Free Trade Hall

Last updated
Free Trade Hall
The Free Trade Hall, Manchester.jpg
The Free Trade Hall
General information
StatusGrade II* listed building
Architectural style Palazzo
Location Manchester, England
Construction started1853
Completed1856
Design and construction
Architect Edward Walters

The Free Trade Hall on Peter Street, Manchester, England, was a public hall, constructed in 1853–56 on St Peter’s Fields, the site of the Peterloo Massacre. It is now a Radisson hotel.

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous built-up area, with a population of 3.2 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.

Peterloo Massacre Massacre of protesters in 1819

The Peterloo Massacre took place at St Peter's Field, Manchester, England, on 16 August 1819, when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 who had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.

Radisson Hotels American multinational hotel chain

Radisson is an international hotel chain of the Radisson Hotel Group. Since 2016, the parent company Radisson Hotel Group has been majority owned by China's HNA Group, but as of 2018 that stake is being resold to a consortium led by Jin Jiang.

Contents

The hall was built to commemorate the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846. The architect was Edward Walters. [1] The hall was owned by the Manchester Corporation. It was bombed in the Manchester Blitz and its interior rebuilt and was Manchester's premier concert venue until the construction of the Bridgewater Hall in 1996. The hall was designated a Grade II* listed building in 1963. [2]

The Corn Laws were tariffs and other trade restrictions on imported food and grain ("corn") enforced in Great Britain between 1815 and 1846. The word "corn" in the English spoken in Nineteenth Century Britain denotes all cereal grains, such as wheat and barley. They were designed to keep grain prices high to favour domestic producers, and represented British mercantilism. The Corn Laws imposed steep import duties, making it too expensive to import grain from abroad, even when food supplies were short.

Edward Walters English architect

Edward Walters was an English architect.

Manchester City Council Local government body in England

Manchester City Council is the local government authority for Manchester, a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. It is composed of 96 councillors, three for each of the 32 electoral wards of Manchester. The council is controlled by the Labour Party and led by Sir Richard Leese. The opposition is formed by the Liberal Democrats and led by former Manchester Withington MP John Leech. Joanne Roney is the chief executive. Many of the council's staff are based at Manchester Town Hall.

History

The Free Trade Hall was built as a public hall between 1853 and 1856 by Edward Walters on land given by Richard Cobden in St Peter's Fields, the site of the Peterloo Massacre. Two earlier halls had been constructed on the site, the first, a large timber pavilion was built in 1840, and its brick replacement built in 1842. [2] [3] The halls were "vital to Manchester's considerable role in the long campaign for the repeal of the Corn Laws. [1] The hall was funded by public subscription and became a concert hall and home of the Hallé Orchestra in 1858. A red plaque records that it was built on the site of the Peterloo Massacre in 1819. [2]

Richard Cobden English manufacturer and Radical and Liberal statesman

Richard Cobden was an English manufacturer, Radical and Liberal statesman, associated with two major free trade campaigns, the Anti-Corn Law League and the Cobden–Chevalier Treaty.

The Free Trade Hall was bought by Manchester Corporation in 1920; but was bombed and left an empty shell in the Manchester Blitz of December 1940. A new hall was constructed behind two walls of the original facade in 1950–51 by Manchester City Council's architect, L. C. Howitt. [4] opening as a concert hall in 1951. As well as housing the Hallé Orchestra, it was used for pop and rock concerts. A Wurlitzer organ from the Paramount Cinema in Manchester was installed over four years and first used in public in a BBC programme broadcast in September 1977. When the hall closed, the organ, which was on loan, was moved to the great hall in Stockport Town Hall. [5] The Hallé Orchestra moved to the Bridgewater Hall in 1996 and the Free Trade Hall was closed by Manchester City Council.

Manchester Blitz bombing of Manchester (UK), by German Luftwaffe in December 1940

The Manchester Blitz was the heavy bombing of the city of Manchester and its surrounding areas in North West England during the Second World War by the German Luftwaffe. It was one of three major raids on Manchester, an important inland port and industrial city; Trafford Park in neighbouring Stretford was a major centre of war production.

Leonard Cecil Howitt – often referred to as L. C. Howitt – served in both World Wars and was Manchester City Council's chief architect from 1946 until he retired in 1961.

Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were roughly synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became increasingly differentiated from each other.

