The History of 1 Market Street, Altrincham
Our latest development at 1 Market Street is located close to the historical centre of Altrincham and will see one of the town’s historical buildings carefully restored and made into three unique commercial spaces.
Market Street is located in the area of the town believed to have been the site of the original settlement which would later become Altrincham. It was where Bonnie Prince Charlie's troops were allegedly billeted in 1745 and was a regular stopover point for stagecoaches on the turnpike road between Manchester and Chester.
Many, if not most, of Altrincham’s main landmarks are situated in or around the Old Market Place, also known as Higher Town. During the 18th and early 19th century this area was a hub of activity, including the market, professional businesses, public houses and where the first Church of England church was built in 1799.
During the later 19th century the commercial focus shifted from around the Old Market Place towards Stamford New Road. As a consequence new builds focussed around Market Street, such as the new Market House, which was erected in 1879, the Conservative Club and many of the properties along Greenwood Street, which also date to this period. 1 Market Street, was built for Sir William Cunliffe Brooks in the 1890s, possibly in an attempt to breathe life back into the area.
As such the building provides an important physical and visual connection between the Old Market Place and the nineteenth century Market House and covered market . The character of the southern end of Market Street which includes the grade 2 listed Market House and the ‘New’ Town Hall, contrasts with the earlier, compact urban character of the northern end and the Old Market Place.
The building itself still retains the distinctive original mosaic at the entrance, which bears testament to the building’s original purpose as an auction house. It’s no accident that the distinctive decorative timber framing on the first floor mirrors that of the large building facing it. Both buildings were built for Sir Willian Cunliffe Brooks and carry his initials on the weather vanes.
Novo will be carefully restoring and modernising the interior of 1 Market Street in the coming months, updating the space while retaining details such as the vaulted ceiling in what was the auction hall, and allowing the detailed mullion windows to once again, become a feature of the design. It can once again take its place at the heart of the newly reinvigorated town centre.