Charlestown Towers

We have previously taken a look at Deepdale Court.

I returned last week to look at the remaining blocks.

Cartmel, Rusland and Somerton are all social housing.

Kentmere and Whitebeck have been adapted for senior citizens managed by Northwards Housing.

Freshfields formerly Grisedale is owned by private developers LPC Living and converted into a block of one, two and three bedroom homes.

Now, they boast floor-to-ceiling windows in the living spaces, modern fitted kitchens, and light wood-effect floors. Some also come with balconies.

A penthouse apartment, sold for £135,000 in 2008, even has a wrap-around outdoor terrace.

Manchester Evening News

The circular tiles within Grisedale’s entrance have been covered or removed.

Tower Block – 1987

Tunstall Court and Skelton Court have been demolished.

Let’s take a look back at the building of Victoria Avenue East – seen here in 1922.

The demands of an expanding industrial base and population created the need for new roads and housing.

There was subsequent development of inter-war semi-detached homes.

The urgent post-war need for temporary accommodation – was met by prefabricated structures.

Manchester City Council agreed to use the Phoenix model for their prefab estates.

A total of 43,206 Phoenix prefabs were built across the country, each one designed by the John Laing Group.

The Phoenix, designed by Laing and built by themselves as well as partners McAlpine and Henry Boot, looked much like an AIROH with a central front door. It was a two-bedroom in-situ preform design with steel frame, asbestos clad walls and an innovative roof of tubular steel poles with steel panels attached. Like all designs, it came pre-painted in magnolia, with green highlights on frames and skirting.

Phoenix prefabs cost £1,200 each constructed onsite, while the specially insulated version designed for use on the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides cost £2,000.

Wikipedia

The prefabs were eventually demolished and along came the tower blocks – Architect J Austen Bent, whose work we have seen on the Wythenshawe Walk

In the distance Chadderton Power Station – demolished in 1986.

Photographs – Local Image Collection

Here are the blocks prior to and during the current renovation programme.

Kentmere

Cartmel

Somerton

Rusland

Here are the group as of February 2023.

I was thrilled to find that each of the blocks had variants within the typology of handmade tiles.

Kentmere

Somerton

Cartmel

Rusland

There seems to be no record of attribution for these tiles – happily they are still extant.

Go and take a look.

Deepdale Court – Blackley

Deepdale Court Northwold Drive Manchester M9 7HX

On the way betwixt somewhere and there I took time to come here.

A tower block on high ground on the edge of Blackley.

One of nine seventeen-storey blocks containing eight hundred and forty six dwellings.

Committee approval date: 1967

Building contractor: Direct Municipal Labour

The two blocks that were demolished were Tunstall Court and Skelton Court.


Freshfields as listed is the new name for Grisedale Court as was sold by council and now private flats.

There are 16 floors in each block, 15 on one side and 16 on the other side

This area is known as the Charlestown Towers.

Tower Block

1987 – Grisedale Court with circular tiles in the entrance.

Over time the balconies have been boxed in and more recently the glazing replaced.

I was particularly interested in the hand made tiles inside the entrance – very much in the style of William Mitchell.