In 1997 the building was sold to private developers despite resistance from groups such as the Manchester Civic Society, who viewed the sale as inappropriate given the historical significance of the building and its site. After the initial planning application was refused by the Secretary of State, a second modified planning application was submitted and approved. Walters' original facade was retained, behind which architects Stephenson Bell designed a 263-bedroom hotel, demolishing Howitt's post-war hall but preserving the main staircase and the 1950s statues that were formerly attached to its rear wall. The hotel opened in 2004, having cost £45 million. [3]

Roger Stephenson OBE is an English architect and is the Managing Partner of stephenson STUDIO in Manchester, England.

Architecture

The facade of the Free Trade Hall Manchester Free Trade Hall (Radisson Edwardian Hotel).jpg
The façade of the Free Trade Hall

The Italian palazzo-style hall was built on a trapeziform site in ashlar sandstone. It has a two-storey, nine-bay facade and concealed roof. On Peter Street, its ground floor arcade has rectangular piers with round-headed arches and spandrels bearing the coats of arms of Lancashire towns that took part in the Anti-Corn Law movement. The upper floor has a colonnaded arcade, its tympana frieze is richly decorated with carved figures representing free trade, the arts, commerce, manufacture and the continents. Above the tympanum is a prominent cornice with balustraded parapet. The upper floor has paired Ionic columns to each bay and a tall window with a pedimented architrave behind a balustraded balcony. [2] The return sides have three bays in a matching but simpler style of blank arches. The rear wall was rebuilt in 1950–51 with pilasters surmounted by relief figures representing the entertainment which took place in the old hall. The Large Hall was in a classical style with a coffered ceiling, the walls had wood panelling in oak, walnut and sycamore. Pevsner described it as "the noblest monument in the Cinquecento style in England", whilst Hartwell considered it "a classic which belongs in the canon of historic English architecture." [4]

Palazzo style architecture imitative of Italian palazzi

Palazzo style refers to an architectural style of the 19th and 20th centuries based upon the palazzi (palaces) built by wealthy families of the Italian Renaissance. The term refers to the general shape, proportion and a cluster of characteristics, rather than a specific design; hence it is applied to buildings spanning a period of nearly two hundred years, regardless of date, provided they are a symmetrical, corniced, basemented and with neat rows of windows. "Palazzo style" buildings of the 19th century are sometimes referred to as being of Italianate architecture but this term is also applied to a much more ornate style, particularly of residences and public buildings.

Ashlar Finely dressed stone and associated masonry

Ashlar is finely dressed stone, either an individual stone that has been worked until squared or the structure built of it. Ashlar is the finest stone masonry unit, generally cuboid, mentioned by Vitruvius as opus isodomum, or less frequently trapezoidal. Precisely cut "on all faces adjacent to those of other stones", ashlar is capable of very thin joints between blocks, and the visible face of the stone may be quarry-faced or feature a variety of treatments: tooled, smoothly polished or rendered with another material for decorative effect.

Sandstone A clastic sedimentary rock composed mostly of sand-sized particles

Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized mineral particles or rock fragments.

After its closure, the hall was sold and after a protracted planning process and consultations with English Heritage, its conversion to a hotel was agreed. During the hotel's construction, the Windmill Street and Southmill Street facades were demolished and the north block retained and connected by a triangular glazed atrium to a 15-storey block clad in stone and glass. Artifacts salvaged from the old hall, including 1950s statues by Arthur Sherwood Edwards and framed wall plaster autographed by past performers, decorate the atrium light well. [3]

Events

A commemorative plaque on the side of the Manchester Free Trade Hall PeterlooRedPlaque.JPG
A commemorative plaque on the side of the Manchester Free Trade Hall

The Free Trade Hall was a venue for public meetings and political speeches and a concert hall. Charles Dickens performed here in the summer of 1857 in Wilkie Collins's play The Frozen Deep . In 1872 Benjamin Disraeli gave his One Nation speech. In 1904, Winston Churchill delivered a speech at the hall defending Britain's policy of free trade. The Times called it "one of the most powerful and brilliant he has made." [6] In 1905 the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) activists, Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney were ejected from a meeting addressed by the Liberal politician Sir Edward Grey, who repeatedly refused to answer their question on Votes for Women. Christabel Pankhurst immediately began an impromptu meeting outside, and when the police moved them on, contrived to be arrested and brought to court. So began the militant WSPU campaign for the vote. [7]

After Sir Charles Hallé founded the Hallé Orchestra in 1858, its home was the Free Trade Hall until the hall was damaged in the Manchester Blitz. The Hallé performed at the reopening in 1951 with the Orchestra's musical director and conductor, Sir John Barbirolli who remained until 1970. The final concert there was in 1996. [8] Kathleen Ferrier sang at the re-opening of the Free Trade Hall in 1951, ending with a performance of Elgar's "Land of Hope and Glory", the only performance of that piece in her career.

