Building Name

Hulme Hall, Oxford Place, Victoria Park, Rusholme, Manchester

Oxford Place
Victoria Park, Manchester
GMCA, England
New Build
Grade II

HULME HALL, VICTORIA PARK – The new Hulme Hall has been built in Victoria Park, Manchester, rather less than a mile from the University. The first hall was in Plymouth Grove and was opened in January 1887. The site and buildings were the gift of Sir W H Houldsworth, then the member for North-west Manchester. The hall contained rooms for thirty students and two tutors. But in 1906 the demand for rooms having quite outgrown the accommodation available on the existing site, to Governors decided to build, at an ultimate cost of £21,000, a new hall to hold sixty students. Sir W H Houldsworth headed the rebuilding fund and many friends of the University subscribed. A site was selected in Victoria Park, and plans were prepared by Mr P S Worthington for a building thoroughly collegiate in character and designed specially for a hall of residence. Of this building the greater part, containing rooms for forty students and three tutors, is open. Each student has a room of his own equipped as a combined study and bedroom, and there are a large dining hall, a common room, and a library. The grounds cover about 2.5 acres, and comprise fives courts, tennis courts and playing field. [Manchester Guardian 7 June 1907 page 5]

HULME HALL OPENING POSTPONED - The new building of the Hulme Hall of Residence (connected with Manchester University) in Victoria Park, which was to have been formally opened yesterday is to be opened on 5 July next. … As Sir William’s state of health did not permit his attendance yesterday, it was decided by the Governors to postpone the opening until next month. [Manchester Guardian 8 June 1907 page 7)

HULME HALL: OPENING BY MR E DONNER – The new buildings of Hulme Hall, one of the Halls of Residence for students of Manchester University, were formally opened yesterday afternoon. These large and handsome premises in Victoria park take the place of the old hall in Plymouth Grove, which, having been in use since 1887, is no longer adequate to the demands made upon it. The new hall will ultimately cost £21,000 and will house sixty students. Sir W H Houldsworth, who has always taken a generous interest in Hulme Hall, headed the rebuilding fund with a large subscription, and of the total amount required about £18,000 has now been obtained. The greater part of the hall, containing rooms for forty students and three tutors, is now open. There is a large dining room, a common room and a library, and each student has a room of his own arranged as a combined study and bedroom. The grounds are extensive and pleasant. The hall is established under the scheme of the Charity Commissioners for regulating the Hulme Trust Estates, and it is substantially endowed from the Trust. It was declared open yesterday by Mr E Donner, the chairman of the Governors of Hulme’s Charity. Sir William Houldsworth, it was announced, was unable to be present on account of illness.

PSW provided a description to accompany the illustration in the Builder of 4 January 1918 as follows:  Hulme Hall is a hall of residence for the University of Manchester and has room for sixty students. Each student has a bed-sitting room and there are dining room, common room, chapel and library for the common use. The original scheme was for a complete quadrangle with the warden's house forming a considerable part of the road frontage, with a gatehouse and chapel adjoining it; but owing to lack of funds, a house already on the site was retained and adapted for a warden's house, and the whole layout had to be altered in consequence. It is built of 23 (inch) common local brick with a restricted use of Alderley stone, and the roofs are covered with small stone slates. - P S Worthington [Builder 4 January 1918 Page 12]

MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY. HULME HALL OF RESIDENCE. TO BE OPENED TO-DAY- …. The new Hall  is in Victoria Park, near the Oxford-place gate, the gate nearest corner of Whitworth Park. It is built from plans prepared by Mr P. S. Worthington, ARIBA, and is thoroughly collegiate in character. Of this building, the greater part, containing rooms for forty students and three tutors, is to be opened to-day. Oak Bank, the house already on the site remains for the present as the Warden's residence until the Governors are able to complete the scheme. The Hall has been designed for the accommodation of forty men, but the plan has been so arranged that the extension can carried out at any time for twenty more rooms, and the present rather incongruous Warden's house can be replaced by one more in accordance with the new buildings, and more conveniently arranged for the purpose of the Hall. The plan intended to be completed by a Warden's house with entrance tower and gateway, and a Chapel facing Park Place, for which funds are still required. Behind the Warden's house, the new buildings stretch backwards towards Dagenham Road in the shape of the letter ‘T‘ the downward stroke representing a wing dividing the site into two halves, one laid out a grass quadrangle, and the other laid out with tennis courts and a playing field, near which are the covered fives courts. The grounds contain some good trees, line of which forms fine avenue to the new drive of approach to the Hall.

SPECIAL FEATURES OF THE BUILDING. The corridors are feature in the building, and are built with rooms on one side only. Each man has his own room, equipped as combined study and bedroom, and every room will the sun at some time of the day, and have pleasant outlook on to one of the quadrangles. The Governors decided to adopt this plan at a considerable extra expense, in order to avoid badly lighted central corridors, with rooms either side, many of which must have faced north. The dining hall, which has an open timber roof and panelled walls, is on the first floor, and adjacent to it is the large Common Room, with canted ceiling and oriel windows. On the top floor of the tower is the Library, with smaller reading rooms. Large lavatories and bathrooms will give every convenience specially arranged for use after games.  MODERN ARCHITECTURE AND HOSTELS. Modern architecture has passed through many phases, each one to be discarded for another, and most of them dependent on their effectiveness on paper. But if there is one class of building which should grow naturally with a homely English feeling, it is that intended for home and domestic purposes of an unpretentious kind, and a hostelry for University purposes may surely be classed as such. The tradition such work has never really been lost by the builders in some parts the country, and it seems to be this, in spite of the modern draughtsman, that needs carrying on, and its spirit taking and developing the light of modern requirements and convenience. In the present case the architectural effect had to obtained by simple means, by grouping of gables and roofs and chimneys, the lines leading up from all points to the entrance tower, which is the centre of interest in the building, and the only part, with the exception of two armorial coats, carved on the dining hall, to possess any decorative feature. The niche, it is hoped, may someday be filled. Two of the armorial coats carved on the tower and dining hall are those of the two chief benefactors of the Hall - William Hulme and Sir William Houldsworth. Their coats are again repeated with their mottoes in some very beautiful “Lancastrian” lustre tiles in the fireplaces of the Common Room. The other armorials on the tower are those of the University and the See of Manchester. THE WORK AND THE WORKERS. The materials are picked common bricks of small size, with white Alderley and Alton stone dressings, which give pleasant colour scheme, and perhaps the most characteristic feature of the building is its roof of stone slates, like those with which the Oxford and Cambridge Colleges have been covered from the time when the buildings that know there were erected. The general contractors have been Messrs. Wilson and Toft; and the whole has nseu carried out from the designs and under the superintendence of the architects to the Governors, Messrs. Thomas and Percy Scott Worthington. [Manchester Courier 5 July 1907 page 12]