Building Name

William Hulme Grammar School Whalley Range

1884 - 1887
Spring Bridge Road
Whalley Range, Manchester
GMCA, England
New Build

William Hulme died in Bolton in 1691 and left property which generated £40 p.a., to Trustees, to provide scholarships of £10 p.a. to poor students at Brazenose College, Oxford. The property's value increased enormously in the eighteenth century and by 1814, the Charity was worth £23,000 and the Trustees had to get an Act of Parliament to allow them to extend the terms of the bequest to support more scholars and to purchase Church of England livings for them. By 1827, the charity was worth £42,000 and a further Act of Parliament allowed the Trustees to make grants to needy Anglican parishes. At a town meeting, called by Sir Joseph Heron, the Town Clerk, in 1871, to discuss the Charity, the local Nonconformists and champions of women's education complained that they were excluded from the assistance of the Charity. The Trustees applied for a further Act of Parliament, which allowed them to set up Grammar Schools, and the first school was built here in 1886‑7 to the design of A. H. Davies-Colley in red brick and yellow terra cotta. The building was extended in 1910 and again in the 1930s. It is still a thriving boys' Grammar School, [Victorian Society Notes]

The competing designs for the building of this school were submitted by the Committee of the Estates Managers and Governors of the Hulme’s Charity to E R Robson, the architect to the London Schools Board, for his report and advice. E R Robson presented his report at a meeting of the Committee held in London in June 1884, which was in favour of the plans osubmitted by A H Davis Colley, of 48 King Street, Manchester, whom the Committee thereupon appointed the architect of the school.

The erection of a large school having been decided upon, a site was obtained on the south side of Alexandra Park in what was still open country, though convenient of access, It was about midway between Fallowfield and Chorlton‑cum‑Hardy, and within a few minutes' walk of the Alexandra Park station on the line of the Great Central Railway, which gave ready communication with Fairfield, Moston, Levenshulrne, and other populous districts, while Moss Side was close at hand, on the north side of Alexandra Park. The school buildings were considered among the finest of their kind in the north of England, the exterior being especially handsome and imposing in appearance, The exterior was faced with Ruabon red brick, laced in the top storey with bands of Ruabon dark buff bricks, which greatly relieve the prevailing colour of the structure. All the jambs, mullions, strings, and other features of the building, were moulded in Ruabon terra‑cotta, and the roof covered with Westmorland green slates.  The principal entrance opened, through a porch, on a staircase hall, measuring 23 feet by 18 feet, from which stairs descended, on the right and left, to two large cloak rooms. On the east side of the basement were situated a workshop, a dining‑room, measuring 50 feet by 20 feet, the kitchen, and a number of other offices. The staircase hall opened on the ground floor into a central hall, 50 feet by 25 feet, and two stories high. From this central hall direct access, without the intervention of passages, was gained to four class‑rooms, two measuring 18 feet by 22 feet, and two 20 feet by 21 feet, a museum, and the boys' library. Ascending the principal staircase, which is lined with buff bricks banded with red, the first floor was reached, where a gallery running round the central hall gives access to four class‑rooms, a physical laboratory, a drawing school, 50 feet by 20 feet, and a smaller drawing‑room in which advanced students work. The second floor, which occupies the front or western block of the building,  is  entirely devoted to the chemical  department, and   contains a laboratory, lecture‑room, and preparation rooms. The building was heated throughout with hot water, and every attention has been paid to the ventilation, there being arrangements for admitting fresh air, and for carrying away foul air by flues and trunks in the roof spaces. The whole of the work was executed from the designs and under the superintendence of Mr A. H. Davies‑Colley, ARIBA, architect, Manchester. The school, with playing field, cost about £21,000. 

Reference : Manchester Guardian 2 July 1884 page 5
Reference: Manchester Courier 2 July 1884 page8
Reference: Manchester Faces and Places, Vol. IX