Manchester Cottages Restored to Former Glory

by | Jul 25, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

Not many people will be aware that Moss Side in Manchester was once a fashionable out-of-town suburb, rather than the densely-populated inner city neighbourhood it is today. But one reminder of different times has been restored to its former glory.

A row of Flemish Gothic cottages in Raby Street, built as almshouses in 1876 by industrialist John Robinson, have been brought back to life after a decade of lying empty and suffering vandalism in a £1.1 million project.

Known as the Westwood Cottages, the homes have Grade II listed status, which means major changes to their appearance are not permitted. However, they have needed substantial repairs, including home rewire work, to make them habitable again, with MC Construction carrying out the structural work.

Speaking about the project, managing director at MC Construction David Lowe said: “The refurbishment of Westwood Cottages has been a tremendously satisfying project for MC Construction.”

One Manchester chief executive Nicole Kershaw said the scheme has “worked hard” to preserve the heritage aspects of the properties.

She added: “We have also improved the insulation levels to achieve our 2030 energy efficiency targets, meaning the homes will be warm and affordable to run.”

The cottages will now be marketed as affordable properties and provide residents with a very different residential experience to most local residents. 

Moss Side is mainly comprised of red brick terraces, although some modern apartment developments have emerged in recent years on brownfield sites, like the former Maine Road football ground and the former Claremont Road bus depot. The bulk of the terraced homes were built in the first half of the 20th century.

These developments occurred after the city had been absorbed into the City of Manchester in 1885, producing a steep rise in its resident population and making properties like the Westwood Cottages less prominent features of the townscape.

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