Bob Dylan played here in 1965, and again in 1966, [9] the occasion of the "Judas!" shout. [10] In the late 60s Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, The Moody Blues, Tyrannosaurus Rex, (Marc Bolan) and The Dubliners played there amongst others. Pink Floyd played on five occasions as did Genesis in February 1973. [9] On 4 June 1976, the Lesser Free Trade Hall was the venue for a concert by the Sex Pistols at the start of the punk rock movement. [9] [11]

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 Hartwell (2001), p. 92
  2. 1 2 3 4 Historic England, "Free Trade Hall (1246666)", National Heritage List for England , retrieved 13 October 2011
  3. 1 2 3 Manchester's Free Trade Hall is a building ..., Urban Realm, retrieved 13 October 2011
  4. 1 2 Hartwell (2001), p. 93
  5. The Stockport Publix One Wurlitze r, The Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust, archived from the original on 8 October 2009, retrieved 14 October 2011
  6. The Free Trade League, Winston Churchill.org, archived from the original on 7 October 2011, retrieved 13 October 2011
  7. "Suppression of the W. S. P. U." . Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. British Newspaper Archive. 1 May 1913. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  8. Our history, The Hallé, retrieved 2 July 2013
  9. 1 2 3 Kellie (2010), p. 175
  10. Bob Dylan is accused of being a 'Judas', The Guardian, 12 June 2011, retrieved 2 July 2013
  11. Sex Pistols gig: the truth, BBC Manchester, retrieved 13 October 2011

Related Research Articles

Emmeline Pankhurst 19th and 20th-century English suffragette

Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist and helper of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote. In 1999 Time named Pankhurst as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating "she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back". She was widely criticised for her militant tactics, and historians disagree about their effectiveness, but her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women's suffrage in the United Kingdom.

Sylvia Pankhurst British suffragist, anti-colonialist

Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst was an English campaigner for the suffragette movement, a prominent left communist and later an activist in the cause of anti-fascism. She spent much of her later life agitating on behalf of Ethiopia, where she eventually moved.

Chethams School of Music school in Manchester, UK

Chetham's School of Music is an independent co-educational music school in Manchester, England. Chetham's educates students between the ages of 8 and 18, all of whom enter via musical auditions. Students receive a full academic education alongside specialist group and individual music tuition.

Bridgewater Hall concert hall in Manchester

The Bridgewater Hall is a concert venue in Manchester city centre, England. It cost around £42 million to build and currently hosts over 250 performances a year.

Pankhurst Centre pair of Victorian villas in Manchester, England

The Pankhurst Centre, 60–62 Nelson Street, Manchester, is a pair of Victorian villas, of which No. 62 was the home of Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Sylvia, Christabel and Adela and the birthplace of the suffragette movement. The villas now form a centre that is a women-only space which creates a unique environment for women to learn together, work on projects and socialise. It is a Grade II* listed building as of 10 June 1974.

Annie Kenney British suffragette

Ann "Annie" Kenney was an English working-class suffragette who became a leading figure in the Women's Social and Political Union. She co-founded its first branch in London with Minnie Baldock. Kenney attracted the attention of the press and public in 1905 when she and Christabel Pankhurst were imprisoned for several days for assault and obstruction, after heckling Sir Edward Grey at a Liberal rally in Manchester on the issue of votes for women. The incident is credited with inaugurating a new phase in the struggle for women's suffrage in the UK, with the adoption of militant tactics. Annie had friendships with Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Baroness Pethick-Lawrence, Mary Blathwayt, Clara Codd, Adela Pankhurst and Christabel Pankhurst.

Rachel Barrett Welsh suffragette and newspaper editor

Rachel Barrett was a suffragette and newspaper editor born in Carmarthen, Wales. After attending the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth she became a science teacher. In 1906 she quit her job after hearing Nellie Martel speak on women's suffrage; she then became a member of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) and moved to London. In 1907 she became an organiser for the WSPU and after Christabel Pankhurst fled to Paris, Barrett was asked to be the joint organiser of the national WSPU campaign. In 1912, despite having no journalistic background, she was put in charge of the newly formed newspaper The Suffragette. Barrett was arrested on more than one occasion for activities linked to the suffrage movement and between 1913 and 1914 she spent time incognito avoiding re-arrest.

The Principal Manchester

The Principal Manchester, originally known as the Refuge Assurance Building or Refuge Building after the insurance company stands at the corner of Oxford Street and Whitworth Street in Manchester, England. The building was later known as the Palace Hotel.

