Site Visit; The Old Parsonage

This morning, we were given the opportunity to visit a building which has been around since the 1800s in Didsbury, as a way to give us a “base” or “structure” for the competition as the brief was so vague.

When we arrived to the location, we were given a brief history of the building, what has previously been used for and of course, what it is now used as. Here is a brief summary of the introduction to the building:

  • Originally built in 1650, one part of the flooring (stone) is now 400 years old, and the beams upstairs are the originals.
  • In 1820, the building was extended.
  • The building was mainly used as homes for various prestigious families in the area who worked in Central Manchester, it was never a Parsonage until recently.
  • 1860-65 was the most iconic time because of the Industrial Revolution, and Manchester was the 2nd (after London) in the world.
  • Fletcher Moss worked in the Corn Exchange (which is now known as Corporation Street), and lived in this house and wrote thirteen books about the surrounding area.
  • Didsbury Village was the Old Parsonage and the two surrounding pubs, not as we know Didsbury today.
  • In 1919, it was left as a house, then an art gallery in 1980s and then offices. The building was then left to fall apart.
  • The building is a Grade II listed building, and an asset to the community, as many people have grown up with it on their doorstop.
  • The Old Parsonage Trust that now take care of the building wanted to create a warm and welcoming feeling – just like a home (as it once was).
  • £160,000 was spent to make the building as it is now. The Trust was able to gain £12,000 from the surrounding community because they wanted to help keep the building alive.
  • It is now run by volunteers. There are offices upstairs which are rented out and downstairs, the yellow and red rooms are rented out to artists, art classes, yoga etc – to anyone who are looking for a space.
  • Lots of people of all ages use this building, and love it.

And you can certainly see why many people are such huge fans ….

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The above images show the amazing building, and detailed archway/gate which takes you into the grounds in which The Old Parsonage is in.

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This is the red room, which is the larger room of the two. You can clearly make out the original detailing throughout.

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These photographs are all from the yellow room, which has a gorgeous bay window with original stain-glass.

After our visit to the Old Parsonage, Brit and I headed into Didsbury for a coffee to discuss our morning. As the yellow room is slightly smaller than the red, we have chosen to use the yellow room as we think this will give a more intimate feel. We have also chosen this room because of the detailing and it would work better with our initial ideas involving memories.


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