HYDE, TAMESIDE

Grid Ref: Hyde SJ 953 947; Werneth Low SJ 963 935
Dates: Hyde, 13 & 26 May 2009; Werneth Low, 28 Feb 2006

Town Hall spacer Chartist Memorial
Hyde Town Hall   Bronze figures in front of the Town Hall
Town Hall   Market
Town Hall Tower   The Market Square
Rutherford Plaque   Bradley Plaque
Plaque on the Town Hall   Plaque on the Town Hall
Queens sign   The Queens
Pub sign with six wives of Henry VIII   The Queens
Hyde Chapel   Sunday School
"Hyde Chapel" at Gee Cross   Hyde Chapel Sunday School Rooms of 1889
Werneth Low   Hyde Library
The Memorial at Werneth Low   The Public Library

 

Pevsner describes Hyde as a Cheshire cotton town. The Town Hall facing the market place was built between 1883 and 1885 by J. W. Beaumont of Manchester. An extension was added with a portico in Greenfield Street in 1937 by J. H. Ward. Hyde Chapel on Knott Lane in Gee Cross is unusual in being built as a Unitarian Chapel in the style usually used for a parish church. It was built between 1846 and 1848 by the architects Bowman & Crowther. It was the first Nonconformist church built in this style. The Free Library was built in 1899 and bears the town's shield with the motto "Onward".

The memorial on Werneth Low, which overlooks the town, is to to the men of Hyde who fell in the Great War. The bronze figures in front of the Town Hall were produced by Stephen Broadbent. The sculpture was unveiled on 28 November 2002 and the celebrates the Chartist movement in Hyde. In the 1840s the Chartists demonstrated for many freedoms which we now take for granted but at the time they were considered dangerous revolutionaries. They wanted universal suffrage for men of 21 and over and a secret ballot. They asked that MPs be paid and that there should be no ownership of property requirement for those standing for election so that the role was not the preserve of rich men. Finally they wanted constituencies to be of equal size and a general election every year. With the exception of the latter provision, which we probably don't want, we now have all these freedoms and in addition votes for women. Hyde can be proud that its citizens played an active role in airing these issues but it took a long time to gain all their objectives.

Sources

Tameside has a good website which includes the History of Hyde and the history of Chartism in Tameside
The Buildings of England: Cheshire, by Nikolaus Pevsner and Edward Hubbard, first edition 1971, Yale University Press edition in 2003.

 

 

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Cheshire Antiquities
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