re-used from elsewhere. Main first floor landing to front wing with dentil cornice, two doors to south and east; former accesses front left room with built-in cupboards, plain moulded cornicing with narrow dentil band, replaced mid-late C20 fireplace; latter door accesses inner landing. Room to first floor centre front with late-C18 timber fire surround with later tiled inserts. Room to front right (now partitioned to create bathroom) with plain moulded cornicing, mid-C19 fireplace, built-in cupboard. Mid-C20 partition wall inserted to north side of inner landing. Rear first floor hallway behind with flat arch with decorative consoles, two rooms to south end; that to west side with moulded C18 fire surround, fireplace damaged to room to east side. Arched openings to each side to north end of hallway lead to rear stair and attic stair and two further rooms; that to east side with late-C18 fire surround and hob grate. Plain narrow timber dog-leg attic stair to rear right. Extensive attics covering whole building, plain door architraves, some plank and batten doors, most floorboards removed, king post roof trusses, dormer windows to inner roof planes overlooking central roof valley. Basement with stone flag floor (some flags removed), plank and batten doors (one damaged). Part brick-vaulted corridor running full width of building east-west, lined with series of small arched storage recesses, small twelve-light window to east end, small room to west end with external ledged and braced door and later inserted wall to north side to create small meter room. Larder with stone and brick shelving to front centre. Large vaulted room to front left with six-light window to west wall, stone and brick shelves, small square storage recesses to south wall.

HISTORY: The exact date of construction of Gorton House is unknown but it is believed to have probably been in the late 1780s. It is not marked on Yates' map of Lancashire of 1786 but is marked on Greenwood's map of 1818. It is believed to have been built for Robert Grimshaw, a local mill owner who was living in the house in 1790. Grimshaw had a patent right with Rev. Dr. Cartwright. He was the first person to introduce power looms to Manchester at Knott Mill. This was a brief introduction as the mill was destroyed by arsonists in 1790.

In the early-C19 Gorton House was owned by Joseph Howard and leased to various tenants who used outbuildings as a hat manufactory. In the 1820s land to the north of the house was purchased by a water company in order to construct reservoirs. Ownership of the reservoirs passed to Manchester City Council in 1851, and in 1874 they acquired further land to the south, which included Gorton House.

In the early 1840s Gorton House was used as a school for young ladies, and in 1851 it was occupied by the Marion Place School for the sons of gentlemen, which provided boarding accommodation. By 1864 the house was being used as a residence by Edward Pinder, a local steel manufacturer, who operated a steelworks near the house until c.1877. In the late-C19/early-C20 the house was lived in by Thomas Parker (chief mechanical engineer of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway).

In 1918 the land surrounding the house (excluding the immediate front and rear gardens) was transformed into a public park known as Debdale Park.

SOURCES
Cotton Times: Understanding the Industrial Revolution. 'Edmund Cartwright, Inventor of the Power Loom'. Available at http://www.cottontimes.co.uk/cartwright03.htm Accessed 29/7/09.
Greenwood's Map of Lancashire (1818) Available on http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/environment/oldmap/index.asp Accessed 7/7/09.
C Hartwell, M Hyde & N Pevsner (2004) The Buildings of England Series. Lancashire: Manchester and the South-East, 375.
A Kidd, Manchester (1996)
Manchester Guardian newspaper. Various articles & sales information relating to Gorton House, 1791-1938. Available at http://archive.guardian.co.uk Accessed 30/7/09 & 31/7/09.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
Gorton House is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a good example of a late-C18 polite country house built for a successful industrialist, which reflects the advent of industrialisation in Manchester, and the desire of the wealthiest citizens to move away from inner-city living
* It possesses a finely detailed exterior, including an elegant late C18 front elevation with shallow full-height polygonal bays, Ionic doorcase, and dentil eaves
* Despite some later alteration, overall it is well-preserved both externally and internally, and retains its original internal arrangements
* It retains high quality late-C18 interior features, including an elegant top-lit open-well stair, moulded door architraves, six-panel doors with fielded panels, some fireplaces, cornicing, and stone floors, as well as some mid-C19 features
* The original spatial division between family and service spaces remains clearly readable.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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