“Ford Bank.” Didsbury
The mill-owner Thomas Ashton (1818-98), who, like all his family, was a Unitarian, continued his father’s philanthropic works for the benefit of their workpeople. By the end of his life he owned three factories and employed nearly 3,000 people at Hyde. He supported a number of charitable initiatives and educational institutions, and built a new Unitarian chapel at Flowery Fields, close to one of his mills. When Hyde became a borough in 1881, he was elected the first Mayor and when he died in 1898 he left an estate worth over half a million pounds
In 1859 he employed Edward Walters to design him a large new house at Didsbury, which he named Ford Bank, where he amassed an impressive art collection.
Reference Builder 16 March 1872 page 201 - list of works by Edward Walters