Andy Marshall's Treasure Hoard Gazetteer.
Entry: Mother and child, Long Street Methodist Church, Middleton, Greater Manchester.
Long Street Methodist Church and Schools is a delightful Arts and Crafts grouping of buildings designed in 1899/1901 by Edgar Wood. It is in my home town and, as a child, when I walked to school opposite, I was always intrigued by the way the courtyard gardens seemed to beckon me in. This grouping of buildings is a lesson on how to turn a group of buildings into a place.
Inside the church is a font with a sculpture of a mother and child by Arts and Crafts artist, Stirling Lee. It's a striking sculpture that is full of humanity. It is so small in scale to the great nave it is situated in, but powerful beyond its size in its impact. I've been drawn to it over and over again. There is an overwhelming need to touch it and draw on its charisma.
This list entry is dedicated to the memory of David Morris. It was he who took the photograph of me photographing the mother and child sculpture.
The sculpture by Stirling Lee was a favourite of ours and whilst he took my photograph, David told me that the sculpture represented the best of humanity.
David Morris worked tirelessly to help save places like Long Street Methodist Church which, under his stewardship was granted a grade II* listing.
For me he helped make incoherent places and buildings coherent again - straightening out their narratives - until others started to understand and form invaluable connections with place, that eventually helped save them.
Parking: There is on road parking at Durnford Street and a limited amount of parking at the back of the church. Alternatively you can park at the car park at St. Leonards Church and walk through Jubilee Park to the building.
The School Rooms, Long Street.
Adjacent to the church is the hall from the former Sunday school. It holds within its early design some modernist elements - including the great glass window beyond the gallery which is reminiscent (and possibly predates in design) that of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Edgar Wood and Mackintosh knew each other and had met on several occasions. Long Street Methodist Church and buildings have many curious similarities with Mackintosh's Queen's Cross church in Glasgow.
St. Leonard's Parish Church
This medieval church on a hill, opposite Long Street Church is well worth a visit (check opening times). It has a re-set Romanesque arch on the tower wall and wonderful medieval rood and choir stalls. It also has some very early stained glass and other glass by renowned Arts and Crafts artist Christopher Whall. Opening times vary.
The Old Boar's Head
The Old Boar's Head is a post-medieval timber framed building that is still a pub. Check out the interior whilst enjoying a drink or lunch.
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