Sports, leisure and the Arts Albert Park Conservation Area


In the middle of the 19th century the Albert Park area was occupied by fields and farmsteads in the townships of Didsbury and Withington.

There was a row of buildings on Barlow Moor Lane (now Barlow Moor Road) which could have been farm workers cottages, later re-developed into a row of shops now standing on the corner with Palatine Road.

Oakbank, a pair of houses close by, is probably the oldest building in the conservation area. A plaque on the wall reads 1851 but a house stood on the site in 1845. Another building from this period which survives is a homestead on Nell Lane.

Lapwing Hall was the largest farm residence in the conservation area. It stood close to where Palatine Road would later form a junction with Lapwing Lane. Palatine Road was authorised by Act of Parliament in 1861 and opened in 1862, the houses along it being developed thereafter.

During the late Victorian period the area bounded by Palatine Road, Barlow Moor Road and Lapwing Lane was developed with housing, mainly three-storey pairs of semi-detached properties, slightly less grand than those fronting Palatine Road.

The shopping area on Burton Road was also developed at this time as far as no. 210 to the south, and culminated in the North with the massive Victorian public house, the Midland, on the corner with Lapwing Lane.

Across Lapwing Lane, The Railway public house is a building of earlier origins, re-named when the Midland Railway opened the Manchester South District line on 1st January 1880. Albert Park has its own railway station, the entrance being opposite 22 and 24 Lapwing Lane.

Some time later, Withington Town Hall was built on Lapwing Lane. Although the building still retains much of its original form it is no longer in use for local government purposes.

Withington and Didsbury became incorporated into the City of Manchester in 1904, together with three other townships in South Manchester.

Cavendish Road, a short cul-de-sac, was extended around this time to continue the line of Lapwing Lane. This coincided with the construction of the largest buildings in the conservation area - Shawgrove and Cavendish Road Schools.

The area of Tintern Avenue, Bottesford Avenue and Arley Avenue, and the shops fronting Burton Road, were the next extensive development. All were built on the grounds of a large house called Drayton Lodge.

Post-war development took place to the north of Lapwing Lane and various infill sites have been built up, particularly in Cresswell Grove to replace war-damaged houses.

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