When I was a child, this area of Manchester was dominated by the fruit, vegetable, poultry and fish markets of Smithfield.
Photograph above taken by Pauline Leech and shown with the permission of Chetham's Library.
All of those markets are now gone, as are many of the buildings. However, some of the buildings or fragments of buildings remain and have been restored as part of the redevelopment of the area. The Wholesale Fish Market by Speakman, Son & Hickson in 1873, has been incorporated into a new residential complex. The outside walls, gates and sculptures have been saved, along with some of the wrought iron internal columns.
The friezes feature sculptures of fishing by Henry Bonehill. The gates are by Hodkinson Pynton & Lester.
On Thomas Street the
that goes with the market remains. At street
level it has been
converted into the restaurant "Blu". The
architects were Travis
& Magnell and it was built in 1877. Pevsner
says of it,
"Three storeys, red brick with stone dressings,
with an arcade of
round-headed windows at he first floor
level. On top a
conglomeration of tall chimneys and pedimented
gables crowned with
urns. The bowed corners have curving windows
with ranks of
granite shafts - a favourite Travis & Magnall
motif," which leads
one to wonder if they had a hand in the design of the
opposite that is similarly decorated.