What is Glossop VAH?

The aim of the Glossop VAH website is to celebrate, promote and preserve the Victorian Architectural Heritage of a proud High Peak, Derbyshire town on the edge of the Peak District National Park roughly halfway between the once industrial hotbeds of Manchester and Sheffield.

Glossop is quintessentially a Victorian town, the foundation stone of the Town Hall being laid on the day of Queen Victoria's Coronation, the 28 June 1838. In its heyday Glossop had at least 30 cotton or wool mills, with 13,000 looms and the largest Calico print works in the world. Even the football team, Glossop North End, enjoyed its most successful seasons, gaining promotion to English football's top flight league in 1899, although that success was short lived suffering relegation the following season. This still ensured their place in history as the smallest town in England to have ever had a top flight football team.

Glossop as many outstanding examples of Victorian excellence; Wren Nest Mill, Wood's Mill, Howardtown Mills, Milltown Mills, Town Hall, Victoria Hall and Dinting Viaduct but there are many unsung architectural gems. There are 25 Grade II listed buildings or structures within the vicinity of Glossop town centre and many more further a field.

This website offers a virtual tour of Glossop's unsung Victorian Architectural Heritage, phase one will concentrate on the main shopping street (High Street West) and will chart a textual and pictorial history of each shop from its construction through the Victorian era to its modern day use, using census records, trade directories, phone book records, newspaper adverts, photos, maps, diagrams and the personal memories of Glossop folk.

Over the years there have been many fine initiatives to retain Glossop's unique look and feel; Glossop Heritage Trust, Liveability Scheme Pilot, Friends of Glossop Station, Glossop Environmental Trust and Glossopdale Townscape Heritage Initiative. This website will hopefully bring all these fine initiatives together into one place to celebrate, promote and preserve this heritage.

Although Glossop, in the main, escaped the ravages of the 1960's town-planners and architects, issues still remain today. This website hopes to raise awareness of Glossop's overall Victorian feel and no just a scatted collection of Victorian listed buildings. Glossop's charm is more than the sum of its parts. It is hoped that visitors will come to Glossop as a tourist destination in its own right as well as being the Gateway to the Peak District.

This website will also show what actions have taken place (or are planned) to restore the Victorian style of many shop facades and bring municipal buildings back into public use. Participation by the Glossop community is a large part of this website and viewers are invited to post their memories and/or photos of individual retail properties.

Mike Tomlinson
Glossop VAH


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