A Historical trail for you to follow
(Author Charlotte Bertin 1999)
How to find Reddish
Reddish is situated approximately
3 miles North of Stockport Town Centre. Reddish is easy to get to by car
or bike. For buses contact your local information point.
From the south, turn off the M60 at
junction 27 and travel up the A626 Tiviot Way (signposted Manchester).
At the roundabout, take the B6167 to Reddish.
From the north, turn south off the
A57 Hyde Road at Debdale Park, signposted Reddish Lane.
The nearest train station for the
trail is Reddish North. To reach Houldsworth Square, take a bus down Gorton
Road for approximately one and a half miles.
Following the Around and About Reddish Trail
The basic idea is to follow the numerical
pointers around the route as shown on the map. This takes about 1 hour
30 minutes to complete.
Walkers who do not have this much
time can finish after point 11 (The Thatched Tavern) and return to Houldsworth
Square by turning left onto Reddish Road rather than right. This route
takes about 30 minutes.
We have tried wherever possible to
choose the most the most direct routes between the sites. But, we would
suggest in the interest of road safety that walkers crossing Reddish Road
do so at the pelican crossing as marked rather than opposite Reddish Vale
Please note- whilst there are no
flights of steps on the walk, the road down to Reddish Vale is steep.
The Houldsworth Memorial was built in
1920 as a memorial to William Henry Houldsworth (1834 -1917). Unlike his
more Dikensian counterparts Houldsworth cared for his workers and spent
a lot of money providing them with places to worship, socialize and get
an education. On the sign of the Houldsworth Arms you can see his coat
of arms. Below the hart, or deer, is the Hand of Ulster, which shows he
was a baronet.
The Working Men's Club was one of the
first gifts Houldsworth gave to the people of Reddish.
It was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, who already designed Manchester Town
hall and Strangeways Prison. If you look at the shape of the windows you
can see which part of the building was once used as a church.
A few years later Houldsworth commissioned
Waterhouse to build St Elisabeth's Church. The Church is named in honour
of Houldsworth's wife, Elisabeth Graham, and it can seat 700 people. Today
it is important because Waterhouse designed very few churches and St Elisabeth's
is one of the finest.
The Rectory and School complete what
is known as the Waterhouse Set. In the 19th century, children were made
to attend school in the morning and work in Houldsworth's Cotton Mill in
the afternoon, or vice versa. They also had to pay between .. the average
labourer's wage was around 2/10d.
The Recreation Ground in front of the
church and school was also a Houldsworth donation.
Houldsworth also provided housing for
the workers. These on Houldsworth Street were for the foremen and managers
of the mill. The other workers, who lived in smaller houses, called
this row of housing "nob row".
The Houldsworth Mill was the centre
of this community for many years. It closed as a cotton mill in 1958
and is now being converted for residential, light industrial, community
and office use.
Until the 1960's a canal ran under
this bridge. It joined the Manchester Ship Canal and allowed cotton
and machinery to be brought to the many mills along its length. When
St Elisabeth's Church was built, elephants from Belle Vue Zoo dragged the
marble pillars from the canal to the church.
The Broadstone Mill was originally
twice its present size and in 1907 was one of the largest in the country.
Half of it was knocked down in the 1960's when the building was converted
to light industrial use.
The houses on Liverpool Street are
smaller than those on "nob row" because they housed the less well paid
mill workers. The street was named because many of its residents
originated in Liverpool. Other streets in the area are named like
this. Can you spot any?
The building replaced by the present
Thatched Tavern was an old inn with a straw roof. In 1900 it was
one of 10 pubs in Reddish. Most of the others have now gone.
The Present Almshouses were built
over one hundred years ago and they provided shelter for the poor.
The head of the donor can be seen above the door, as can the inscribed
names of the architects and trustees.
There were once more cottages in Reddish
Vale housing the workers of the nearby Calico printing works and the rail
workers. The farm opposite was once a dairy farm, but is now being
Walking around the Bottom Mill Pond
provides a better view of the variety of wildlife that lives here and,
of course, the viaduct. Legend has it that if you count the arches,
then the witch of Reddish Vale will curse you.
The site of the Butterfly Park originally
housed the Calico printing and bleach works, which were demolished in 1997.
Hundreds of trees, wild flowers and grasses were planted to create a diverse
range of habitats to support wildlife and encourage butterflies.
The Hedgerows lining Mill Lane have
been there since ancient times. The Lane itself is an old medieval
salt road, used by merchants who sold the precious commodity in this area.
The Library was built in 1907 soon
after Reddish became part of Stockport. Next to it are the Community
Centre and Baths. Can you see evidence that they were once used as
a fire station?
During the 19th Century the oldest
part of Reddish Conservative club was inhabited by the Shawcross family,
part owners of the Barlow and Shawcross hat works. Since then there
have been several extensions, which are visible to the eye.
Houldsworth was not the only generous
benefactor in 19th century Reddish. Joseph Higginson built the Church
of St Joseph's and St Joseph's School for Reddish's Catholic community.