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Utopia Britannica

British Utopian Experiments 1325 - 1945

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Smith House 1739-44
Small Moravian community house. Base for Moravian activity prior to founding of Fulneck.
On the invitation of a Joseph Holmes the Moravians settled at Smith House, and there is reason to believe, that had affairs gone well, the Fulneck settlement would have been located here.A large three-storeyed house adjacent to Smith House was built for the brethren.Mrs Holmes in her widowhood forsook the Moravians and joined the Methodists.
GRID REF: Wyke (This was not strictly speaking at Wyke but past Bailiff Bridge on the West side of the Bradford Road, and is described as being at Lightcliffe.)

REF: The Moravian Church in England. 1728-1760. Colin Podmore. Brighouse its Scenery and Antiquities by Geo. Hepworth Architect - 1885. Held at Yorkshire Archaeological Society Ref 2E16

Fulneck 1744 -
Moravian settlement with chapel choir houses, shop, bakehouse and workshops, set on dramatic hillside at Pudsey Nr. Bradford. The Moravian school now on site numbers among it’s past pupils; Herbert Asquith PM & Diana Rigg.
GRID REF: SE225319
REF: The Moravians at Fulneck. R.Strong
. / http;//www.moravian.org.uk

Abbeydale Hamlet 1785
FOUNDER/LEADER: Earl Fitzwilliam
Model industrial community.
GRID REF: SK325818
REF: Villages of Vision

Loyal Georgian Society 1779
Early Land Club - Mutual benefit society of mainly small business men that lent money to members to build houses - out of this group grew the Halifax Building Society.
GRID REF: Location Unknown Halifax
REF: Workers Housing in W. Yorkshire. 1750-1920. HMSO 1986
Records are held at West Yorks Archives Halifax

Old Town C1820
'Club Houses' built by local Land Club.
GRID REF: Location Unknown
REF: Workers Housing in W. Yorkshire.

Golden Fleece Friendly Soc. 1822
Small cottages built by Land Club.
GRID REF:1-7Strike Lane Skelmanthorpe
REF: Workers Housing in W. Yorkshire.

Copley 1847 - 53
Model village of 112 simple stone houses built next to mill. With canteen, school, library and allotments.
GRID REF: SE084223
REF: Villages of Vision

Wincobank Land Colony 1848
Sixty-eight acre farm acquired by the Sheffield Edge Tool Grinders Union with the aim of setting up a Land Colony after meetings in the town by Owenite Frances Wright and Chartist leader Feargus O'Connor.
GRID REF: SE380909?Nr Sheffield
REF: Heavens Below p246

Gleadless Common Side Land Colony 1848
A dozen men and a manager ran the 11acre farm for The Sheffield Brittania Metal Smiths supplying a shop in town.
GRID REF: SK377836? Nr Sheffield
REF: Heavens Below

'File Hardeners' Land Colony 1848
Land Colony set up by Sheffield File Hardeners Union.
GRID REF: Nr Sheffield
REF: Heavens Below

Hollow Meadows Farm1848/54
Following a revolt over conditions in thier flour mills the Sheffield Board of Guardians acquired the 48 acre moorland Hollow Meadows Farm with the aim of reclaiming moorland and setting up a Land Colony using workhouse labour. Dormitories and a dining hall were built using local stone. 22 acres were reclaimed and planted with root crops. Instead of setting up small holdings for the unemployed as planned the land was let to private farmers.
GRID REF: SK285866 Rivelin Valley.
REF :Heavens Below

Saltaire 1851 -
Extensive model village built around Salt's textile mills. Included housing, shops, institute, hospital, alms houses, park and mausoleum. Declined along with the textile industry revived in the 1990s by a combination of hi-tech industry, heritage and art.
GRID REF: SE138379 Shipley.
REF Villages of Vision / Salt & Silver

Leeds Redemption Society. 1851
Outlet for the produce of the Garnlwyd Community. Main item for sale was blackberry jam.
GRID REF: 5 Trinity St. Leeds.
REF: Heavens Below / Social Reform in Victorian Leeds JFC Harison 1954

Leeds Model Cottage Society. C1850s
Non-profit group set up to enable 'Artisans' to build their own homes by acting as guarantor for loans. Tried to ensure good quality and design by providing 'improved plans'.
GRID REF: Locations Unknown
REF: Workers Housing in W. Yorkshire.

Christian Israelite Institute 1857 - 63
Wrenthorpe House was built as the headquarters of the Christian Israelites after Wroe was kicked out of Ashton-Under-Lyme by the Southcottians. Here he waited for the second coming whilst building up a following in Austrailia and the US.
GRID REF: SE306221 Nr Wakefield
REF: Alt.Com 19thC Eng.

