Out on the tiles

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Readers of some of my other posts may know that I am very fond of ceramics, in particular the high-glazed pottery tiles synonymous with the Victorian arts and crafts movement. I love the lustrous decadence of the rich intense colours from the period, and  the opulent crackle of the glaze.

Some of the best examples can be found beneath our feet gracing the ticket halls and the platforms of subterranean train stations or even the humble relics of gentlemen’s public conveniences. I have been known to visit places ( not men’s toilets!)  just for the tiles, whilst on other occasions I have made unexpected discoveries, sometimes in unlikely places. Here are three of my favourites in the city of Manchester.

1. The Principal Hotel ( formerly the Palace Hotel). This grade 2 listed building on The corner of Whitworth Street and Oxford Street was built between 1891 and 1895 by the architect Alfred Waterhouse for the Refuge Assurance Company, a very successful insurance business. The outside of the building is nothing extraordinary….

E001E2DA-9287-48B8-9D93-AB9CD2E07373

…but the inside is glorious!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love the glamour and the sense of the exotic conjured by the pillars and foliage. The design is of glazed brick and Burmantofts faience, a decorative style of architectural terracotta and glazed pottery which used warm cream, buff, rich orange and rusty tones. The Burmantofts company emerged in Leeds in the late 1850s with Waterhouse being one of their patrons.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

An overseas-based friend and I meet in Manchester once a year when she visits family in the city. Our venue of choice is almost always the Palace where for a couple of hours we can escape the Manchester rain and the hustle and bustle of the world outside and marvel at the sparkling chandeliers’ reflections on the glossy surfaces of the walls around us as we indulge in afternoon tea.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2. Peveril of the Peak. This iconic Manchester public house has stood near the Bridgewater Hall since the 1820s and is named after the novel of the same title written by Sir Walter Scott (better known as the author of Ivanhoe) in 1823, but set in the 17th century.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Peveril is brilliant. It’s actually nothing special inside, but wonderfully incongruous in its modern and muted surroundings this Victorian pottery pub is also grade II listed. Some of the outer tiles were added in the 1920s but have remained unaltered since – happily for those of us who like its style.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

3. J&J Shaw Ltd. This is my favourite doorway in Manchester.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

J & J Shaw established the furniture warehouse in 1924. This place is a hidden gem, tucked away close to Oxford Road train station.  I love the colours and the detail and can never resist tracing the shapes of the smooth leaves and fruits when I pass by. Its gorgeous art-deco entrance hints at the possibility of stylish furnishings that customers might have perused once they had stepped through the pottery portal. How exciting! They don’t make doors like they used to, do they?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “Out on the tiles

  1. gimpywalker February 13, 2019 / 9:13 pm

    I love tiles too!! Train stations often have great tiles, and the kachelofens in Austrian cafes are beautiful too!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. shazza February 13, 2019 / 9:33 pm

    Ahh lovely post. It’s always nice to see ornate tiles in places. If you ever go to Harrogate you should definitely treat yourself to a couple of hours in the Turkish baths. The tiles there are stunning.
    I remember going into a pub in Manchester called Uncle Tom’s chophouse or something like that and it had nice original green tiles as the Decor. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome to the Beautiful North February 13, 2019 / 9:40 pm

      Thank you. There are a few of those ‘green’ pubs dotted around. They’re gorgeous! I’m going to be visiting Harrogate in July so I might well visit that hamam. It looks fantastic!

      Like

      • shazza February 13, 2019 / 9:42 pm

        Oh brilliant. Harrogate is a lovely town. I am not a spa type of person, but I really enjoyed the baths, mainly because they are so beautiful inside. It’s best to book though. Exciting! X

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ms6282 February 13, 2019 / 11:00 pm

    Love those nouveauy tiles especially the ones on the
    Never seen that doorway despite the number of times I’ve been in and out of Oxford Road station.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s