Building Name

Charter Street Ragged School.

1890 - 1892
Charter Street
Angel Meadow, Manchester
GMCA, England
Peters of Rochdale


Angel Meadow was known by repute to every Manchester man. It is probable, however, that few of them were really intimate with “the narrow alleys, the worn-out low-roofed cottages, the half-hidden courts of lodging-houses which shelter that section of humanity which in all great cities stands at the gate of civilisation.” Attempts to improve coditions began in 1861 when Angel Meadow Ragged School was established in a former Industrial School on Nelson Street. In 1866 a purpose-built Ragged School building was erected at the junction of Charter Street and un-named Street (later Little Nelson Street) to the designs of Willioam Hayley. This building was demolished in 1898 to make way for a further extension.  In 1890-1892 a new Ragged School and Girls’ Home was erected on a site adjacent to the original building and bounded by Ashley Lane and Little Nelson Street to the designs of Maxwell and Tuke.

CHARTER STREET RAGGED SCHOOL – The new home for the various agencies in connection with the Charter Street Ragged School is the outcome of a discussion which took place at the annual meeting three years ago. It had long been felt that the existing premises were far too small for the needs of the institution. They were built somewhere between thirty and forty years ago, the calculation of their founders being that accommodation would be required for about 600 persons. To show how the space is over-filled, it only needs to be stated that often during the winter months there are upwards of 1,100 children crowded into the three rooms. The schools are in the lowest and most populous parts of the city. In the immediate neighbourhood, there are common lodging houses licensed to accommodate 2653 persons as well as 125 registered houses accommodating 1,071 persons, thus giving a constantly changing population of 3,724 persons. Only the need of funds has deferred the extension of the ragged school buildings. In a circular issued by the teachers when they decided to enlarge the place they appealed for sufficient funds to enable them to erect a building which should contain a home for working girls, a large mission hall capable of holding 600 persons, a lads’ club, men’s club snd classrooms for the upper and lower mixed schools, containing accommodation for 1,200 children. There will be ample room for all these branches in the new building. There will also be a nursery where children whose mothers are at work during the day may be left, and accommodation for cooking and serving cheap dinners to day school children. Free meals are also to be given to destitute people of all ages. Some idea of the work done in this direction may be gathered from the fact that during the past winter 60,000 free meals were given to poor and destitute men, women and children; 200 families were supplied with Christmas dinners, and 220 pairs of clogs and a large quantity of cast-off clothing were distributed One of the chief features of the new scheme is the home for working girls. There are to be 50 separate bedrooms for girls, and these are be had on hire, either by the week or night, at a lower price than that charged in any of the lodging houses in the neighbourhood. Such girls as choose to occupy the rooms will be able to buy and cook their food on the premises, and they will also be able to use the laundry. The cost of the extension and the furnishing of the buildings when complete will be about £7,500. Towards this a considerable sum has been received in donations, but the Committee who have the matter in hand still need a large sum. The site of the new building was formerly occupied by a number of old cottages, and the Chairman, Mr W J Crossley, purchased both land and cottages for £1,650 and made a present of them to the Committee. Messrs Maxwell and Tuke of Princess Street, are the architects, and Messrs. Peters and Sons Rochdale, are the builders. [Manchester Guardian 27 June 1891 page 9]

CHARTER STREET RAGGED SCHOOL - The corner stones of the new buildings which will form the Charter Street Ragged School Extension and Working Girls’ Home were laid on Saturday afternoon. The buildings are being erected from the plans of Messrs Maxwell and Tuke. It is anticipated that the cost of extensions and furnishings will be about £7,500. Corner stones were laid by Mrs W J Crossley, Mr C E Schwann MP, Mrs J B Rowcliffe and Mr Herbert Philips, silver trowels being presented for the purpose by Mr W E Rowcliffe, Mr E T Broadhurst and Messrs Peters and Sons. {Manchester Guardian 29 June 1891 page 6]

Maxwell and Tuke, the architects whose skill is exemplified in the new Boys Refuge, Strangeways, have prepared designs for the extension. These show a four-storeyed red brick structure harmonising in its unpretentious appearance with the present block. The plans indicate that the basement of the building will contain a large covered gymnasium, an infants, school, boys’ clubroom, caretaker’s living room, lavatories and a soup kitchen. A spacious “mixed” schoolroom will be the principal apartment on the ground floor, which will also have a reading room, men=s clubroom, girls' dining room, matron's kitchen and pantry, and teacher=s room. The mission hall is to be placed on the first floor, which, with the exception of a girls= sitting room and ante-room, it will practically monopolise. Fifty bed and sitting rooms combined occupy the second floor and these will be maintained for the use of the poorer class of girls whose welfare has recently had the special attention of the committee. The lighting heating and ventilating arrangements throughout the building are of the best character. [Manchester Guardian 3 May 1890 page 9]


RAGGED SCHOOLS. MANCHESTER. The new buildings for the Charter-street Ragged School and Girls’ Home Manchester, were opened on the 28th ult. by the Baroness Burdett-Coutts. The new buildings are situated on a plot of land lying between Ashley-street and Charter-street. On the ground floor at the corner of Ashley-lane and Little Nelson-street is a mission hall capable of accommodating 500 persons with two public entrances on Ashley-lane and a platform entrance in Little Nelson-street. On the first floor above the mission hall is a school room to accommodate 700 children with two class rooms in addition to accommodate 40 each. The infants’ school is placed on the ground floor with an entrance through a yard from Charter-street and an entrance for the teachers and visitors from Little Nelson-street. The room is 63 ft. long and will accommodate 500 infants. The whole of the roof is of glass. There is a gallery for infants at one end of the room which is to be divided off from the rest of the room by a moveable shutter, and there is a platform at the other end. The Girls’ Home provides accommodation for about forty young women. The girls’ sitting-room is 32 feet by 20 feet, lit with three bay windows facing the south and east. The room is heated with one of Shoreland’s ventilating stoves. On the first floor of the home is provided a wash-house. The girls’ kitchen is provided with a cooking range. The hot water for the kitchen and bath is generated in a boiler in the basement and the water is circulated in copper pipes to the wash-houses, lavatories kitchen and baths. The materials used for the exterior are second brick with red dressings and the walls inside have been painted and colour-washed. The general contract for the works has been carried out by Messrs Peters of Rochdale, from the plans and under the supervision of Messrs Maxwell & Tuke, architects of Manchester. [Builder 21 May 1892 Page 406]

TO CONTRACTORS - CHARTER STREET RAGGED SCHOOL. Persons wishing to tender for the erection of a Mission Hall, Mixed and Infants School-rooms, Men’s and Boys’ Clubs and Girls’ Home will oblige by sending their names and addresses at once to the undersigned Maxwell and Tuke architects 29 Princess Street Manchester [Manchester Guardian 10 July 1890 page 1]

Reference    Manchester Guardian Thursday 10 July 1890 Page 1
Reference    British Architect 18 July 1890 Page viii (Contracts)
Reference    Manchester Guardian 20 April 1892 page 5
Reference    Manchester Guardian 27 June 1891 page 9 with illustration
Reference    Manchester Guardian 29 June 1891 page 6 - foundation
Reference    Manchester Guardian 20 April 1892, page 8
Reference    Manchester Guardian 27 April 1892 page 8
Reference    Manchester Guardian 29 April 1892 page 7
Reference    Builder 21 May 1892 Page 406