Elizabeth Gaskell's House

Client

Manchester Historic Buildings Trust

Project cost

£2.5 million

Location

84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester

Project Description

Restoration of Grade II* listed former home of Victorian novelist, Elizabeth Gaskell

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We were appointed as lead architects for the restoration work with a focus to ensure a long-term viable use for the house by making it fully accessible to the public and repairing it with appropriate materials. The main uses provided within the house are permanent exhibition space, with four of the ground floor rooms recreated with 1860 interiors, accommodation for community groups and spaces for the Trust's educational activities. Externally the setting of the house has been restored with authentic boundaries and the creation of a period garden.  A further phase of work involves converting the former stable block into meeting rooms and an educational facility.

Key Features

  • 84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester, was the home of novelist Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-65) after 1850 until her death. This literary association enhances the house's architectural significance as a rare survivor of an early Victorian villa in a Greek Revival style in Manchester. The property is Grade II* listed.
  • Reinstatement and repair of the Greek revival details to walls and columns and re-rendering of the house in lime render replacing materials and additions to the house made in the 1960s.
  • Recreation of period rooms including wallpapers, carpets, wood grained joinery finishes, furniture, lighting and repair and reinstatement of period fireplaces.
  • Reforming the central lantern providing light into the centre of the house and repairing the central staircase.
  • Providing access for all in the context of the listed building both externally with levels/ramps and the insertion of a new lift.
  • Internal lime plaster repairs, including reinstating lost cornices and plaster ceiling roses.
  • Heritage Lottery Funded project.
Client Testimonial

Over the course of the project I cannot think of a single occasion when BTP did not act in the very best interests of the project and the client.

Frank Gavin, Chairman

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