St Peters Square, Manchester

St Peter's Square is a public square in Manchester city centre, England. The north of the square is bounded by Princess Street and the south by Peter Street. To the west of the square is Manchester Central Library, Midland Hotel and Manchester Town Hall Extension. The square is home to the Manchester Cenotaph, the Emmeline Pankhurst statue, and St Peter's Square Metrolink tram stop and incorporates the Peace Garden. In 1819, the area around the square was the site of the Peterloo Massacre.

Architecture of Manchester

The architecture of Manchester demonstrates a rich variety of architectural styles. The city is a product of the Industrial Revolution and is known as the first modern, industrial city. Manchester is noted for its warehouses, railway viaducts, cotton mills and canals - remnants of its past when the city produced and traded goods. Manchester has minimal Georgian or medieval architecture to speak of and consequently has a vast array of 19th and early 20th-century architecture styles; examples include Palazzo, Neo-Gothic, Venetian Gothic, Edwardian baroque, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and the Neo-Classical.

Flora Drummond suffragette

Flora McKinnon Drummond, , was a British suffragette. Nicknamed The General for her habit of leading Women's Rights marches wearing a military style uniform 'with an officers cap and epaulettes' and riding on a large horse, Drummond was an organiser for the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) and was imprisoned nine times for her activism in the Women's Suffrage movement. Drummond's main political activity was organising and leading rallies, marches and demonstrations. She was an accomplished and inspiring orator and had a reputation for being able to put down hecklers with ease.

Suffragette member of the Womans Social and Political Union who advocated for womens right to vote

A suffragette was a member of militant women's organisations in the early 20th century who, under the banner "Votes for Women", fought for the right to vote in public elections, known as women's suffrage. The term refers in particular to members of the British Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), a women-only movement founded in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst, which engaged in direct action and civil disobedience. In 1906 a reporter writing in the Daily Mail coined the term 'suffragette' for the WSPU, from suffragist, to belittle the women advocating women's suffrage. The militants embraced the new name, even adopting it for use as the title of the newspaper published by the WSPU.

The Hallé English symphony orchestra based in Manchester

The Hallé is an English symphony orchestra based in Manchester, England. It supports a choir, youth choir, youth training choir, children's choir and a youth orchestra, and releases its recordings on its own record label, though it has occasionally released recordings on Angel Records and EMI. Since 1996 the orchestra has been resident at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

County Court, Manchester

The County Court in Quay Street, Manchester, England, is a Georgian townhouse that functioned as the Manchester County Court from 1878 to 1990. It was the home of the politician and reformer Richard Cobden and subsequently the site of Owen's College, the forerunner of the University of Manchester. In origin it is a townhouse of the 1770s, "the best preserved Georgian house in the [city] centre". The house is of "brick with a late nineteenth century doorcase". It was designated a Grade II* listed building on 3 October 1974. The interior is not original.

Sociology of Manchester

Manchester in the United Kingdom is a city which was built by the Industrial Revolution, and has ultimately influenced political and social thinking in Britain and beyond. Historically, the city has been a hotbed for new, radical thinking, particularly during the Industrial Revolution which presented new social and political challenges for the United Kingdom. Urbanist Anna Minton describes Manchester as historically the "bellwether for social change in Britain".

Theatre Royal, Manchester Historic theatre in Manchester, England

The Theatre Royal in Manchester, England, opened in 1845. Situated next to the Free Trade Hall, it is the oldest surviving theatre in Manchester. It was commissioned by Mancunian businessman John Knowles who wanted a theatre venue in the city.

Aeta Lamb suffragette

Aeta Adelaide Lamb (1886–1928) was one of the longest serving organizers in the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), the leading militant organization campaigning for Women's suffrage in the United Kingdom.

Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst Memorial memorial in London to Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst

The Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst Memorial is a memorial in London to Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel, two of the foremost British suffragettes. It stands at the entrance to Victoria Tower Gardens, south of Victoria Tower at the southwest corner of the Palace of Westminster. Its main feature is a bronze statue of Emmeline Pankhurst by Arthur George Walker, unveiled in 1930. In 1958 the statue was relocated to its current site and the bronze reliefs commemorating Christabel Pankhurst were added.

Longford Cinema

Longford Cinema is a former cinema in Stretford.

Caroline Phillips was a Scottish feminist, suffragette and journalist. She was honorary secretary of the Aberdeen branch of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), met and corresponded with many of the leaders of the movement and was also involved in the organisation of militant action in Aberdeen.

References

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Free Trade Hall at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 53°28′40″N2°14′50″W / 53.47778°N 2.24722°W / 53.47778; -2.24722