Rose Hill, Northenden

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View of Rose Hill Rose Hill Northenden 1.jpg
View of Rose Hill

Rose Hill in Longley Lane, Northenden, Manchester, England, is a 19th-century Victorian villa, most notable as the home of Sir Edward Watkin, "railway king and cross-channel visionary". [1] The house was designated a Grade II* listed building on 11 April 1991. [2]

Northenden suburban area in the city of Manchester, England

Northenden is a suburb of Manchester, England, with a population of 14,771 at the 2011 census. It lies on the south side of the River Mersey, 4.2 miles (6.8 km) west of Stockport and 5.2 miles (8.4 km) south of Manchester city centre, in the Wythenshawe district of south Manchester. It is bounded by Didsbury to the north, Gatley to the east, and the rest of Wythenshawe to the south and west.

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 third-most populous metropolitan 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.

Victorian architecture series of architectural revival styles

Victorian architecture is a series of architectural revival styles in the mid-to-late 19th century. Victorian refers to the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), called the Victorian era, during which period the styles known as Victorian were used in construction. However, many elements of what is typically termed "Victorian" architecture did not become popular until later in Victoria's reign. The styles often included interpretations and eclectic revivals of historic styles. The name represents the British and French custom of naming architectural styles for a reigning monarch. Within this naming and classification scheme, it followed Georgian architecture and later Regency architecture, and was succeeded by Edwardian architecture.


Sir Edward's father, Absalom Watkin, bought the house in 1832. Absalom Watkin was a wealthy cotton merchant and a diarist, recording life in early Victorian Manchester. Sir Edward extended the house in the late 19th century with "a single storey loggia of the finest ashlar with Doric order pilasters ... toy battlements appear elsewhere. The interiors are especially fine." [1] The house has spectacular stained glass: "The windows and doors all have very fine and imaginative art nouveau stained glass, with rose trees, birds and other flowers and plants and employing clear glass as part of the design." [2]

Loggia covered exterior gallery

A loggia is an architectural feature which is a covered exterior gallery or corridor usually on an upper level, or sometimes ground level. The outer wall is open to the elements, usually supported by a series of columns or arches. Loggias can be located either on the front or side of a building and are not meant for entrance but as an out-of-door sitting room.

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.

Doric order Order of ancient Greek and Roman architecture, with no base to the column, simple capital, and triglyphs on the frieze

The Doric order was one of the three orders of ancient Greek and later Roman architecture; the other two canonical orders were the Ionic and the Corinthian. The Doric is most easily recognized by the simple circular capitals at the top of columns. Originating in the western Dorian region of Greece, it is the earliest and in its essence the simplest of the orders, though still with complex details in the entablature above.

Sir Edward made his fortune as the managing director of four separate railway companies at a time of vast expansion of the railways in mid-Victorian Britain. He also founded the Channel Tunnel Company in 1875, which undertook the first large-scale attempt to link England and France. He began construction of a larger version of the Eiffel Tower on the site of the current Wembley Stadium, but this was abandoned after a height of 155 feet had been reached. [3]

Eiffel Tower tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France

The Eiffel Tower is a wrought-iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.

Wembley Stadium Football stadium in Wembley, London

Wembley Stadium is a football stadium in Wembley, London, which opened in 2007, on the site of the original Wembley Stadium, which was demolished from 2002–2003. The stadium hosts major football matches including home matches of the England national football team, and the FA Cup Final. The stadium is also the temporary home of Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur until at least March 2019, while White Hart Lane is being demolished and their new stadium is being constructed.

In the 20th century, Rose Hill became a children's home, which closed in the 1990s and was later the subject of a wide-ranging investigation into child abuse in Manchester's care homes from the 1960s to the 1980s. [4] In the 1970s a major landscape painting by the American artist Frederick Edwin Church was discovered at Rose Hill. The Icebergs had been bought by Sir Edward in the late 19th century for a reported £10,000 and subsequently forgotten. [5]

<i>The Icebergs</i> painting by Frederic Edwin Church

The Icebergs is an 1861 oil painting by the American landscape artist Frederic Edwin Church. It was inspired by his 1859 voyage to the North Atlantic around Newfoundland and Labrador. Considered one of Church's "Great Pictures"—measuring 1.64 by 2.85 metres —the painting depicts one or more icebergs in the afternoon light of the Arctic. It was first displayed in New York City in 1861, where visitors paid 25 cents' admittance to the one-painting show. Similar exhibitions in Boston and London followed. The unconventional landscape of ice, water, and sky generally drew praise, but the American Civil War, which began the same year, lessened critical and popular interest in New York City's cultural events.

Rose Hill was converted into flats in 2003 and most of the grounds built-over with private housing. [1]

See also

Grade II* listed buildings in Greater Manchester Wikimedia list article

There are 236 Grade II* listed buildings in Greater Manchester, England. In the United Kingdom, the term listed building refers to a building or other structure officially designated as being of special architectural, historical or cultural significance; Grade II* structures are those considered to be "particularly significant buildings of more than local interest". In England, the authority for listing under the Planning Act 1990 rests with English Heritage, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Manchester is a city in Northwest England. The M22 postcode area of the city includes parts of the suburbs of Northenden and Wythenshawe. This postcode area contains 15 listed buildings that are recorded in the National Heritage List for England. Of these, three are listed at Grade II*, the middle of the three grades, and the others are at Grade II, the lowest grade. The area is largely residential and most of the listed buildings are houses and churches and associated structures. The other listed buildings include a bridge, a war memorial, and a former bus depot.


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Sir Edward William Watkin, 1st Baronet was a British Member of Parliament and railway entrepreneur. He was an ambitious visionary, and presided over large-scale railway engineering projects to fulfil his business aspirations, eventually rising to become chairman of nine different British railway companies.

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Manchester is a city in Northwest England. The M23 postcode area of the city includes parts of the suburbs of Wythenshawe and Northenden. The postcode area contains eleven listed buildings that are recorded in the National Heritage List for England. Of these, one is listed at Grade I, the highest of the three grades, two are at Grade II*, the middle grade, and the others are at Grade II, the lowest grade. The area is almost completely residential, and the listed buildings include two former manor houses and associated structures, a former farm and outbuildings, a house, a church, and a vicarage.


Coordinates: 53°24′06″N2°14′56″W / 53.4017°N 2.2488°W / 53.4017; -2.2488