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 Road.

Disabled Access
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 refurbished.
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.