David Bellhouse

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David Bellhouse (1764–1840) was an English builder who did much to shape Victorian-era Manchester, both physically and socially.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Construction Process of the building or assembling of a building or infrastructure

Construction is the process of constructing a building or infrastructure. Construction differs from manufacturing in that manufacturing typically involves mass production of similar items without a designated purchaser, while construction typically takes place on location for a known client. Construction as an industry comprises six to nine percent of the gross domestic product of developed countries. Construction starts with planning, design, and financing; it continues until the project is built and ready for use.

Victorian era period of British history encompassing Queen Victorias reign (1837–1901)

In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, and its later half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of Continental Europe. In terms of moral sensibilities and political reforms, this period began with the passage of the Reform Act 1832. There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodist, and the Evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Britain's relations with the other Great Powers were driven by the colonial antagonism of the Great Game with Russia, climaxing during the Crimean War; a Pax Britannica of international free trade was maintained by the country's naval and industrial supremacy. Britain embarked on global imperial expansion, particularly in Asia and Africa, which made the British Empire the largest empire in history. National self-confidence peaked.


Born in Leeds, Bellhouse received no formal education. An autodidact, he taught himself to read and write and the elements of arithmetic and technical drawing. In 1786, he moved to Manchester where he married Mary Wainwright and took up employment as a joiner with the building firm of Thomas Sharp. Sharp died in 1803 and his family had little appetite for the business so it was acquired by Bellhouse.

Leeds City in England

Leeds is a city in West Yorkshire, England.

Technical drawing creation of standards and the technical drawings

Technical drawing, drafting or drawing, is the act and discipline of composing drawings that visually communicate how something functions or is constructed.

A joiner is an artisan who builds things by joining pieces of wood, particularly lighter and more ornamental work than that done by a carpenter, including furniture and the "fittings" of a house, ship, etc. Joiners may work in a workshop, because the formation of various joints is made easier by the use of non-portable, powered machinery, or on job site. A joiner usually produces items such as interior and exterior doors, windows, stairs, tables, bookshelves, cabinets, furniture, etc. In shipbuilding a marine joiner may work with materials other than wood such as linoleum, fiberglass, hardware, and gaskets.

During the Industrial Revolution there was a mass movement of workers towards Manchester to take up employment in the cotton spinning and textile industry. This created a demand for cheap housing and Bellhouse and his partners were among several tradesmen builders who made their fortunes in property speculation. From the early nineteenth century, Bellhouse expanded into the construction of complete factories and into work as a surveyor and valuer.

Industrial Revolution Mid-20th-to-early-21th-century period; First Industrial Revolution evolved into the Second Industrial Revolution in the transition years between 1840 and 1870

The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Europe and the US, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, the increasing use of steam power and water power, the development of machine tools and the rise of the mechanized factory system. The Industrial Revolution also led to an unprecedented rise in the rate of population growth.

Cotton plant fiber from the genus Gossypium

Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will increase the dispersal of the seeds.

Spinning is the twisting together of drawn-out strands of fibers to form yarn, and is a major part of the textile industry. The yarn is then used to create textiles, which are then used to make clothing and many other products. There are several industrial processes available to spin yarn, as well as hand-spinning techniques where the fiber is drawn out, twisted, and wound onto a bobbin.

His firm enjoyed the sole contracts for the erection of several public buildings, including the Portico Library, Islington Mill and the old Town Hall in King Street.

Islington Mill is the name commonly used to refer to the collection of nineteenth and early twentieth century buildings that reside at 1 James St, Salford M3 5HW, England, and to the Islington Mill Arts Club which occupies those buildings.

Bellhouse was active in Manchester cultural life being a founder member of the Portico Library and the Royal Manchester Institution, now the Manchester Art Gallery. Bellhouse and his wife supported many social and charitable causes, especially for workers' education, and Bellhouse was one of the founders of the Manchester Mechanics' Institute (fore-runner of UMIST).

Royal Manchester Institution

The Royal Manchester Institution (RMI) was an English learned society founded on 1 October 1823 at a public meeting held in the Exchange Room by Manchester merchants, local artists and others keen to dispel the image of Manchester as a city lacking in culture and taste.

Manchester Art Gallery publicly owned art gallery in Manchester, UK

Manchester Art Gallery, formerly Manchester City Art Gallery, is a publicly owned art museum on Mosley Street in Manchester city centre. The main gallery premises were built for a learned society in 1823 and today its collection occupies three connected buildings, two of which were designed by Sir Charles Barry. Both Barry's buildings are listed. The building that links them was designed by Hopkins Architects following an architectural design competition managed by RIBA Competitions. It opened in 2002 following a major renovation and expansion project undertaken by the art gallery.

In 1824, he was elected one of the Police Commissioners who comprised Manchester's local government, making use of the office in furthering his building enterprise. He held the post until 1832.

Bellhouse and his wife had five sons who continued the family building trade. [1]

E. T. Bellhouse

Edward Taylor Bellhouse (1816–1881), [2] [3] one of the grandsons of David Bellhouse (1764–1840), founded E. T. Bellhouse and Co. This company was a famous manufacturer of iron buildings. Prince Albert ordered an iron ball-room for Balmoral Castle. [4]

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