Great Ancoats Street and Jersey Street

The corner of Jersey Street and Great Ancoats Street is home to a cluster of small buildings.  The one on the corner dates from the 19th Century and has probably always contained some form of shop.  Today, it is associated with an adjacent development called The Space.

- The Space, 42nd Street -

The Manchester Confidential website explains that "The Space" is a project of the youth mental health charity "42nd Street".  They say that, "... The dramatic white steel gates visible from Great Ancoats Street only hint at the full measure of architect Maurice Shapero’s symbolic design, which is remarkable throughout, functional but fantastic, rational but bizarre.  Details like wardrobe doors leading to counseling rooms a la CS Lewis and stairwells with leaning walls give a sense that the building is unique, uncanny, inexplicable, safe– a space that’s different from the outside world, but mirrors it.  Starting with the idea of two cubes, i.e. the two main buildings, Shapero divided them with a sharply-angled series of windows, slicing a space to let the light through. Think Leonard Cohen, he told me, and quoted: “There’s a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in.”

The Contemporary Visual Arts Network collaborated with 42nd Street to create the Horsefalling exhibtion space in the old shop building.  They explain that, "... The project is inspired by the little known history of Manchester Art Museum founded in the 1884 by Victorian philanthropist Thomas C Horsfall and visited by local communities until its closure in the 1950s. A friend and self-appointed disciple of Ruskin, Horsfall was committed to demonstrating that art and nature could stimulate the character, the morals and the skills of the working classes.  Horsefalling takes its inspiration from one aspect of the original museum; the Model Rooms. There were originally two of these; a parlour and children’s room, created in collaboration with William Morris as examples of how people could adapt their humble surroundings to make them both more beautiful and therefore more pleasant spaces."


- Coates School

"The Space" wraps around a building that exhibits a plaque for Coates School 1821".   A great deal of restoration work has taken place in Ancoats to save the important buildings and find a way to incorporate them into a  community for the 21st Century but there have been failures.  According to Mark Crinson in his book "Urban Memory", "(for) the Coates School  on Jersey Street, renovations came too late to save the structure and an old stone sign ... in a new building testifies to the ghostly presence of the past."

When I visited the site again in March of 2014 the building was home to the Manchester College of Languages.


Below is my version of the Goad Map of the area dated 1889 and apparently revised circa 1933.  It shows the occupants of the various buildings that sat on this site at that time.

The Slaters Directory for Manchester and Salford for 1883 listed the occupants as:

Jersey Street

Number 4 - James Hardman, hairdresser
Number 6 - Edwin Moore, shopkeeper

Great Ancoats Street

Number 87 - Joseph Crook & Son, Clothiers
Number 89 - Daniel Donbuvand, Scale Maker


In 1911

Jersey Street

Number 2a - James Hawkins, cabinet maker
Number 4 - James Hardman, hairdresser
Number 6 - Fred Vickers, shopkeeper

Great Ancoats Street

Number 87 - Lonis Tenen, fent dealer
Numbers 89 & 91 - George Tutill, show card manufacturer
Number 93 - Kings Arms - Louis Colaluca
Number 95 - New United Friendly Society
Number 97 - William Oxley & Son, small wear manufacturer

The aerial image below, dating from 1953, shows that section of Great Ancoats Street (indicated by the red line). 

If you click on the link below you can see an image of the street from the Manchester Central Library digital collection.

Great Ancoats Street Image

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