Ackroydon 1859
Second and larger model village built by Edward Ackroyd (also see Copley) Houses laid out round large green with market cross. Scheme carried out with encouragement of Halifax Building Society.
GRID REF: SE091261 Halifax
REF: Villages of Vision

West Hill Park 1863-68
Model housing estate built by Crossleys carpet manufacturers.
GRID REF: SE084328 Halfax
REF: Villages of vision

Sharlston C1860's?
The New Sharlston Colliery Company supported by the Crossley's of Halifax built miners housing along with a chapel,school, Penny Bank,literary institute, reading room, library, coffee room and co-op store. Francis Crossley even bought out a beer shop to keep the village alcohol free.
GRID REF: SE393188
REF: Workers Housing in W. Yorkshire.

Brighouse Co-operative Society. 1865-1890
Co-op Retail Society founded in 1856, started building housing for sale to members on a small scale in 1865. Built 12 houses next to a new store at Bailiff Bridge in 1877 and a cresent of 16 houses in Brighouse in 1880. Built a further 45 houses in Rayner Rd & Harriet St." The society has not sought to make money on its cottage building schemes. The houses have been sold to members at the cost price and the result is so gratifying that further schemes of this character may well be developed."
Society report 1890
GRID REF: West of the road leading from Brighouse to Bailiff Bridge .
REF: Workers Housing in W. Yorkshire.
Brighouse and its Co-operative Society by Jon Caldwell 1899
279 pages - Held at Yorkshire Archaeological Society Ref 77C16

Leeds Industrial Dwellings Company. 1867
Model Dwelling Society built a block of galleried tenements. Each with 2-3 bedrooms, living room & coal cupboard. Communal washhouse and basement refuse collection system also provided.
GRID REF: Sharman St Leeds
REF: Workers Housing in W. Yorkshire.

Cloughton C1870s
A small plot of land bought specifically for John Guy, a Companion of the Guild of St George, whom John Ruskin admired for refusing to work a steam-driven machine. Guy worked the difficult ground for five years as a tenant of the Guild.
GRID REF: TA010944 Nr Scarborough
REF: Alt.Com 19thCent Eng.

G.W Thompson & Co C1886
Inspired by the teaching of John Ruskin George Thompson registered his woollen company as a friendly society and introduced welfare provisions, pensions and a profit sharing scheme for his employees.
GRID REF: Huddersfield
REF: Designing Utopia. M.H. Lang

Wilshaw 1873
Small courtyard of model dwellings.
GRID REF: St Mary's Court. Wilshaw.
REF: Workers Housing in W. Yorkshire.

Staithes Artists’ Colony C1880
Small artists’ colony in small coastal fishing village.
GRID REF: NZ782184
REF: The Good & Simple Life

The Quarry 1887 - ?
The Community of the Resurrection set up by Charles Gore in Oxford moved here in 1887. The monks were actively involved in Christian Socialism. Kier Hardie visited and spoke at a meeting in the grounds.
GRID REF: SE201194 Mirfield
REF: Utopian England/Possible Dreams

The Brotherhood Workshop
Group of Christian anarchists formed around an electrician’s workshop after an engineers strike. They had links with the Tolstoyans in Croyden and became a northern outpost of the Brother-hood Church. Became involved in machine knitting to earn an income. Moved in 1921 to set up a land based colony at Stapleton.
GRID REF: Victoria Road, Leeds
REF: A History of the Brotherhood Church. A.G.Higgins / Slow Burning Fuse / Utopian England

Neighbourhood Guild C1897
Sheffield University Settlement .
GRID REF: 282 Granville Rd.
REF: Listed in Labour Annual 1905

Stocksbridge Garden Village C1900
Garden Village developed just before the turn of the century to house an influx of workers at the Stocksbridge Steel Works.

New Earswick 1901- Present
FOUNDER/LEADER: Joseph & Seebohm Rowntree
Model village for workers at the Rowntree chocolate factory where Parker & Unwin developed their Garden City design ideas. The village was built from the very ground it stands on: the bricks were made in the brickworks on the outskirts of New Earswick. From 1950 the brickyard, which closed down in the 1930s, was developed into a nature reserve.
GRID REF: SE626549 York
REF: Villages of Vision

Bradford co-operative dwellings C1901
Quadrangle of flats with common room & communal kitchen designed by Parker & Unwin. Published in The Art of Building a Home. Never built.
REF :The Architectural & Social History of Co-operative Living. L.F.Pearson

Whitwood 1904
Housing designed by Voysey for colliery owners Henry Briggs & Son. The Briggs's also provided a workmens institute.(Now the Rising Sun.)
GRID REF: SE421242
REF: Workers Housing in W. Yorkshire.

Croft House C1905
UniversitySettlement house.
GRID REF: Sheffield
REF: Listed in Labour Annual 1905

Woodlands C1906
Garden Village for miners at the Brodsworth Colliery laid out with advice from the Garden City Ass.
GRID REF: SE519063 Nr Doncaster
REF: Heavens Below

'Resurrection' Hostel C1908
Elegant Gothic hostel built by the Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield to house members who were taking art degrees at the university. Designed by the architect Temple Moor. The Community’s links with the university contributed to several generations of radical theological scholars inc. Trevor Huddleston and David Jenkins. The building was later taken over by Leeds University and used for Adult education, including WEA classes.
GRID REF: The hostel replaced the former houses at 21 and 23 Springfield Mount. Leeds.
REF: Alfred Orage & The Leeds Art Club.

