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First ever veterans’ village in Manchester

November 11 2015 | Articles | News

(Temple Square - possibly the country's first ever "veterans' village")

The residents of one of our estates in Cheetham Hill have been learning about the history of their homes – built for returning World War One heroes.

Temple Square, which is opposite Manchester Fort shopping centre, was the first ever veterans’ village of its kind – 100 years before DIY SOS came to Manchester.

Houses fit for heroes

They were built in 1919 after Prime Minister David Lloyd George declared he wanted "homes fit for heroes to live in."

The 1919 Housing Act saw homes like those at Temple Square built all over the country and laid the foundation for the beginning of social housing.

Slums no more

The homes were a far cry from the late-Victorian era slums that tenants had been used to – they had private back gardens and inside toilets.

The Lord Mayor of Manchester cut the first sod of earth for the homes with a spade that’s now on display at Manchester Town Hall.

Back to the future

The 78 properties in Cheetham Hill are now two and three bedroom flats and were refurbished back in 2006 as part of the Decent Homes Programme.

Tenant Abbas Hussain, who has lived in Temple Square for seven years, was shocked to learn of his home’s noble past.

He said: “It's really interesting to learn about the history - I hadn’t realised that the homes were so old."