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Happy Birthday Victoria Square

July 26 2019 | Articles | News

Grade II listed building Victoria Square was the first municipal housing built in Manchester.

It opened in Ancoats in 1894 and in 2019, it’s still serving the purpose it was built for - providing good quality, affordable council housing for around 170 older people.

To mark the 125th birthday, residents went back in time, throwing a Victorian themed garden party.

Traditional afternoon tea was served whilst guests were treated to performances by the Halle Orchestra and an authentic Punch and Judy show.

Some guests dressed to impress, with prizes for the best Victorian outfits.

You can see some of the festivities here:

This architectural gem in the heart of Ancoats has seen a great many changes over the years.

The Square originally housed 848 residents and was built to tackle overcrowding in the area. The Manchester Corporation, which became Manchester City Council, commissioned the building in light of Ancoats’ high death rates and the findings of their Unhealthy Dwellings Committee, who advised that the area was unfit to live in.

Mike Stevens, Director of Neighbourhood Services said:

“We are proud to be entrusted with the care of Victoria Square; a living, breathing representation of Manchester’s social history, but one of things that makes this place so special is the community that lives here and they certainly know how to throw a party.”    

With its unique architecture and award-winning gardens, Victoria Square is one of the most unusual retirement housing schemes in the country.

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