Parks, leisure and the arts Victoria Park Conservation Area

Victoria Park and its buildings today

A relatively small proportion of houses from the 1830s and 1840s still exist. As in any part of the city, redevelopment takes place and large gardens of old houses are seen by some as lucrative sites for new building. In several cases an old house was preserved and greatly extended, as is the case with Xaverian College where new buildings have been constructed in the grounds over a long period. St Anselm Hall, originally known as Kent House, has also been subjected to periodic extension.

Houses on Oxford Place were demolished in 1910 to make way for Hulme Hall, a university hall of residence, which is a large building designed in the Arts and Crafts style and incorporating a quadrangle. Many more high-quality buildings were built on the site in the 1960s and later.

Some sites in Victoria Park remained vacant until around the turn of the century, a good example being the First Church of Christ Scientist on Daisy Bank Road - now the Edgar Wood Centre - which was built on a green site in 1903. By 1971 it had fallen into disrepair and its use as a church ended. Restoration was completed by 1976, when it was used as an annexe to Elizabeth Gaskell College. It is regarded as a masterpiece - one of the most original buildings of its period. It was designed in the Arts and Crafts style with Art Nouveau motifs and is a grade I listed building.

The Church of St Chrysostom on Conyngham Road is on the site of an earlier church, begun in the 1840s and never completed. The present building on the site was designed by G. T. Redmayne; it was re-constructed after a fire in 1904.

Dalton Hall, also designed by Redmayne, was a university hall of residence. It is the only building in the conservation area sited close to the back of pavement, all the others having broad gardens with trees to screen them. Standing next to Dalton Hall is a much more recent building - the Ellis Lloyd Jones hall of residence. Although not in the style of the early Victorian villas, it integrates into its site very well.

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