Hull Garden Suburb 1907
Garden Suburb development built for workers at Reckitt's chemical works
REF: Villages of Vision/ http://www.tenfoot.karoo.net/garden.html

Bradford 'Garden Suburbs' 1917
Proposals for ten Garden Suburbs to be situated on the outskirts of Bradford. Mr. E.J. Smith, chairman of the Bradford Health Committee proposed the building of ten self-contained villages of a thousand houses each on the hilltops surrounding the city. The meeting was reported in the Yorkshire Weekly Post " Describing the proposed, Mr. Smith said it was suggested that there should be a communal laundry and a cooking kitchen for each village. In these days of steam laundries it was unjustifiable and, indeed, discreditable to expect a woman to stand over a 'peggy tub' and a 'wringing machine' for hours together, and convert her home into a steam chest once a week, and a drying ground for wet clothes whenever the weather was unfavourable.
Then, a communal cooking kitchen from which the meals could be fetched, ready for serving in the home, would ensure a far greater variety of wholesome food and better cooking. At less cost, and infinitely less labour than when a thousand overworked mothers were busily engaged making a thousand separate dinners.
Each community would be provided with such amenities as a school, a bath, library, recreation room, pleasure ground, and a suitable area for allotments, etc., indeed, it would be a model village, where, after a hard day's work, men and women could live such a natural healthy and wholesome life as would enable them to rest and recuperate both body and mind..."

REF: The Architectural & Social History of Co-operative Living. L.F.Pearson
Yorkshire Weekly Post 13th October 1917

Painted Fabric Ltd 1918-1959
Small community of disabled ex-servicemen based on the old Women's Auxiliary Army Corps camp. They made high quality fabric goods whilst living in converted huts & 10 houses. Also worked gardens & allotments.
GRID REF:SK349820Norton Woodseats.
REF: Exhibition Leaflet

Marsden 'Garden Suburb' C1920s
Garden Suburb development proposed by S & C Firth of Cellar Clough Mills. 169 houses for mill employees with allotments, parkland and playgrounds. Scheme never built.
REF: Workers Housing in W. Yorkshire.

Brotherhood Church / Stapleton Colony 1921 - present
Christian anarchist land colony set up by group from Leeds. They live by the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount, recognising no authority other than that of God, a stance that has brought them into repeated conflicts with the authorities, for erecting dwellings without permission (the group rebuilt the houses everytime time the council demolished them!), failing to register children’s births, keeping their children out of state schools, refusing to fill in census forms & to pay the poll tax. They have close links with the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) & War Resisters International holding a ‘Strawberry Teaparty’ each summer to raise funds for them. During the 1960s they ran a film van for the PPU, showing back-projection peace films in town centres up & down the country. The colony consists of a series of small cottages dotted about a large smallholding. Over the years they have run a market garden, carried out knitting, sold honey and Christmas trees to support themselves as well as running their own small printing business publishing booklets, recipe books and calendars. Over the years the community has developed into a network of extended ‘families’ that extend beyond the geographic bounds of the colony.
GRID REF: SE517192 Stapleton
REF: A History of the Brotherhood Church. A.G.Higgins/ D&D94/5 / Slow Burning Fuse / UtopianEngland.

Cubley Garden Village 1921-2
Garden Village development.
GRID REF: SE246025 Penistone
REF: Villages of Vision

Kirk Sandall Garden Village 1922
258 houses built for workers of Pilkington Glass under the direction of Prof Abercrombie. Shops were in wooden huts inc; Co-op shop.
GRID REF: SE621072 Nr Doncaster
REF: Pilkington Bros Garden Village Ventures.

Quarry Hill Flats 1935-40
938 flats modelled on Karl Marx Hof flats in Vienna, built by Leeds City Council. Was the largest housing scheme in the country at the time and aimed to incorporate the latest housing ideas and techniques. Flats had solid fuel ranges, electric lighting and non-drip window boxes. A suction powered refuse disposal system sucked rubbish to a plant that provided heat for the communal laundry. Other communal facilities included a communal hall, welfare centre, shops, playgrounds, tennis courts & bowling greens. A planned social centre and sports complex were never built. The 'revolutionary' steel frame and concrete clad construction was to prove disastrous and within 35 yrs the whole complex had been demolished.
REF: Workers Housing in W. Yorkshire.

Snaithe 1935 - 82?
Land Settlement Association smallholding scheme. (See Chawston Beds.)
GRID REF: SE641219
REF : Colin Ward D&D 94/95

Dringhoe Grange1937
Experimental attempt by Peace Pledge Union members to " work out the full implications of pacifism." A number of the members went on to Israel to study Kibbutz.
GRID REF: Dringhoe Grange, Driffield.
REF : Community In Britian.


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