Building Name

St Mary's Cliffe (or St Mary’s Clyffe) Alderley Edge

Woodbrook Road
Alderley Edge
Cheshire, England
New Build

Reference: The Manchester Critic, Manchester Architecture(X),  7 September 1872 page 69-70

Reference: Matthew Hyde: The Villas of Alderley Edge 1999 pages 105-108

ST MARY’S CLIFFE – The first work designed by Mr Crowther which we have to notice is a residence on the Edge known as St Mary’s Cliffe. It stands on high ground on the face of the ridge, commanding a most lovely and extensive view; and we may in truth say: This house hath a pleasant seat; the air nimbly and sweetly recommends itself unto our gentle senses. This residence is built in the half-timbered style, affording so many opportunities for picturesque and effective composition – a style of domestic architecture carried to great perfection in this country – of which many fine and interesting old examples yet remain to delight the eye of the student and afford pleasurable sensations to the amateur. The architect of St Mary Cliffe has very successfully caught the spirit of the style which he has attempted to reproduce, appropriating it artistically to the particular character and nature of the site. The principal entrance is by a projecting timber porch, with a room over, and finished by a gable. By the kindness of the owner we were permitted to inspect the interior, and anything more charming or thoroughly domestic need not be wished for. From a small staircase hall we enter the library, which is en suite with the drawing room by means of a square opening furnished with hanging tapestry; through this opening is seen the projecting oriel window of the drawing room - the whole forming a poetic vista, indicating the work of a true artist. The ceilings are framed ribbed and jointed in timber, varnished on the good old and true principle of ornamenting construction; the decorations are in keeping - severe and simple, but carrying out the spirit in which the work is conceived. We are perfectly willing to admit that, judged by the fashionable standards adopted by the majority of modern house-builders, St Mary Clyffe will be open to severe criticism. The comparative lowness of the rooms, and the absence of huge staring sheets of plate glass, can hardly suit the taste of the majority; but we are happy to say, there is a growing desire to return to that truthful honest and artistic spirit which characterised the domestic work of mediaeval builders; and all honour, we say, to those who can appreciate it and are willing to spend their wealth in its realisation. [The Manchester Critic, Manchester Architecture(X), 7 September 1872 page 69-70]