Manchester City Council

Sports, leisure & the Arts Victoria Park Conservation Area

Townscape

The houses in Victoria Park are large and are set in spacious grounds. Several of the roads are laid out in gently undulating curves, whilst others are straight and relatively short. They are nearly all wide, and some of them have grass verges. These increase the width of the highway space without increasing the width of the actual carriageways. Generally, the grass verges are not planted with trees since there is sufficient space for trees within the grounds of each property. Both carriageways and footpaths have been paved in tarmacadam, which is not the original paving material, and kerbs have been replaced with concrete.

Grass verges which terminate at vehicular crossings have been damaged by car tyres, and to help minimise this the most vulnerable parts have sometimes been paved with granite setts.

Park Crescent is a circular road similar to a roundabout, and the space it encloses, planted with trees and incorporating paving and seating, has never been built on. It is also topographically the lowest point in the Park, the slope from the highest point to the lowest being very gentle.

Not all the large old houses in Victoria Park have survived, and where they were demolished there now stand either groups of smaller houses or large, institutional buildings, such as schools, colleges, churches, university halls of residence and blocks of flats.

In many cases the large spaces between buildings have been maintained and a significant number of trees retained. The gardens are enclosed by walls of stone or brick, most of which are of medium height with or without a hedge behind them for additional height. Other walls are high enough to screen the house and grounds entirely from the road. At the entrances to properties there were large gates and gate piers, many of which have unfortunately been demolished.

The houses were built on a large scale in brick, with projecting bays, string courses in a contrasting colour, tall chimneys and vertically-proportioned windows, some in Venetian style. Roofs were pitched and finished in blue slate.

Some of the houses have classical details, projecting portico entrance porches with entablature pediments over the windows and quoins at the corners. Others may have hood moulds over the windows and bracketed eaves cornices.

Dalton Hall has the window surrounds highlighted in a contrasting brick colour whilst the fine arched entrance is decorated with mottoes in illuminated lettering.

The Edgar Wood Centre has a steeply-pitched roof, tall dormer windows, a conical slate roof on a round tower, semi-circular arched windows and a lych gate in matching style.

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